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Well, I haven’t read a lot of fairy tales but this reads like one. Maybe it’s a retelling of one? I’m not sure. But I loved the writing and the pace set by the author. It’s sure fun to read about a little girl completely out of her depth yet trying so hard to find a way out of a very dangerous situation. It’s a wonderful novel and I highly recommend to anyone who wishes for a short but brilliantly written book.
This was the first T. Kingfisher book I read, and it was so good I bought all the others and new ones as soon as they come out. The story is good, not a young girl saving the world because she happens to have been born with exactly the right magic needed at this precise moment, but a girl saving herself and the people she cares for from an evil magician using her courage and kindness plus a lot of common sense. She is very like Tiffany Aching from the Terry Pratchett's books, but without a Granny Weatherwax to back her up. The story pulls you along very fast, there's never a dull moment and the ending is satisfying but surprisingly quick. Also her 'happy ending' doesn't involve getting a man. It's a relief to have a heroine who can have a fulfilled life without having to fall in love in order to 'win'.
There are parrallels to Beauty and the Beast in this story, but anything furthur than the Disney version is hard to imagine. While having the signature T Kingfisher wit and irreverence, this book is particularily sucessful because of it's pace. It has a literal ticking clock for most of the book and that heightens the tension and gives it a real feeling of peril. Sutiable for a YA or older audience. There are some moments of real horror. Terrific read would recommend.
I make no apologies for recommending a book which is only available on Kindle. It jolly well should be available in other formats because it is utterly charming, and beautifully written. T Kingfisher is a pseudonym for Ursula Vernon, a prize-winning free-lance author and artist. The blurb, which caught my attention was: “Rhea is an ordinary miller’s daughter, engaged to be married under suspicious circumstances to a man not of her choosing. He has unknown powers and a manor house full of mysterious women. Rhea has a hedgehog. It’s probably not going to be enough.” And I wasn’t disappointed. A kind of amalgam of Blue Beard and Mr Fox Rhea’s story has some disturbing elements “Be bold, be bold, but not too bold” croak the hideous golem birds with stone eyes as Rhea goes to visit her bridegroom – and there is worse to come – much worse. But Rhea is brave and determined, and the hedgehog, although it cannot talk, and may not be magic at all turns out to be helpful, while some of the mysterious women in her strange bridegroom’s mansion turn out to be helpful. A short, intense, and excellent read.
An easy read, but The Seventh Bride is a fierce and different take on a mix of fairytales, with a lovely blend of many tropes; the unexpected bride finding out that her husband-to-be isn’t what she thinks he is, and that she is trapped in a strange house.. and then turning all of her ingenuity to how to free the others, trapped with her. Some of the wives are horrifying (more for what has been done to them, than the wives themselves) but the allies and friends that Rhea finds along the way are sweet, and the relationships between the wives, Crevan and allies are all very different. A fun and unexpected read.
This was a fast-paced, fantastical and terrifying read. I knew that Crevan was the antagonist but slowly being introduced to his many evils was horrific to say the least. I admired the cast of characters and felt that despite the book following Rhea in 3rd person, we got to know the other wives. This book reminded me of Blackbeard mixed with a bit of Grimm's fairy tale (I've never read them so I wouldn't know). If you're looking for a horrific yet hopeful book, this is one of them. You'll find a protagonist you can't help but root for and also relate to but also a found family along with the intense dread as another one of Crevan's wives are introduced.
I really enjoyed this. Wasn’t sure if it was 4 or 5 stars (if I really liked it or loved it) but it is the first book to hold my attention for the first time in months and that justifies a high rating!
It has rich worldbuilding, a wonderful sassy hedgehog familiar, a relatable protagonist, and is one I will definitely be recommending to my goddaughter (14) as well. It has a good amount of horror elements and creepy imagery, but sometimes the way this was described had me re-reading it to try and visualise it, but I think that was an issue with me rather than the prose? I nearly read it all in one go but started too late at night!
Overall, I think it does deserve the full 5* rating!
Quite a slight fairy tale but made a lot of fun by the engaging protagonist. I was particularly taken by the description of the villain as having ‘The smile of a man who found nothing funny and everything amusing’ Full marks for sidestepping a lot of the clichés. I hope there’s a sequel for Rhea, acquiring a familiar so early on was a bit of a giveaway.
This is such a fantastic book, so very funny and a wonderful entertaining story. It is full of characters you will love to laugh at , love to laugh with or love to hate. This book is totally worth your time and money, I would recommend this book to anyone. T. Kingfisher is a real talent and wonderful storyteller.
It's true, the book starts from a Bluebeard premise but I never minded spoilers nor does that make it predictable. It's a fresh mix of humor and witchcraft, something that reminds of Joanne Harris' Maddy Smith or Pratchett's Tiffany Aching. If you like that sort of heroine - skeptical, decided, and slightly cinic and jaded - and all the situational humor ensuing from that mindset, this is a great reading.