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Search tags: The-Seventh-Bride
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review 2017-12-13 06:11
I gave myself a nice surprise
The Seventh Bride - T. Kingfisher

I'm a total mess when it comes to curating my ereader. I check things out of the library and compulsively download books both profligately and promiscuously. I follow one link after another in search of books that might appeal, and almost never make note of how I ended up with that one thing on the queue. And saying I have a queue is an insult to an organized and methodical list of readerly desire, because I pretty much read at whim (when I'm not reading for work) and my whims are scattered far and wide.

 

So when I picked up The Seventh Bride, I more or less assumed previous me had downloaded some crap that might be fun at bedtime, one of those first person jobs with a Strong Female Protagonist and some sexytimes, the kind where the Strong Female Protagonist spends all her time slut shaming everyone around her and sucking. Hey don't judge! I like getting pissed at my reading so I can get some godamn sleep once in a while. Alas, The Seventh Bride turned out to be well written and interesting. So much for sleeping! Sleeping is for suckers anyway. 

 

Turns out, The Seventh Bride is a retelling of Bluebeard, the folktale probably best known from its telling by Charles Perrault (who also wrote Puss in Boots). In the tale, a young bride marries an older lord of some kind, and is admonished by him never to look in one specific room. (Just fyi, a forbidden thing in a story is called by folklorists a narrative lack, and you can bet your bottom dollar that this lack will be fulfilled in the text.) So too, in Bluebeard: the young wife finds the key, and upon opening the forbidden door, finds the heads of all the previous wives, usually seven in number. Thus, the name of the novel. 

 

The Seventh Bride dispenses with the young wife's naivete. She knows the lord is bad news, but is more or less sold to him because of deeply unfair social architecture. Instead, the novel focuses on the relationships between the wives, some of whom are still living, and some of whom are, well, maybe not dead, but not altogether alive either. Kingfisher does a lovely job of detailing the strange connections between the women. One woman in particular is devoted to her evil husband, and a couple others are so twisted by their circumstance that they are fragile and dangerous in their fragility. This is no rosy sisterhood, but it isn't some bitch-fest either, where our protagonist gets to be Queen B because all women but her are the worst.

 

Nuanced relationships between women in a fucked up system? Who even does that? Kingfisher does; amen sister. 

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review 2016-11-05 00:00
The Seventh Bride
The Seventh Bride - T. Kingfisher,Kaylin Heath Well that was... horrifying. I mean, I guess I should have been warned by Vernon's YA author name, but jeeze. There is a lot of body horror in this book, though not happening to the heroine, and a lot of a teenage girl in terrifying situations. I was reading this to get away from my gothic run, and did not realise it was a Bluebeard retelling, and was therefore way more gothic than anything else I'd read.

All that aside, I quite liked it. The language was modern and chatty, and it was a clear case of made up fantasy land, which may or may not be set in a post-apoca future, or just on a slightly secondary world. The capitol is never named, people know about South American fauna, magic makes the hollyhocks plaid.

The main character and the various living wives we meet are coping with an extremely dire situation in a variety of messed up ways, and they were quite well drawn, if perhaps a little one-note. I did like how our heroine interacted with them, and how she was an essentially kind person who just got stuck in this awful abusive situation, and I liked that the blame was placed squarely where it belonged, by her at least. Clockwife was my favourite.

Should read some of the stuff meant for a gentler audience at some point.
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review 2016-05-17 11:59
The Seventh Bride - T. Kingfisher

Rhea is fifteen and a commoner - a miller’s daughter. Then Lord Craven came to her home and wants her hand in marriage. No commoner could say no to a lord if even dared to try that person and probably his whole family would suffer dire consequences. Also Lord Craven is known to be a friend of the town leader. Then Lord Craven summons Rhea to his manor and she goes. When she gets to the manor Lord Craven isn’t even there but others are. Rhea finds out she is to be the Lord’s the seventh bride. Lord Craven is a sorcerer and uses dark magic. Rhea meets a hedgehog along the way that communicates through gestures to Rhea. The hedgehog is brave, helpful, funny, and clever. Rhea has accepted her fate but really wants to change it if she can. There are some strange things at the manor like a floor that falls away at different times. The lord steals things of worth from his brides like their voice or eyes or even ability to die but leaves his wives alive to all live in his manor. Lord Craven is old enough to be Rhea’s father and totally creeps her out thus wanting to change things if she can. Then Lord craven tells rhea if she can complete some tasks for him  and is successful she can have her freedom back if not she must marry him. Rhea decides to try for her freedom.

I like the story but I felt Lord Craven seemed to have a very modern outlook considering the time period this was suppose to be in. I also believe there should have been more told about Lord Craven himself such as why he choices each bride and where he finds them also should have described some of the characters better especially some of the wives. I would have liked a twist or turn in the story. I didn’t care for the ending either. But I did like Rhea and how she always seemed to have a comment to make. Also I feel the hedgehog added a lot to this story.

I received an ARC of this story for an honest review.

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review 2016-05-14 08:00
Evil sorcerer and a hedgehog
The Seventh Bride - T. Kingfisher

Recently, I read another novella by this writer, Bryony and Roses, and loved it. My 4.5-star review is here. I didn’t like this story, The Seventh Bride, as much – it was darker, teetering on the edge between fantasy, fairy tale, and horror, but it was a good read all the same.

The protagonist, fifteen-year-old Rhea, is a miller’s daughter. She is sensible, capable, and kind. When Lord Craven proposes to marry her, she is sure something is wrong. Lords don’t marry millers’ daughters, but the times are lean, her father’s mill is in debt, and Rhea knows she can’t refuse. No peasant can refuse a lord without dire consequences.

The story is a loose retelling (very loose) of the fairy tale Bluebeard. Rhea’s adventures in Lord Craven’s manor are eerie, almost haunting. She doesn’t get in trouble because of her curiosity, like the Bluebeard heroine does. No, Rhea’s problems are deeper, residing in the lord himself. He is an evil sorcerer, and to defeat him, Rhea needs all her courage and wit and kindness. And the help of her friends.

One of her most charming friends is her familiar, a hedgehog – the source of most humor in this tale. How often do you read about brave and clever hedgehogs with a tendency to mock stupid behavior? This one was my first, and I enjoyed every page with the hedgehog in it. The other pages too. All in all, a very good book.

 

 

 

 

 

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review 2016-01-27 00:00
The Seventh Bride
The Seventh Bride - T. Kingfisher Brilliant. Lovely little fantasy-fairytale story with a twist. Original. Talented artist, talented author and she has such a quirky sense of humour and odd way of looking at things.

And I'm sooooooooooo glad she doesn't write never-ending series.
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