Amazon Publishing - 47 North
Publication Date: November 24, 2015
Date Read: November 22, 2015
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.
Revised edition: This edition of The Seventh Bride includes editorial revisions.
I ended up enjoying this book a lot. It had so much going for it and I loved the fairy tale quality that I found throughout the novel. I will admit that I was first drawn to this book simply because of the cover. Isn't the cover artwork great? After reading the description, I decided to go ahead and give this one a try and ended up being completely captivated by the story. As good as the cover artwork is, the story is even better.
I have heard from others that this book is based on Bluebeard. I have to admit that I have never heard of Bluebeard and don't know that story at all (I know - I lead a sheltered life) so I will just have to take their word for it. I went into this book with no expectations other than the desire to be entertained and this book was incredibly entertaining. It really grabbed my attention early on and the more I read the more I was hooked.
This is the story of Rhea who is the miller's daughter. She is only 15 years old but Lord Craven wants her as his bride. Rhea and her family aren't really sure why Lord Craven wants to marry Rhea but peasants don't say no to people like Lord Craven so they don't ask a lot of questions. When he gives her directions to his home and tells her when to come, she follows his directions as expected. She meets a helpful hedgehog along the way to his home that I immediately fell in love with. Once she arrives, Rhea is shocked to learn that Lord Craven already has other wives at his home and he is simply wanting to add her to his collection.
This story had a magical quality to it. A hedgehog that communicates through gestures, bird golems, a floor that tends to fall at different times, and a strange cast of characters successful came together to make a rather delightful story. I really had no idea where this book would take me at any given time but I was always entertained during the journey. The tasks that Rhea must complete were interesting and really helped to show what Lord Craven was capable of doing.
I liked Rhea a lot. She questions everything going on as much as she can and her internal dialog really added to the story. She accepts her fate but still makes an effort to change it if she can. Rhea knows who she is and when she is asked to do something that she feels is wrong, she quickly decides that some orders are not worth following regardless of the cost. The other wives were all very interesting and somewhat likable but I was never quite sure who Rhea should really trust. I felt as unsure about everything going on as Rhea did throughout most of the book.
I would highly recommend this book to anyone looking for an interesting fantasy read. This book should appeal to a wide audience including teens and adults. This is the first book by T. Kingfisher that I have read but I will be taking a look at her other works very soon.
I received an advance reader edition of this book from Amazon Publishing - 47 North via NetGalley for the purpose of providing an honest review.
About the Author
T. Kingfisher is the vaguely absurd pen-name of an author from North Carolina. In another life, as Ursula Vernon, she writes children’s books and weird comics, and has won the Hugo, Sequoyah, Mythopoeic, Nebula and Ursa Major awards, as well as a half-dozen Junior Library Guild selections.
This is the name she uses when writing things for grown-ups.
When she is not writing, she is probably out in the garden, trying to make eye contact with butterflies.
Author Links: Website