“T. Kingfisher” is a pseudonym for Ursula Vernon’s more ‘grown up’ books, but The Seventh Bride is really more Young Adult in my eyes. Certainly, the level of writing is still in that area (that’s not bad, the book just isn’t that horrendously complex or deep). However, setting it apart from more kids-oriented books is a good idea, there’s a few things that get creepy and could be nightmare fuel for younger readers.

There’s also Vernon’s usual bits of magic run amuck (“Potatoes were, for some reason, more prone to fits of random magic than most vegetables. It would take a remarkable magic to affect turnips or kale.”), and an overall a fairy tale tone to the entire book. This last is generally undermined by Rhea’s engaging commentary on everything, but the feel is strong enough to survive that unharmed.

In keeping with the kind-of YA theme, this is a story about growing up. Rhea has to come to terms with the fact that her parents can’t do everything, and that she must confront an unwanted (and frankly dangerous) marriage on her own. I think this isn’t quite as well developed as it needs to be, but the the story itself works, and a lot of fun to read (which is typical for Vernon).