The Seventh Bride by T. Kingfisher 📚
Having read Nettle and Bone recently and enjoyed it greatly, I decided to pick up some other works by the same author. This one turns out to have been one of her earlier titles, and it bears more than little resemblance in the plot, prose, and setting to the later work.
The young protagonist is a miller’s daughter rather than a princess, and is herself threatened with marriage to a mysterious nobleman, but this is a fairy-tale world and not a Jane Austen novel and the nobleman’s intentions are quickly revealed to have more to do with magic and theft than happy-ever-after. Rhea must look for allies in unlikely places, perform terrible tasks set by her self-declared intended, and find a path to escape what seems likely to be a tragic ending.
The story is well told, the adventures scary and magical, and one can clearly see the inventive imagination of the author at work, but it does have a bit of early novel about it, the characters are a bit less vivid and the plot much more linear in how it unfolds. Still I banged though the book in short order (it’s not all that long) and enjoyed doing so.