The Seventh Bride, T. Kingfisher
Recieved to review via Netgalley
I actually bought this initially, but the Netgalley page said something about it being an updated version, so I went for it. I originally picked it up for the promise of a heroic little hedgehog, and I was very happy with that aspect — the hedgehog is brave, helpful, clever, and funny. It can’t speak, so it communicates with the protagonist via miming and yes/no answers. It sounded so cute. I want one!
The story itself, aside from the hedgehogs, is a nice reimagining of a Bluebeard fairytale — but darker, really, because instead of death, the antagonist steals things of worth from the women he marries — their voices, their eyes, their ability to die — and leaves them alive. I found the tone somewhat at odds with the perceived historical/mythological time it was set in; the protagonist was too modern in thought and sensibility in some ways, it seemed. But overall, I found it very enjoyable, and I loved the way it treated the other characters. The other wives, for example, are each different, some very strange, and each of them copes with what has happened to them in a different way. As people do.
And, just to reiterate: hedgehog!