Jan 19, 2016

The Seventh Bride by T Kingfisher - My Review



Goodreads Summery: Young Rhea is a miller’s daughter of low birth, so she is understandably surprised when a mysterious nobleman, Lord Crevan, shows up on her doorstep and proposes marriage. Since commoners don’t turn down lords - no matter how sinister they may seem - Rhea is forced to agree to the engagement.

Lord Crevan demands that Rhea visit his remote manor before their wedding. Upon arrival, she discovers that not only was her betrothed married six times before, but his previous wives are all imprisoned in his enchanted castle. Determined not to share their same fate, Rhea asserts her desire for freedom. In answer, Lord Crevan gives Rhea a series of magical tasks to complete, with the threat “Come back before dawn, or else I’ll marry you.”

With time running out and each task more dangerous and bizarre than the last, Rhea must use her resourcefulness, compassion, and bravery to rally the other wives and defeat the sorcerer before he binds her to him forever.

 About the Author

T. Kingfisher. or Ursula Vernon is a freelance writer, artist and illustrator. She is best known for the webcomic Digger and the children's books Dragonbreath and Nurk: The Strange, Surprising Adventures of a (Somewhat) Brave Shrew. Ursula is also a prolific painter and the creator of the Biting Pear of Salamanca, a work which became an internet meme in the form of the "LOL WUT" pear.

Ursula's cover for Best in Show won the 2003 Ursa Major Award for Best Anthropomorphic Published Illustration. She was nominated for the 2006 Eisner Awards in the category Talent Deserving of Wider Recognition for her work on Digger. She was also a guest of honor at Midwest FurFest 2004 and 2009, and the Artist Guest of Honor at Further Confusion 2010.

The daughter of an artist, she attempted to rebel and become a scientist, but in the end couldn’t fight her destiny. She lives in Raleigh, North Carolina, where she writes, draws, and in her words, “creates weird thingies.”
 My Review
This folk tales is the one of the less well-known folk tales. The story of Bluebeard, is about an aristocrat who has married several wives. who have ominously disappeared, is dusted off and adapted by T. Kingfisher in The Seventh Bride, a middle grade/young adult fantasy. (Note: Kingfisher is a pen name for Ursula Vernon, the Nebula award-winning author of Jackalope Wives) There are other variations of this story, like- The Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter, The Robber Bridegroom by The Brothers Grimm and Bluebeard by Charles Perrault.

Rhea is a miller's daughter with a hint of something special about her. She is headstrong, feisty and courageous, (taking out evil swans when they eat her lunch). Most of her time spent in her father's mill keeping the gremlins out of the flour. After being spotted by Lord Crevan she becomes engaged to him. It was against her will - as you well know that going against the noble is really really dangerous - people can lost every thing they have, them and the people  which  close to them .

With the wedding approaching Crevan demands that she visit him at his estate. All the way she know that something is very very wrong with this offer and this path only straighten her fear. On the way she is meeting the hedgehog. I, loved this familiar of her who got her out of a tight spot more than once .

She cannot figure out why he would want to marry her. She is young, average looking, and not of his status and she has never met him.  But when she found out that his lordship has a touch of magic to him, she really started to be afraid of it. As we said she don't have much choice as she don't want to mess with the nobility,  so she has to accept his demand ans sets off on a magical white road which go across a forest full of horror.

Staying true to the original story she discovers that she is to be the latest in a line of wives for Lord Crevan and having no desire to end up like the Clock Wife or the Golem Wife Rhea fulfills tasks set for her that seem impossible. Of course, Lord Cravan immediately has to leave  and when he will be back he will give her her first mission and if she fail he will kill her. meanwhile,  she had the freedom to explore the many rooms of his manor The only place she is expressly forbidden to enter are his rooms. On her first day she is shocked to discover that a. she is not the first wife. b. the other wives more or less still living. c. she can't run away.

The other wives were fascinating - a silent woman with a terribly scarred throat, a woman with bandaged eyes, Maria a fat woman who acts as their cook, and others (it is very easy to fell in love with Maria). From each wife the lord has taken something that he he clam that she never notice about and henceforth don't need it.

Great writing and a nice spin on Bluebeard has ensured. It is humorous but it also gets darker as the book goes on.
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