Feeling grim–The Seventh Bride

sevnthbrideTitle: The Seventh Bride

Author: T. Kingfisher

Publisher: Red Wombat Tea

Pub Date: November 12,2014

Type: YA Fairytale                         Book Rating: Mild

Pages:  183                      Avid Reader Time: 1.15 Hr

Review Rating:  starstarstarstar

Rhea is an ordinary miller’s daughter, engaged to be married under suspicious circumstances to a man not of her choosing. He has unknown powers and a manor house full of mysterious women.

Rhea has a hedgehog. It claims to be ordinary, but normal hedgehogs don’t act like that.

It’s probably not going to be enough.

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Fairy-tales are my weakness. I haven’t (so far) found a fairy-tale retelling that I haven’t liked. Many authors make the tale their own and always a fascinating read. The Seventh Bride is the same way. Kingfisher keeps to the traditional fairy-tale elements: Kindness and charity pays off while rudeness and cruelty has serious consequences. The Seventh Bride is a twisty tale with touches of Grim horror. If you don’t realize by now, but I have a weakness for the retelling.

“Marriage was like death. You knew it’d happen eventually, but it wasn’t something you dwelt on.”

Rhea is the Miller’s daughter and she must marry a man who is not her choice. A noble who is mysterious and possible has more power then she knew. There is no love in this book. Well, no love other than familial love. But there are hedgehogs. When Rhea set out to her betrothed house, she encountered a hedgehog. Although it said it was an ordinary hedgehog, everything has its own magic. Which she is going to need to complete the three task to prevent her mad betrothed from marrying her. Just like he did to his last six wives.

That’s is the other thing I love about fairy-tale is that everyone has some type of magic in their. Even if its not the sparkly in your face magic. Rhea is a sassy heroine that makes her way with sensibility and a innocent calm. Although, Rhea does not seem to be her age. The way she acts during some scenes of the books makes her way more childish then fifteen years. This might be just the author’s way of portraying her innocent of the world ways. Either way it makes it more creepy.

“Rhea followed, because when your future husband is a mad sorcerer, following hedgehogs sometimes seems like the only option.”

The Seventh Bride is an interesting mixture of Bluebeard, Mr. Fox and The Robber Bridegroom . Bluebeard is the fairy-tale of a pretty girl married to a wealthy lord. Her husband leaves on business and she told to explore the house, but to never enter one room. Of course, Girl gets curious and looks finding her husband previous wives dead bodies. Mr. Fox is a similar tale except the bride is not yet a bride and her curiousity helped reveal Mr. Fox.

“Be Bold, Be Bold, But Not too bold,”

Frankly, I think The Seventh Bride takes those two tales to a more magical and creepier level. But it’s a fanciful read. But a warning to the young and sensitive there are some gruesome and adult themes. Then again it wouldn’t be a fairy-tale without that. The plot started out strong but petered out in intensity in the middle but picked up again towards the end. I enjoyed this retelling. Rhea was a great character and she grows as a person as she traverses her tale. But the hedgehog was my ultimate favorite. Because hedgehogs. But Rhea was strong and never stop thinking or questioning. She had a few moments of despair. She cried a bit about her situation and got back on her feet to continue her task.

The characters were interesting. There were however some moments when there wasn’t enough depth to the characters. The villain did not seem as scary and villainous but creepier old guy perving on the girls at the pool. But that was just me.  I would have loved more information regarding some of the other wives. Because the clock wife would so remarkable to read about.

“It’s all very well to cry for any number of reasons, including the fact that sometimes you simply need a good cry. And since a lot of the reason for crying occur largely in your head—which is not to say that they’re not real—It actually helps…”

The Seventh Bride is creepy and enthralling. I sat down and read this in one sitting. Many times in fact. I just couldn’t get over the tale. Kingfisher took pieces of different fairytales and woven them into a seamless story about courage, strength of character and magic in the smallest of things. It also made me really want a hedgehog. 4 out of 5 stars for a tale worth reading.  The only thing that kept it from being a five was the fact that the intensity came and gone. Kingfisher does have a knack for amazing details.



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