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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.
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.
I had never encountered the writing of T Kingfisher before reading this book. I am very glad I have now. 'The Seventh Bride' grabbed my attention from the beginning - it is very hard not to instantly like a protagonist whose major battle in life before the events of the book is with a malevolent swan who keeps stealing her lunch. There are some truly startling, macabre and beautiful images in this book and the story is well thought through - becoming not simply a mash-up of a number of fairy tales but a nuanced and intriguing world into which the plot fits perfectly. Stylistically, well-written, very much in the style of a fable and one that definitely merits a re-reading to pick up the details and themes of the story and the language. And there's a hedgehog.