I spent Saturday with Marra, an unwilling Princess who assembled a merry band of assassin’s including a dust wife, a fairy godmother who is NOT as she first appears, an exiled warrior and a bone dog. It. Was. Wonderful.
I received the book at work on Thursday. As you, Gentle Reader, might understand I waited to start this most anticipated story. The newbies are crying out “Why??!!” in dismay. It is because I knew, for a fact, that I would resent every interruption in my breaks. And the phones did ring– I was proven correct. But Saturday? The stars aligned— the Princeling even went out on an adventure with his friends leaving me the whole, glorious day to wallow in Marra’s story.
Nettle & Bone is signature T. Kingfisher. An unlikely heroine, a great support system (i.e. found family), and while some truly horrible things are going on in the story it doesn’t take away from the overall feel of the story.
It is a slim volume, clocking in at 240 pages with an Author’s Note added that tells us how story’s morph and change and gain traction in a writer’s mind. I love reading about the process, so I would probably count it as 243 pages. It is a beautiful volume, with an embossed (spoiler) on the hard cover, and beautiful artwork once you open the cover.
Why am I mentioning the length, the beauty, etc? Because the cost is 25.99 for the hardback. I know when Martha Wells’ Murderbot series first came out I struggled hard with paying the same price for a novella as a novel. I finally made peace with the situation by realizing if I had gone to the movies I would have paid much more for far less entertainment (the joke with the Princeling is that I used to take him to the movies so I could take a nap. True story). Authors deserve to be paid, as do the cover artists, editors, etc etc.
That being said, Tor Books— do better. I was pissed, mad as hell, that when I made it to page 153 there was a giant ink blot across two words at the top of the page. Further in, at pages 172 & 173 I thought my eyes were playing tricks on me. Nope. The printing is lighter on the left page (172) that it is on the right (173). This happened on several sets of pages. A great book was marred by poor printing. Tor Books— you need better Quality Control or to go to a printer that actually does QC.
Still love the hell out of the story and may spend today rereading it (I love the world T. Kingfisher takes us to).