I wasn’t sure I’d be one for the “updated fairytale” sub-genre, but Nettle & Bone won me over completely. Marra is the third daughter of a royal family struggling to maintain independence between more powerful nations. Her two older sisters have been married one after another to the prince of one of these countries, in hopes of establishing long-lasting peace, but after Marra learns that her eldest sister’s shocking death was no accident, and her remaining sister faces a similar fate, she takes it upon herself to kill the prince and save her sister--in the process gaining the assistance of three other strange souls: a witch who commands the dead, a fallen knight rescued from a goblin market, and the aforementioned fairy godmother. And, of course, a delightful dog made of bones. Highly recommended for anyone in search of a nuanced, charming homage to epic quests and unlikely heroes saving the day.
Nettle & Bone, by T. Kingfisher