The seventh bride by T. Kingfisher
Another of Kingfisher’s inventive fairy tale retellings, The seventh bride is a new take on the classic tale, Bluebeard. Rhea is the daughter of a miller and is not interested in love or marriage so when Lord Crevan proposes she is surprised. She does not like Lord Crevan but is pressured by her parents and aunt to accept his offer. She cannot turn him down because there may be awful consequences for the family and they could lose the mill and although everyone knows there is something disturbing about the lord, Rhea goes to his enchanted castle. There she finds six previous wives all imprisoned in horrible ways. She is determined not to marry him and when he gives her magical tasks to perform, she knows she must use everything at her disposal to escape the castle and help the other wives.
Fans of fairy tale retellings will love Rhea, her fierce determination and her compassion and will be intrigued by the clever ways she manages to perform the tasks that Lord Crevan gives her. There are some moments of real horror to keep the reader breathless and others of friendship between the wives that are very moving.
Kingfisher always writes original and engrossing stories and fans like me will not be disappointed in The seventh bride and may like to try her book The Wizard's guide to defensive baking or some of Shannon Hale's wonderful retellings of fairy tales like Goose girl and Book of a thousand days.
Themes: Fairytale retelling, Bluebeard, Magic, Horror.