Cannonball introduced me to T. Kingfisher, and I introduced my mom, and now she is obsessed. She’s read everything her interlibrary loan can get her, and now she’s ordering them off the internet. I stole this one from her while I was visiting this month before she’s even had a chance to read it! It’s absolutely marvelous.
I couldn’t help but compare Rhea to Tiffany Aching, as she’s a teenage girl dumped into magical mayhem against her will, but this feels a bit darker. Though Tiffany deals with some pretty dark stuff her own self, Kingfisher really knows how to bring the unsettling imagery and dread.
Rhea is the miller’s daughter, thumping the grain chute every once in a while to prevent clumps and chasing gremlins out of the gears. She’s 15 years old when her parents tell her out of the blue that the mysterious Lord Crevan wants to marry her. She’s startled and dismayed, and her parents don’t seem too thrilled, but you don’t say no to a lord – especially one who’s a friend of the viscount who owns your mill and could make life very hard for your family if you go against him. So Rhea summons up her courage to go meet her betrothed down a creepy path to a mansion that shouldn’t be there. She meets a helpful hedgehog along the way, as well as some much creepier things. When she finally gets to Lord Crevan’s home, things are much much worse than she imagined. He’s a sorcerer, and definitely not the good kind. Rhea has to summon all her wits and resources and work with some new friends to stay one step ahead of the sorcerer’s (unknown, but definitely nefarious) plans for her.
I don’t want to say much more and spoil anything, but it’s a quick, fun read. Rhea is a delight, Lord Crevan is suitably unpleasant, and the people she meets at the mansion are interesting. Definitely stealing the next Kingfisher from Mom as soon as I can!