Book Reviews

Unraveller by Frances Hardinge // Book Review


Kellen and Nettle live in a world where anyone can create a life-destroying curse, but only one person has the power to unravel them. But not everyone is happy he can do so and, suddenly, he’s in a race to save both himself and all those who have been touched by magic…

A spell-binding new tale from the master of speculative fiction.



With solid Discworld vibes, a complex, emotional friendship that doesn’t become a romance and a series of chaotic events, I think this may be the best work Frances has ever produced. While most of her previous books felt more in the Middle Grade category, I think this story could easily appeal to adult fantasy readers.

I loved the relationship and connection between Kellen and Nettle, I think this is the closest I’ve seen to a Queerplatonic relationship in any book, friendship isn’t quite enough to describe the way they’re bonded, but they’re definitely not a romantic couple either.

Unraveller feels like a true fairytale, there may be wondrous creatures and mysterious forest settings, but there’s also a Marsh Horse that may eat you and definitely a solid chance of being turned into a harp, a bat or a ship if you get on someone’s bad side. It’s very funny throughout, but balances that out with themes of grief, fear and rage.

I’m on a winning streak with fantasy books with year that I hope I can continue. I’m so excited to see what Frances brings us next, as every book I’ve read has managed to be better than the rest. I can’t imagine how she’s going to outdo this story, but I can’t wait to find out.

Have you read this book? Let me know in the comments!

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