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Someone should buy the rights to this book and make into a movie. The writing was vivid the characters were lovable and the plot mesmerizing. This is the kind of book you read when you need to feel better. That is not to say there weren’t dark moments, there definitely were, but the book was, on the whole, charming and captivating. I was delighted and surprised.
Absolutely lovely, charming little story! As a woman in her 30s, who leads a small life, this is exactly the story I wanted to read. I have a steong feeling I'll be coming back to this one again and again.
Magic, grumpy old ladies, dithering younger ladies and the strength derived from despair . Ursula never disappoints, her quirky sense of humour and talent for finding the 'what if' path is nothing short of amazing.
A joyful and imaginative quest story featuring a cluster of unlikely heroes, a series of seemingly impossible tasks, and an original blend of dark, high-stakes fantasy with wry fairy tale humour. I loved the mashup of familiar high fantasy elements, all given new facets or contexts. An arranged marriage that creates a political alliance across borders. A series of magical tasks. A goblin market where no one and nothing is precisely what it seems. A noble knight in need of a new purpose. A fairy godmother with uncertain powers. A witch who communicates with the dead. A determined but underestimated heroine who proves her worth through her bravery and skills. Scene after scene I felt like I was diving back into the fairy tale books I adored as a kid, but rewritten for an adult mind, with a quiet thematic undertone about how to find--or rather create--order in a world that's so deeply unfair and so often unkind. I especially loved the handicraft elements, even though they weren't extensive within the story, and of course, I had a deep affection for Bone Dog. Every good quest needs an animal sidekick, and this one was spectacular. This story could easily have been tweaked to be marketed for young adults, but I love that it wasn't. Overall, an immersive, original quest story written with tremendous imagination and no shortage of heart.
Pros: light romance, fun magic, interesting world /
Cons: some readers might be put off that certain matters are skirted over /
The opening of this book grabbed me by the throat and immediately pulled me into its world. Though the plot has some unpleasant elements the book on the whole is surprisingly upbeat. I loved the subtle humour, especially when the romance thread entered.
Marra doesn’t do politics well, which is a problem for a princess. It was nice seeing her build a group of friends who helped with her quest. They’re a quirky bunch and a lot of fun to read about. I loved Kingfisher’s take on the godmother mythos.
The magic is never explained and appears in various guises. There’s a goblin market, a woman who can talk to the dead, and Marra is able to complete two impossible fairytale quests.
I needed a lighthearted read so I appreciated that the book glossed over the disturbing elements of child death and physical abuse. Some readers might be put off the fact that the author doesn’t show the full fallout of these impactful events. I had the impression Marra was supposed to be neurodivergent, and so she doesn’t pick up on things the way others do. As the point of view character, this colours how the reader sees the world as well.
I found the story quick moving and compelling. This is an uplifting book with an excellent wrap-up that leaves you feeling content with the world.
This book should be declared a national treasure. So beautifully written, the story reveals its secrets in careful, deliberate slowness. The images it reveals are stunning. The characters are rich and alive. I’m so glad I purchased the hardcover. I will be re reading this book for many years to come and I have no doubt I’ll be learning something new every time.
Imagine a world of blessings and curses, life and death magic, monsters and heroes. Now flip it on its head and the good are evil, and it’s in evil you find the good. This story is exquisite.
The characters are so very poignant and they stay true to themselves. No one is wasted or cast aside in the telling of this sister’s quest to free her family from the power and abuse of a sick man. The FL (Marra) is Dorthy, following the yellow brick road to The Emerald City where she and her merry band of mismatched friends seek to save the innocent from opposing forces. Throw in some fairy blessings, and even a wicked godmother crashing a christening, and this story will be one of your favorites as well.
It is so well written and very quick-paced after about 30%. There are flashbacks in the first 10 chapter to help you understand the background and setup, and then it just goes pretty much nonstop to the end. I really enjoyed the textile and fiber artistry of the FL and that it is integral to the plot. Each character is purposeful and needed to the plot to come to a satisfying conclusion.
I absolutely recommend this book and wish there could be a small epilogue or sequel novella about the prisoners of the goblin market.