A Sorceress Comes to Call

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Pub Date Aug 06 2024 | Archive Date Aug 20 2024


From New York Times bestselling and Hugo Award-winning author T. Kingfisher comes A Sorceress Comes to Call—a dark reimagining of the Brothers Grimm's "The Goose Girl," rife with secrets, murder, and forbidden magic.

*The hardcover edition features a foil stamp on the casing and custom endpapers illustrated by the author.*

Cordelia knows her mother is . . . unusual. Their house doesn’t have any doors between rooms—there are no secrets in this house—and her mother doesn't allow Cordelia to have a single friend. Unless you count Falada, her mother's beautiful white horse. The only time Cordelia feels truly free is on her daily rides with him.

But more than simple eccentricity sets her mother apart. Other mothers don’t force their daughters to be silent and motionless for hours, sometimes days, on end. Other mothers aren’t evil sorcerers.

When her mother unexpectedly moves them into the manor home of a wealthy older Squire and his kind but keen-eyed sister, Hester, Cordelia knows this welcoming pair are to be her mother's next victims. But Cordelia feels at home for the very first time among these people, and as her mother's plans darken, she must decide how to face the woman who raised her to save the people who have become like family.

"Kingfisher never fails to dazzle."—Peter S. Beagle, Hugo-, Nebula-, and Locus-Award winning author of The Last Unicorn

"Kingfisher is an inventive fantasy powerhouse."—BookPage

Also by T. Kingfisher
Nettle & Bone
What Moves the Dead
What Feasts at Night
A House with Good Bones

From New York Times bestselling and Hugo Award-winning author T. Kingfisher comes A Sorceress Comes to Call—a dark reimagining of the Brothers Grimm's "The Goose Girl," rife with secrets, murder, and...

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Average rating from 145 members

Featured Reviews

I loved this! I have been recommended T. Kingfisher's books often enough that I was curious and wanted to see what all the fuss was about, I get the hype now! This was a reimagining of Brothers Grimm fairy tale 'The Goose Girl' though honestly kind of a different story entirely, but featuring a lot of the tropes/ideas from the original. No romance. This follows a 14 year old protagonist Cordelia and a secondary POV of an older woman named Hester. Cordelia's mother is a powerful sorceress who keeps her daughter essentially in thrall. Tiring of her lover, the witch Evangeline wants to sink her claws into a new, more permanent relationship- a marriage to a wealthy squire. The only thing standing in the way of her plan is her daughter Cordelia and the squire's meddling spinster sister Hester. Definitely will be recommending this to customers.

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T. Kingfisher is killing it. Her latest tale gets another five stars from me. This reimagining of “The Goose Girl” turns everything about the original tale on its head. From the very beginning, we know that Cordelia’s mother is someone not to cross. I felt Cordelia’s pain and anxiety every time she was forced to be in her mother’s presence. Kingfisher’s skill at creating unforgettable characters is on full display here.

I flew through this book and was genuinely sad when it ended. I want more, as is always the case with Kingfisher’s books. I’m glad she’s such a prolific author! I’d love to return to this world in a future book! 😉

Many thanks to NetGalley, Tor Publishing Group and the lovely T herself for the advance copy. All opinions are mine alone.

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T. Kingfisher can do no wrong in my eyes, and A Sorceress Comes to Call is no exception. A unique retelling/adaptation of the Brothers Grimm fairytale 'Goose Girl', this version finds our 14 year old protagonist, Cordelia, physically subjected to the whims of her sorceress mother. Literally, she's physically forced to obey her mother through magic. The descriptive and straightforward writing that Kingfisher is known for really drives home the horror of her situation. Being able to think and process but unable to even twitch a finger? While assuming your peers all live the same way? It gives an underlying creep factor to every moment, even the ones that aren't particularly action packed or gory. There's funny moments, relatable ones, a small love story, and of course, an epic villain. I found this one to lean much more dark than other Kingfisher works, just because of Cordelia's point of view and the horror of the mother/daughter dynamic there. But it is well balanced with the other 'good' characters and light hearted moments. Overall, completely recommend!

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Controlled by her mother, Cordelia’s life is miserable, especially when her mother controls her body and thoughts as punishment. Losing her current benefactor Evangeline decides to get married to Samuel, a wealthy lord and weasels her way into his life and heart. But his sister Hester knows there’s something wrong and she’s determined to stop Evangeline and help Cordelia. A fast paced, fun read I didn’t put down.

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"A Sorceress Comes to Call," a new take on the Brothers Grimm classic "Goose Girl", brings secrets, shifting alliances, and a treacherous journey to freedom, set to be published in August 2024.

Cordelia's life is controlled by her peculiar mother, an evil sorceress whose true nature becomes clear as the story unfolds. Fleeing their town for a new beginning, Cordelia and her mother find themselves at the country manor of the Squire and his sister, Hester. As Cordelia's mother schemes to ensnare the Squire with her dark magic, Cordelia finds herself torn between loyalty and fear. Recognizing Cordelia's silent cries for help, others vow to protect her.

The strength of the book lies in its well-developed characters and relationships. Kingfisher's storytelling skill shines as she weaves a tale that feels both familiar and mysterious, drawing readers into a world of intrigue and danger. The fairy tale essence adds charm, making it a captivating read for fans of the genre. Readers sensitive to gore may want to pass on this one, but there was nothing overly dark here.

One of the book's highlights is its development of magic, seamlessly integrated into Cordelia's coming-of-age narrative. As Cordelia learns about her mother's sorcery, readers are taken on an organic journey of discovery, making the magic feel both natural and intriguing. Despite occasional imbalance in the pace, Kingfisher's storytelling prowess ensures the story remains engaging and compelling throughout.

Thank you to NetGalley and Tor Publishing Group for the advanced copy.

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Ohh! This gave me a bit of Carrie vibes with the creepy mom who is a sorceress and her daughter! The strangeness of it all! I absolutely devoured this book and loved all the paranormal vibes! It had twists and turns that kept me turning pages. I love T. Kingfisher books, but I think this may have been my favorite. The mother and her daughter, Cordelia, have to run away and they end up at Squire's place where Evangeline, the mother/ sorceress attempts to entrap the Squire, but there are other forces at play. This book is a retelling of the Grimm's Fairy Tale, The Goose Girl. I absolutely loved it!

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Sorceress Comes to Call by T. Kingfisher is a fantastical horror retelling of the “Goose Girl.” Kingfisher is an excellent writer, and yet again, strikes a great balance with spooky and horror, without getting too grotesque in this novel.

Something I really enjoy about Kingfisher’s story is that even with the layers of magic and fantasy in their stories, Kingfisher’s characters still have a rationality to them. I understand their personalities and their actions/reactions make sense for them. I loved both main characters, Cordelia and Hester, and their respective points of view contrast well against one another.

I also found that while there are multiple characters, I was not overwhelmed or underwhelmed by any of them. All characters felt like they had a clear purpose in the story. Perhaps my only criticism is that I am left wanting to understand Cordelia’s mother’s end goal more clearly.

5 stars. I will be recommending this book to others.

Thank you NetGalley and Tor Publishing for the ARC.

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I had the luck to snag an ARC of A Sorceress Comes to Call through Netgalley and I absolutely adored it. From page one, the voice, the characters, and the world had me in a stranglehold and I finished the book in less than 24 hours. (It would have been less than 12 if I didn't have to sleep.) Honestly, the book description doesn't really do it justice, so if you're lukewarm on the concept, I'd definitely recommend giving it a try. The characters are so vivid that they feel like real people. I adored them all immediately, particularly the supporting characters, and both the 14- and 50-year old protagonists stole my heart for different reasons. The villain is truly scary and the stakes were high throughout. Part of the reason I love T. Kingfisher's prose is because it reminds me of the fantasy authors I grew up with like Robin McKinley, Jessica Day George, Patricia C. Wrede, etc. The story felt both nostalgic and modern at the same time.

My only complaint is that the title and the blurb didn't capture the fierce bravery, fear, humor, and love encompassed in this book and I'm afraid readers will miss out because of that. Don't skip this one! A resounding five stars.

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I've liked every book I've read by T. Kingfisher so far and A Sorceress Come to Call doesn't break that streak. This is a Goose Girl retelling, but I'm not familiar with the fairytale and I found the story to still be interesting and compelling. I've been on a little bit of a reading slump recently, but I easily made my way through this book. My interest never waned.

I really felt for Cordelia and loved how she changed and grew over the book. Hester could have easily only thought about her own family, but as soon as she figured out that Cordelia was in trouble, she adjusted her plans. I was really rooting for all of the characters and enjoyed the whole cast.

Overall, I really recommend this book if you are at all interested. It was well paced and well written. I'm definitely looking forward to future books by T. Kingfisher!

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Another winning story from a talented author. Kingfisher’s style is quirky and unique. The book successfully combines elements of horror, sympathy and humor, with very relatable characters. I gobbled up the story in one long evening as I had to find out how the good guys would manage to win. The horse is disturbingly awful. As a horse person, I wish there were at least a few good portrayals of horses in Kingfisher’s stories! The story follows a young teenager who has been raised by an abusive, psychopathic mother. Fortunately, she comes under the positive influence of several older characters and this helps her to grow stronger and learn to fight back in order to protect others. I loved it.

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I've loved T. Kingfisher since back when Digger was a webcomic, and A Sorceress Comes To Call may well be my very favorite thing she's ever written (so far). It's a powerful story of growing up with narcissistic abuse, agonizingly painfully true to life. Oh, and yeah, there's also magic and geese and absolutely heroic regular non-magical non-sword-wielding perfectly normal women in their 50s. I'm absolutely queasy with how good this book is.

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Ok, let’s sum up what we have here:

An alt-history regency comedy of manners survival horror retelling of The Goose Girl with magic.

Oh and one of the main characters is an older, independent woman with a complex inner and social life, grappling with the choices she’s been forced to make in order to preserve that independence.

I absolutely cannot tell you how much I loved this book.

Having said that, be warned, the other main character, a child, faces some truly heinous abuse from her mother, many instances of which are depicted quite viscerally (not gratuitously, just…intensely).

Kingfisher weaves all these elements together into a WILD ride that somehow makes perfect sense and has the most cathartic, deliciously satisfying conclusion.

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A Sorceress Comes to Call is a delightful fantasy fable by T. Kingfisher. Due out 6th Aug 2024 from Macmillan on their Tor imprint, it's 336 pages and will be available in hardcover, audio, and ebook formats. It's worth noting that the ebook format has a handy interactive table of contents as well as interactive links and references throughout.

As always, brilliantly written and transportive, the author writes compellingly and so very well. This is a fairy tale in the classic style, but inside an original story framework. Evil sorcerous "mother", magical white horse, good vs. evil with real tension and some nail biting plot elements, there are moments of despair in the story and a few really scary moments before the denouement and resolution.

It's a standalone story, and self contained without any suggestion that there are plans to revisit the characters or setting in future.

Five stars. Perfect choice for public library, home use, or (the special foil stamped hardcover edition) gift giving. There are instances of body horror, animal death, murder and magic, some fairly graphic, so sensitive readers should be aware. There are also geese which play a fairly central secondary role; anatidaephobics should bear this in mind.

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.

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T. Kingfisher does another fantastic job in writing this book, it had everything that I was looking for and enjoyed from other books by the author. The characters were everything that I was expecting and thought the use of the Goose Girl element that I wanted. I enjoyed the fairy tale retelling elements and thought this worked with everything that I was hoping for. I’m excited to read more from T. Kingfisher and glad I got to read this.

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I love seeing the reimagined fairy tales and this one did not disappoint. I loved the characters and T Kingfisher managed to make an old story feel new.

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Wonderful book giving voice to inner strength. Definitely recommend this book to anyone with an interest in the history of witchcraft.

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A Sorceress Comes to Call by T. Kingfisher

Cordelia lives with her mother, who controls Cordelia's every move. When Cordelia tries to flee with her only friend, the family horse Falada, she starts a catalyst to propel Cordelia into a new life surrounded by a newfound family. Cordelia finally feels part of something bigger until her mother's control is now affecting more than just Cordelia. Cordelia's mother is a sorcerer, and her actions begin to be something Cordelia can not stand by anymore. Cordelia must find a way to free herself from her mother's control and save her newfound family.

I loved this book from the fantastic author T. Kingfisher. I was immediately drawn into the storyline and had so much compassion for the sweet Cordelia. This girl's sheltered existence led to a few humorous moments and pulled at your heart that she was so isolated. I found many of the characters to be people I wish I knew. I enjoyed seeing Cordelia's strength grow and her self-identity blossom. She had a beautiful heart and cared deeply for someone so secluded from others—observing how someone can meet their true potential with the right influences.

The book moved at a good pace and kept you interested in the storyline. It allowed for character development and emotional connection. The magic element created a dark and fearful component. The common theme of good versus evil boiled down to choices and consequences. The book was an immersive experience that invited the reader into the heart of the characters and made memorable connections for me. I highly recommend giving it a read.

In exchange for my honest review, I received an ARC copy of the ebook from Netgalley and Tor Publishing Group. Thank you for the opportunity.

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"A Sorceress Comes to Call" by T. Kingfisher is a mesmerizing blend of fantasy and spine-tingling suspense! As a librarian with a penchant for the fantastical, I can confidently say that Kingfisher's ability to craft such a gripping tale is unparalleled. From the enchanting world-building to the heart-pounding moments of terror, this book has it all. The characters are richly drawn, each with their own secrets and fears that add layers of depth to the story. What truly sets Kingfisher apart is her knack for seamlessly blending elements of horror and thriller into the narrative, keeping readers on the edge of their seats until the very end. If you're looking for a fantasy novel that will leave you breathless, "A Sorceress Comes to Call" is a must-read. And with T. Kingfisher's impressive repertoire, you can bet there are plenty more thrilling adventures awaiting you!

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Books, and T. Kingfisher for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review! I sadly didn’t finish this one, but the writing was beautiful and the story was unique and captivating. I think I’m just not in a fantasy mood at the moment and it made it hard for me to get through. However, I plan to pick it back up, and I love this author. Be sure to pick it up when it comes out because if you love fantasy, you’ll love this one

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A reimagining of Brothers Grimm fairy tale?? Sign me right up. Thank you to Tor & NetGalley for this ARC. T. Kingfisher is one of my favorite authors and did not disappoint. But I would expect nothing less. I feel so grateful to have read this early. This book publishes August 06, 2024!

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T. Kingfisher's 'A Sorceress Comes to Call' is another winner, earning five stars from me. The story, a reimagining of the Brothers Grimm's 'Goose Girl,' dives into the dark theme of parental abuse with chilling vibes. Cordelia, trapped under her sorceress mother's control, finds solace only in her eerie horse, Falada.

As tension mounts and secrets unravel, Cordelia must confront her mother's evil. The story is filled with twists and turns that keep you hooked from start to finish. I eagerly await T. Kingfisher's next book, and I'm thankful to NetGalley and Tor Publishing Group for the digital review copy.

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You guys, it's warm and funny and sweet and spooky and gross and enchanting. It's perfect. It's simply, unequivocally, perfect.

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T. Kingfisher has done it once again folks. I adore their writing style, compelling use of unusual characters, and just plain fun stories. Told from two viewpoints this story is fast paced, entertaining, and a little bit creepy. Highly recommend and easily an auto-buy author for me.

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I don't even know where to start. I absolutely loved this book. I have nothing bad to say about it. So far everything I've read by T. Kingfisher is Phenomenal. She weaves this web around her reader. Blocking out the rest of the world and pulling you into hers.

I was drawn in completely. Cordelia's world is a nightmare, filled with helplessness and fear. Her Mother Evangeline has controlled everything she does her entire life. even if Cordelia wants to argue she can't. Evangeline is a Sorceress of great power. She can take over Cordelia's body locking in a small corner of her mind. She is powerless to stop her.

Now Evangeline has big plans for Cordelia. After setting that plan into action. Evangeline introduces Cordelia to a group of people who just might be able to help. If they believe Cordelia and can accept the impossible.

I wish I could tell you more, but I don't want to ruin anything. Just sit back and enjoy a dark re-shaping of Brother Grimm's Goose Girl.

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This is a wonderful goose girl retelling meets regency romance and is full of delightful, biting wit. This is my first book that I've read by Kingfisher and I didn't realize I'd be so charmed by it. I found myself laughing out loud in surprise by the humor in the pages. I love how she takes the characters and forms them into a mostly middle aged scooby gang to defeat the ultimate evil. It kept me cackling the entire way. Everyone should pick up this wonderful book.

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love this author! I had a blind, or perhaps nearly-blind, reading experience-- I didn't read any blubs or reviews, maybe jut a tiny peek to confirm it wasn't horror. I don't often get a chance to read a book I know absolutely zero about, so that made it a little bit more fun.

I read about 83% of this in one sitting, staying up way too late even though I had to work the next morning. I couldn't put it down! It feels inside its bones like a fairytale retelling, and I'm sure I would have read "the goose girl" at some point a decade or two ago, but I didn't find it overwhelming. Readers might assume it's modeled at least somewhat on the probably-better-known Rapunzel.

This is a good read-alike for those who liked the author's [book:Nettle & Bone|56179377]-- this one is maybe a pinch less dark, but there are definitely gothic undertones with some possible body-horror. Although this is a little darker, the fantasy elements reminded me a bit of [book:Half a Soul|60717747]+series, with a secret magic system in a vaguely Victoria setting, some manners humor, and strong cross-over potential-- there are two candidates for main character: one 14-year-old girl and one ~50-year-old women. The two pair up, with new and old friends, in this I-don't-want-to-be-the-chosen-one fight against magic, in a situation neither chose for themselves. Narration is third-person throughout, but chapters roughly alternate in focus between the two. Asides about women's independence and minor characters who may be LGBTQ+ feel authentically incorporated without being the point of the story.

As mentioned, the setting is vaguely-Victoria, based on social rules and technology. The universe is alternate, though-- not merely a paranormal layer on ours; the geography is kept very vague, but there are references to the culture's history, specifically immigration, that I didn't recognize as matching anything. This book is structured like a stand-alone, but it's a universe I would be happy to see in a series!

eARC from NetGalley.

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Cordelia's mother is not like other mothers. Cordelia's mother is a sorcerer who can make Cordelia be Obedient so that Cordelia has no will of her own and her mother can control her like a puppet. Other than this, Cordelia's life is like most other people's lives. Cordelia helps out around the house, and goes horseback riding. One day, though, her mother decides to remarry and introduces Cordelia to her fiance's family. Cordelia immediately hits it off with Hester, the Squire's sister, and knows that she has to intervene before her mother does something terrible.

I've liked everything I've read by Kingfisher, and this is no exception. I do not read a lot of fantasy but if more of it were written like this, I would. The female characters are three-dimensional and not just representations of tropes. The women propel the action and keep it moving forward, but some men play important roles as well. And, perhaps most important, the book is a lot of fun with good pacing and character development.

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T. Kingfisher does it again - a fabulous fairytale retelling that breathes new life into old tropes. Her writing remains comfortable, like a pair of old shoes or a chair by the fire. You'll always want to curl up in it again and again.

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I just love T. Kingfisher and this book was no exception! I love the weird spooky fairy tale vibes. It was so unique but also so just Kingfisher. Very interesting characters and setting! Will be recommending and adding to our library.

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T. Kingfisher writes some of the most satisfying fantasy out there, and A Sorceress Comes to Call is no exception. Part of what makes Kingfisher’s novels so compelling is that they trace the familiar path of fairy tale, only in prose so rich and delicious that the horror and victory feel alive instead of page-bound. This newest novel begins in horror, with Cordelia, the main character, having been “made obedient” by her sorceress mother, a state that gives her mother complete control over her body. Cordelia is trapped in a nightmare of magic-inflected abuse, with no privacy, no autonomy, and no hope of escape.

Things change somewhat when her mother decides to seduce a Squire and whisks Cordelia away to a manor house with such luxuries as wallpaper, servants, and the ability to close doors. Unlike most fairy tales, which tend to keep the cast list small, this is a house populated by big personalities and rich back stories. Hester, the Squire’s spinster sister, is level-headed, compassionate and immediately attuned both to the destruction promised by Cordelia’s mother and to the signs of Cordelia’s distress; she is also the subject of the book’s only romantic plot line, in another twist on the fairy tale formula. (Kingfisher’s repertoire broadly declares that love is for everyone, not just damsels in distress). With her friends Lady Strauss, a card shark, and Penelope Green, an unexpected charmer, she sets out to free Cordelia and her brother from the sorceress’s grip.

The plot points of A Sorceress Comes to Call are relatively unsurprising, but the book is populated by excellent characters and written with keen attention to atmosphere and pacing. If I could read it again for the first time, I would!

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T. Kingfisher does it again with the just-creepy enough fairy tale retelling. If you like Nettle and Bone, the gothic mystery parts of books like Belladonna or the original Grimm fairytales, you will like this book.

As someone who generally doesn't like too much horror/gore in her books/movies, I think Kingfisher strikes just the right balance of storytelling, body horror and humor with this story. The characters are all interesting and unique. The story is told from two perspectives: that of 14 year old Cordelia and 50-something Hester. The combination provides an interesting contrast to each other and the supporting characters are all distinct and unique as well.

If you enjoy fairytale retellings or want more adult fairytales, highly recommend this book.

Thank you to Net Galley/Tor books for the eARC in exchange for an honest review.

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T. Kingfisher does it again. As usual, this is a relatively short and sweet story that can be think of as a fairytale remix, broadly interpreted (for this one, branching off of the goose girl). Her trademark wit shines in writing of this story, and you can also expect her usual strong characterization, especially for the mature characters.

This story has some instances of darkness, and the villain is definitely villainous, but the gruesome moments are few and far between, and definitely not gratuitous. There is some psychological horror regards to manipulation and control, that definitely creates an unnerving mood for particular moments in the story. However, this book is also very heartfelt, and the friendships and bonds between our child MC and the rest of the characters who grow to care for her are well-executed. I especially loved the friendships between Hester, her female friends, and Richard.

This book is focused on relationships and mood more than worldbuilding or plot- there is plot, but it’s not particularly twisty or unpredictable. However, it serves as an excellent backdrop for Hester to shine or even Cordelia to on occasion. Hester I would say was the heart and soul of the book, with her intelligence and her compassion and her love for her friends and family. Cordelia is sweet and sympathetic, and I appreciated watching her grow, but is much closer to a typical YA/middle grade protagonist. The mood- magic and manipulation and nightmares and ghosts- was the other big presence in the book. Definitely an ongoing uncanny feeling, just waiting for the other shoe to drop.

Overall, this was an excellent and pretty short read. Sweet and spooky moments, with humor throughout. 4.75

I plan to feature this book and my review on Instagram in the future, and I will update with the link here when I do (in the next week or two)

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"A Sorceress Comes to Call" by T. Kingfisher is an enchanting and captivating tale that will sweep readers off their feet and into a world of magic, mystery, and courage. Kingfisher's masterful storytelling transports readers to a realm where sorcery and darkness collide, and where one young girl must find the strength to stand up to the evil that threatens her newfound family.

At the heart of the story is Cordelia, a young girl whose life is upended when she discovers the true nature of her mother's powers. As Cordelia navigates the dangerous machinations of her mother's sorcery, she must also grapple with questions of loyalty, identity, and the meaning of family.

What sets "A Sorceress Comes to Call" apart is its richly drawn characters and immersive world-building. From Cordelia's mysterious mother to the kind-hearted Squire and his keen-eyed sister, every character leaps off the page with depth and complexity. Kingfisher's evocative prose and vivid descriptions bring the manor home and its surroundings to life, creating a setting that feels both magical and menacing.

But perhaps the true magic of "A Sorceress Comes to Call" lies in its exploration of themes of bravery, resilience, and the power of love. As Cordelia faces impossible odds and grapples with her own inner demons, readers will find themselves rooting for her every step of the way.

Overall, "A Sorceress Comes to Call" is a spellbinding and unforgettable read that will leave readers breathless. Kingfisher's skillful blend of fantasy and adventure makes this a must-read for fans of magical storytelling.

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2024 has been a year of very, very few five stars and I'm so beyond pleased to have found another one in A Sorceress Comes to Call. This book was a pleasant surprise on all fronts, especially considering the fact that this is only my second T. Kingfisher novel (and that I gave the first one I read by her ~3 stars).

I'm not a regency era person by any stretch of the imagination, but the setting and atmosphere of Sorceress was absolutely delightful. I loved the references to high society and learning about it through Cordelia's eyes. I also loved that, though we were in the head of a 14 year old for a good portion of the novel, we also got to experience parts of this novel from Hester, who is in her fifties, as well. That duality lent this novel such a unique voice and I loved when we swapped between perspectives (a rare occurrence for me, as I typically don't always vibe with some of the perspectives I read from). On top of that, the characters were all so loveable and compelling. T. Kingfisher managed to write such believable, interesting relationships for people that we aren't even really introduced to until the ~35% mark of the novel. It takes really excellent skill as a storyteller, in my opinion, to make a reader believe that characters have been friends for decades, and Sorceress accomplishes this easily.

And though this book is NOT love story, I couldn't help but root for the romance subplot and all that it entailed. In particular, I just loved Hester. I love how relatable her fears and anxieties are, and I love that despite all of that, she still got a happy ending that aligned with her own terms. Honestly, I'd read an entire novel on Hester and Richard alone -- give me their goose breeding shenanigans, I'd eat it up!

Finally, I want to talk about how carefully T. Kingfisher handles abusive parental figures and what it means to break the cycle of abuse. Cordelia is a wonderfully written character because she's so ridiculously relatable. Both her guilt and fear were so visceral that, like Hester, I felt my own sense of dread build and build and build as this novel progressed. It's difficult to break free from a parent who sees you as an extension of themselves and nothing more, and I love Cordelia's growth and the development of her autonomy!

Okay I guess this is the real final thing, but T. Kingfisher really is a master at atmosphere and subtle horror. There were so many times throughout this novel that I was genuinely frightened, which really is just another example of how excellent a storyteller Kingfisher is.

Definitely put this book on your radar and pick it up on release. It's a masterpiece.

Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for providing me with an arc in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

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Gosh, T. Kingfisher can do no wrong.

This blends so many different elements of various genres, it's hard to pin down what to technically call it. It's part fantasy, part Agatha Christie-style English Country House mystery, and part supernatural and horror. There's also a bit of upstairs/downstairs comedy, a lot of working through still-present trauma and abuse, and a lot of talk of marrying eligible bachelors and going to the city for the "season."

Anyway, as always, Kingfisher knocks it clean out of the park. I loved this. It was unexpected and delightful and then also very horrifying and a horse (or what used to be a horse) is described as "scuttling like a crab." No thank you. But definitely read it!

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I read this immediately despite it being deep in my TBR pile because it was the first book from this author I have heard so much about that came into my possession. I was so happy to not be disappointed! This book went by quickly, exceeding my expectations, and I truly hope more are published in this universe. This book at its core is about taking control after a lifetime of helplessness. It is inspiring and lovely. There is a very sweet romance involving a demographic we rarely see in love in literature: two people in their 50s. The villain is truly villainous to their core, and the ending was extremely satisfying. The only slight thing I wish was different was Cordelia’s characterization. I did not understand her the way I should with the amount of time spent on her in the text. I know this is largely because she does not understand herself, but I really wanted her to spend less time cowering and more time self-realizing. Would love a sequel where she explores her potential more!
Thank you so much to NetGalley and Tor Publishing for this ARC!

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A Sorceress Comes to Call is T. Kingfisher’s newest fantasy, a regency retelling of “Goose Girl.” Cordelia has always been enslaved by her mother (sometimes literally as Evangeline is a sorceress with mind control powers) and has long been cowed into submission. But when her mother forces her friend’s father to go after his family with an axe, steals his carriage, and brings them to the city to marry well and find 14-year-old Cordelia a wealthier husband, Cordelia’s conscious won’t allow her to be obedient…except when forced.

Cordelia finds allies in the people her mother targets and together they see about bringing down the sorceress and her evil horse.

Overall, A Sorceress Comes to Call is not the closest of fairytale retellings…but it is an amazing book.

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Kingfisher just gets better and better - this sideways retelling of "The Goose Girl" has a lot of my favorite elements of her work including a found family, believable older women characters, and some delightful body horror! Falada is a truly memorable touch, A+!

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This is my first T. Kingfisher book and it has opened me up to a whole new magical world of possibilities. I have seen a lot of praise for this author's writing online and now I know that T. Kingfisher is the real deal. I was completely engulfed in this sad, occult, scary, and even downright laugh out loud book. I read it in less than 48 hours. Halfway through the book I went on Amazon and added at least half a dozen books by Kingfisher into my wishlist. I am now obsessed.

Back to this story, within the first five pages, I was hooked. Cordelia is a meek, scared, yet delightful, fourteen year old with a ruthless and ambitious sorceress for a mother - and that's really all you need to know (I don't love going into books with a lot of knowledge of the plot because I like to be surprised so I'll do the same for you.) Kingfisher delivers such masterful and enchanting writing in this story that I could imagine each scene and feel every emotion.

Thank you so much to Netgalley and Tor Publishing Group for this arc. Honestly one of my favorite books of the year.

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T. Kingfisher continues to prove her talent with A Sorceress Comes to Call, a delightful novel based on the Grimm fairytale "The Goose Girl". The story follows a toxic mother and her obedient daughter who seeks to break free from her control. When the mother, an evil sorceress, targets new victims, the daughter is determined to stop her. Despite the weighty premise, the book is a breezy and captivating read.

The supporting characters truly shine in this story, each one vibrant and human, leaping off the page. It's impossible not to root for the good guys, flawed as they may be, in contrast to the wicked mother who is convincingly villainous. While lacking sympathy, the mother is well-developed and excels at being bad.

A Sorceress Comes to Call offers something for everyone, blending fantasy, human romance, adventure, and a hint of horror. I highly recommend this book to those seeking a fun read that delves into the complexities of family dynamics.

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T. Kingfisher isn't the only exceptionally talented paranormal thriller author whose books I eagerly devour; she's the one I'd even volunteer to read if she ever ventured into writing scripts for Bachelorette shows (though thankfully, she's far too smart for that). Her books are simply phenomenal, consistently earning nothing less than five stars from me. After realizing that I've devoured ten of her books, with only one receiving a four-star rating, I can confidently say that each one deserves all the praise it gets. They're unique, eerie, heart-throbbing, and utterly unputdownable, featuring original characters and eccentric plot lines that keep me hooked from start to finish.

Her latest paranormal thriller, a reimagining of the Brothers Grimm's "Goose Girl," delves deep into the disturbing theme of parental abuse with horrifying devilish vibes. Cordelia, a fourteen-year-old girl, finds herself trapped in a nightmarish existence under the tyrannical rule of her sorceress mother, Evangeline. Controlled and manipulated for years, Cordelia is isolated from the outside world, her only confidant being the eerie horse, Falada, who serves as her mother's familiar.

But Cordelia soon discovers that her mother's powers extend far beyond mere manipulation, as Evangeline sets her sights on the wealthy Squire and his companion, Hester. Unbeknownst to Evangeline, Hester senses the impending danger and begins her own scheme to thwart her. With the help of family friends, Miss Penelope Grenn and her lover Richard, Hester orchestrates a gathering at their home, hoping to expose Evangeline's true nature before it's too late.

As tensions rise and secrets unravel, Cordelia must find the courage to confront her mother and the horrors that lurk within their household. Can Hester and her allies stop Evangeline before she unleashes unspeakable evil upon them all?

Overall, this reimagined paranormal thriller is a quick, heart-throbbing ride filled with twists and turns that kept me eagerly turning the pages. I can't wait to dive into T. Kingfisher's next book.

Many thanks to NetGalley and Tor Publishing Group for providing me with a digital review copy in exchange for my honest thoughts.

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This is my second Kingfisher book and I think I'm now hooked!

What stuck out were the characters. They all felt lived in and filled with history. Cordelia was a delight, her growth from this timid, abused child into someone who has seen the world opened up to her. I LOVED Hester! There is something about older female protagonists that speaks to my soul. She's felt a full and complex inner life that felt lived in and bigger than her relationship with Cordelia and the plot.

Kingfisher does a good job at making Evangeline delightfully evil but also grounded at the same time. I get the whole being scorned by a man and how not being given the life you wanted for yourself could drive a person off the cliff. It's clear that no one has ever given her much of a challenge and her downfall is expected but so good to watch.

I was surprised by the regency setting!

Thank you to Netgalley and Tor Books for this arc!!

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A Sorceress Comes to Call
By T. Kingfisher

No surprise, I absolutely loved it! Kingfisher just has this way with characters and ideas that make her books so magical. There’s humor and tenderness and a little bit of the horrific. Definitely add this one to your list!

Thanks to @netgalley for the arc in exchange for an honest review.

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I'm a huge T. Kingfisher fan so I was really excited to get this ARC. I'm a bigger fan of her fantasy books specifically her Paladin series. I'm not as familiar with her horror writing but I liked that this book fell somewhere in the middle. I would put this book in the same category as Nettle and Bone or What Moves the Dead. I really liked the characterization work and the suspense was artfully done. I loved the dry, witty humor and I liked that we got to bounce between POVs of the daughter Cordelia and the sister, Hester. The story kept me on the edge of my seat and I really liked how the plot wrapped up in the end.

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Absolutely amazing! T. Kingfisher has truly done it again, I'm a huge fan of everything they've put out and this didn't disappoint at all! It gave that usual cozy fantasy vibe while providing such a unique plot line. That's my favorite aspect of their writing! It never feels like a story I've even somewhat heard before. Will absolutely be recommending this to others! I'm hoping this can be a purchase for our library as well. It's at the top of my list!

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Omg. How can she scare me , make me comforted, and then break my heart?

Well it's T. Kingfisher and she is one of my favorite authors. I will love and support her work whenever it comes out.

The characters, especially Hester. I enjoyed her character and point of view the most. I have a friend that reminded me a lot of Hester, and so was able to envision her. Let me just tell you, it was like having my firend I haven't seen for years besides me for a few days.

Penelope Green - ugh! She seems like an old-school cool type person that I know I will never be, but have tried many times to emulate.

Lady Strauss - just an all around defender of her friends. I love it.

Willard and Alice. Dependable, good-natured people to be surrounded by.

Finally the bad guys! They are actually bad you know? Like there is no redemption for them and they were truly scary. For example, being made obedient, and just watching your mother use your body as a puppet... The opening description of being made to sit still in a church pew, unable to move, as a fly walks across your hand. Feeling the individual hairs of the fly's foot pierce the skin, the idea gives me the ick. Look, here's a picture of a fly's foot. No thank you.

(I wasn't able to post the picture here for Netgalley. Believe me, lots of prickles .)

Ok, enough about flies. I know they are mostly harmless, but I would definitely have sent that fly flying.

The amazing thing about T. Kingfisher's writing here is that all the characters are flawed, but it isn't portrayed negatively. I have never cared for books where the main character is flawless, beautiful, and perfect. I have never met anyone like that in real life and it all feels so fake. I mean, I get that fiction is usually a suspension of disbelief, but I want to be able to relate to most of the characters I am reading about.


The pacing. I adore novella's and T. Kingfisher writes the best of them. So when I saw that this was over 300 pages I was a bit surprised, and this might be why I felt that it got a little slow to the action.

The romance. Listen, it might not even be fair to write this. I was not in the mood for a romantic tale. I found Hester's reasoning's to be selfish and frustrating. Also, when I talk about flawed characters, this was the one spot where I was the most disappointed. Every single time she talked about how old she was and how undeserving she was for love, made me roll my eyes.

Anyways, this is a 4.5 star book for me. I loved it. I wish T. Kingfisher would actually hire me as a beta reader and email me everyday with her newest writings. I think it would be a win win really. She would get my undying loyalty (which I mean she already has), and I in turn would get awesome things to read without having to wait.

Which actually brings me to the last bit of my review. As I don't have an in with T. Kingfisher, I'd like to give my thanks to the awesome people over at Netgalley and Tor who approve my requests for her books. THANK YOU!

 Chapter 8 -- Page: 68
“None whatsoever,” said Hester dryly. “Otherwise people might get on them.” She turned to Doom. “There was a terrible murder in Little Haw, you see, and your daughter was overset by the thought that she might know the victims.”
 Chapter 8 -- Page: 69
Doom’s glance was quick and cold. Hester smiled comfortably and adjusted her shawl.
 Chapter 10 -- Page: 82
“Walk,” she ordered finally. “To the far wall and back.” Cordelia obeyed, trying not to stumble. She wasn’t used to thinking about how she walked, and suddenly the whole concept of walking seemed completely absurd. You fell forward and put out a foot to catch yourself before you sprawled on the ground. And then you did it again? And this was normal?
It’s like thinking about blinking. The moment you think about it, you start to worry that you aren’t blinking often enough, or too often and now I’m thinking about blinking, oh dear . . .
Still, her feet took care of themselves while she was worried about blinking too much, so that was a small mercy.
 Chapter 17 -- Page: 154
“The student has, I think, outshone the master.”
 Chapter 20 -- Page: 180
She let her mouth witter on, hoping that her brain would come up with something brilliant in the interim. It declined to do so.
 Chapter 28 -- Page: 244
and dogs made of bones.
 Chapter 28 -- Page: 247
 Chapter 29 -- Page: 248
Worse than the eyestrain was the fear that she would miss something vital. She would often find herself halfway down a page with no memory of what she had just read, and would be forced to start again.

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I cannot even put into words how much I loved this book. Okay, I mean, I guess I can put it into words since that's kind of the whole point of this review, but I know I'm not going to do it justice at all. I've been in a minor reading slump lately and have just been slogging my way through even my most exciting reads, but I finished this one in under twenty-four hours. And the reason for that is because it's awesome!

Based on the NetGalley and Goodreads blurbs, I figured that this book would be rather dark. I've read a lot of really dark books lately and wasn't sure that I was quite ready for another one, but I ended up being pleasantly surprised. Sure, there are some dark parts and the villain is very, very evil and, um, villainous (I'm not Shakespeare, okay?), but overall it's a delightful tale full of heart and bravery and … defense geese. There's humor and (admittedly dark) magic and even a little bit of romance, and if you've read my previous reviews, you might recall that I'm I'm not a big fan of the lovey-dovey stuff. This romance is absolutely perfect, however, and Hester and Lord Evermore make quite the entertaining (non)couple.

And, oh my gosh, the characters in this book are simply outstanding. Cordelia is a perfectly fine main character, but it's really the side characters that make this book what it is. Hester and and Imogene and Penelope and Willard are all wonderfully witty and entertaining, and they are totally the type of people that I'd want to be friends with. Other than the obvious villain (and her creepy familiar), there's really not a single unlikeable character in this book.

Honestly, I can't think of a single bit of criticism for this novel and that's a rarity for me. I've enjoyed most of T. Kingfisher's other books, but she's definitely outdone herself this time – it's by far my favorite of anything she's written.

I feel as if this review should be longer considering how much I enjoyed this story, but I guess it ultimately just boils down to me saying that you should read this book as soon as possible because it is seriously brilliant.

My overall rating: a resounding five stars! A Sorceress Comes to Call will undoubtably be one of the highlights of my 2024 reads.

Many thanks to NetGalley and Tor Books for providing me with an advance copy of this book to review. The expected publication date is August 6, 2024.

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Got the email that I was approved to read this.
Thought, "oh, I'll just download that so it's ready to read."
Thought, "oh, I'll just start it to see what it's like."
A few hours later, thought, "oh. Now I've finished it and I no longer have a Kingfisher novel to look forward to."

So that's my tragedy. Of course, I DID get to read it in the first place, so it's not MUCH of a tragedy.

This book is, unsurprisingly, fantastic. I adore Kingfisher's work and this is another exemplar. Cordelia's mother is able to literally control her body - she calls it 'obedience' - and as a result, even when she is in control of herself, Cordelia is always on her best behaviour. She has no other family, and no friends except for Falada, the horse, and the passing acquaintance of a neighbouring girl. She has no control over anything - doors are never to be closed in their house - and all she expects of the future is that she will marry a rich husband: so her mother has told her.

Things begin to change when her mother's current 'benefactor' decides to stop seeing her, and providing for her. In order to remain in the style to which she is accustomed, Cordelia's mother decides to find herself a rich husband, both so that she herself will be looked after and to aid in the effort to marry off Cordelia. This brings the pair into the orbit of Hester and her brother, a rich squire. Through the mother's machinations, they come to stay at the squire's house, and Cordelia's mother sets about wooing the squire. Meanwhile, Hester gets to know Cordelia, and... well. As you might expect, there are ups and downs and revelations and terrible things happen and, eventually, most things turn out okay.

The writing is fast-paced and glorious. The characters are utterly believable. Apparently this is a spin on "The Goose Girl" but it's not a tale I know very well, so I can't tell you where Kingfisher is being particularly clever in that respect. But it makes no difference; this is a fabulous novel and Kingfisher just keeps bringing the awesome.

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I just finished A Sorceress Comes to Call by T. Kingfisher, provided as an eARC by NetGalley.

Cordelia knows something is weird about the way she grew up. For one, it's just her, her mom, and their impossibly beautiful horse Falada. Cordelia is 14, and since she has aged out of school her social interactions are limited to basically only Church. But she's pretty sure other people don't get puppet controlled by their sorceress mothers, right? When Cordelia's mother decides it's time for her (Evangeline) to leave their town behind so she can get married, Cordelia must stop her before there's more death and devastation left in her wake. Inlcuding a fabulous cast of characters, from Alice the maid to middle aged Hester, Cordelia learns about found family, and finding herself at last.

This one was really fun. It's a very loose retelling of the Goose Girl by the Brothers Grimm. Kingfisher turns basically every fairy tale trope on it's head, Cordelia is not described as particularly pretty, the noble steed is not in fact noble. I really loved the space given to these middle aged women too-- the POV swaps between Cordelia and Hester. Middle aged women never get to be heroines in fairy tales, and I loved Hester and her plotting. It was a quick enjoyable read, not quite as dark as Nettle and Bone, but refreshing in its quest to place female agency at the forefront of a classic fairytale. Highly recommend, as I do with all T. Kingfisher novels!

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A Sorceress Comes To Call is T. Kingfisher's reimagining of the Grimm's fairy tale, "The Goose Girl". Cordelia has long lived under the thumb and *absolute* control of her mother, Evangeline, a solitary sorcerer who maintains a home of no secrets or closed doors. Evangeline forces Cordelia to operate as maid and cook for their home while also being able to take absolute control of Cordelia when she so desires. When Evangeline's benefactor cuts her off, and the unfathomable and suspicious murder of a family occurs, Cordelia and Evangeline flee in the night on their mother's horses Falada, seeking a societal leg up from the Squire, a wealthy older man, and his unwed sister, Hester.

Determined to marry the Squire, Evangeline's plan form and quickly spirals out of control as Hester tries to protect and save her brother, friends, and Cordelia.

In true Kingfisher title, this story pulled me in immediately. Kingfisher has such a way with prose, imagery, and the ability to make shiver as you wait to see what's coming through the trees. I was not familiar with The Goose Girl prior to this story, but I really loved how it threaded into the broader story that Kingfisher wrote. This book reminds me of a folk horror classic, with a flavor of historical fiction and magic.

Thank you to Tor/Forge for the opportunity to read and review an ARC of A Sorceress Comes to Call.

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Wow. This one! Cordelia knows there’s something strange about her mother. The book takes us through her perspective as she gains an understanding of the world she lives in and her mother’s desires for them to marry rich men. I loved this book which is part magic, mystery, and horror all wrapped into one. The characters were so full and enjoyable with their own unique flaws and reasons to love them. I couldn’t stop thinking about this book.

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Okay, this book totally caught me by surprise. It was a dark, fairytale-esque book AND IT WAS SO GOOD. I loved all the characters, the plot was awesome and I couldn’t wait to see what happened next. I’m definitely a mood reader and this fit the bill of being totally different from anything else I’ve read lately. Nothing was overused or overdone, I didn’t want to put it down.

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So good!!! This is a book I wish I could experience for the first time again! T. Kingfisher's work is exceptional and this book is another wonderful example of how well she creates a thriller. I was sucked in quickly and devoured this book!

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T. Kingfisher is brilliant at taking the skeleton of familiar stories and deepening them, making such fantastic three dimensional characters. While they can be characterized as horror, they are appropriate for older middle-school and high school students. This may be her best novel yet, with a fantastic, twisty story that is difficult to predict and two main heroines of differing ages that are both inspiring and endearing.

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What a beautiful and special book, it blew me away! This is my second T. Kingfisher book, having only read Nettle and Bone so far, but I loved that and jumped at the chance to get to read the ARC of her newest book, A Sorceress Comes to Call. I was a little worried going into it that it might be too dark for tender heated little me, but I shouldn’t have worried. It felt like the perfect combination of gothic and yet heartwarming.

The story begins with Cordelia and her mother alone but for me the magic really started as we were introduced to the other characters, and what a wonderful bunch they were! I loved the way the layers of the story were unveiled in such a clever way. I was utterly absorbed in the story and didn’t want it to end.

I highly recommend this new book by T. Kingfisher and I plan to buy a copy to add to my growing collection of her books when it comes out August 6, 2024.

Thank you to Tor Publishing Group and NetGalley for the digital ARC to review.

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A classic about a girl who feels burdened, chained by her mother and the story of how she escapes and finds love. A new family.

Definitely relate to Cordelia feeling trapped under her mother’s overprotective and controlling umbrella, and shocked when she’s able to escape from it. As if a weight has been lifted off her chest and she can finally breathe. And yet, the guilt that sets in thereafter and her mother’s (Evangeline) repercussions if Cordelia doesn’t achieve every single little thing to Evangeline’s perfection . . . The toxic dynamic and subliminal sickening fear were written so realistically. When Alice, Cordelia’s friend, was able to break her mother’s chains away, my favorite yet heartbreaking moment was when Alice had to help Cordelia be free of her mother.

Asking for help is not something many people who truly need it feel comforting doing. In other words, victims of abuse and neglect don’t feel they can speak up or else they’ll find themselves in a more painful situation, judged, or outcasted. More so, they don’t even recognize they are being abused, and don’t believe they are worthy enough to seek support. Having a friend like Alice shows Cordelia and the audience a perfect representation of paying attention to what’s not being said vocally—speaking up for those that may not or cannot for themselves. From Cordelia’s excessive pauses and large amount of gratitude for the most simple acts of kindness, she upholds these things as if it’s a beloved gem. As someone that has gone through something similar and feels represented by Cordelia’s weight and internal conflict, I was able to immediately attach and care for our main character. Kingfisher establishes why the main character’s goals matters to us and why we should also be motivated by them in the first 50 pages. Outstanding pacing and strong framework!

By the time we get around 100 or more pages in, Evangeline’s wrath and over-controlling behavior to intimidate/puppeteer Cordelia into unhealthy obedience becomes clear to everyone. While the other characters are unsure of how to care for Cordelia and show her worthy of love while her oppressive mother oversees all, Penelope Green is the first to show her such worth. Cordelia feels that she is pathetic to cling onto the littlest of compliments, but it brightens up her entire day.

I’d retort that it isn’t pathetic at all, but rather beautifully heartbreaking that Cordelia values small acts of compassion and friendship as rare diamonds in a desert. On one end, it’s a gift that Cordelia is able to be grateful and cherish the smallest amounts of love. On the other, it’s a tragedy. The fact that she could not be more used to love, feeling that she was wanted around, is something no one deserves to live by and know nothing else.

Finally, towards the buildup to the finale, Evangeline is made to be taken away for a time and Cordelia is left with her newfound loving caretaker: Hester. In addition to the great friend that is Penelope Green, Hester also assumes a mother-like role to Cordelia. She is able to understand when Cordelia is Evangeline’s puppet, and devises a plan to stop Evangeline’s evil sorcery all together. After Hester has proven to Cordelia that she wants nothing more than peace and an escape for her, Hester sighs as a weight is lifted off her own shoulders and Cordelia cries tears of joy.

Hester returns Cordelia to the safe haven she has made—with the help of Hester, Alice, Evermore, Penelope and Imogene—into a home. Honestly, I could do character analysis’ of every single person in this story and never tire of talking about how much I love them all. How Kingfisher was able to write the subtle thoughts, decisions, quirks, faults, weaknesses and strengths all together in the elegant work that is A Sorceress Comes To Call is beyond words.

The dialogue flows naturally, as it should. Each line both spoken and unspoken points towards a greater purpose or strengthens the character themselves. From beginning to end, we witness real character growth and a satisfying cycle of achievements both internally and externally. The writing in between dialogue scenes are just as important and encapsulating to read, sometimes humorous while other times tear-worthy. Kingfisher knows that characters aren’t meant to be within solely on looks, but focused on personalities, both the good and the bad. Her craft really shines when developing the two villains themselves, whom you can probably guess one being Evangeline but the other I’ll let the reader discover on their own. They’re both deeply rooted in pure evil, losing themselves in greed and power with intentions that stem from realistic motives.

It’s refreshing to see an author that hasn’t lost themselves to the over-abundant consumerism that is so often pushed in today’s publishing. Kingfisher has written A Sorceress Comes To Call with all the right points, and I’m proud to say that such a story will remain as a favorite in my heart for all time.

Thank you to NetGalley and the author for providing an ARC (Advanced Readers Copy). This review is based off of an uncorrected proof. Best of luck for this release!

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A villainous sorceress, a meek young girl, a heroic gaggle of geese, and a monstrous horse-demon. What more could anyone wish for?

T. Kingfisher has such a brilliant way with words. I devoured this book from start to finish! The atmosphere is perfectly crafted and the characters are excellent. Overall, this is absolutely a five star read and quite possibly one of the best books I will read in 2024!

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Thank you so much to Tor Books/T. Kingfisher for this ARC offered via NetGalley in return for my honest opinion.

A Sorceress Comes to Call is a dark reimagining of the classic Brother's Grimm tale "A Goose Girl." I've never read the original story, so I can't speak as to how these two stories compare to each other - but I can say that this was a super fun read. T. Kingfisher is one of my favorite authors so I was glad to snatch up this ARC on NetGalley when it was free to read for 24 hours.

The story revolves around a mother (Evangeline) and her daughter (Cordelia). Evangeline is an absolute trash mother. She controls everything her daughter does which in turn has made Cordelia become absolutely terrified of her mother. Cordelia spends most of her time with her only friend, her horse Falada. When Evangeline sets her eyes on a new beau, the mother/daughter duo move into his palace where mysteries begin to happen.

I did really enjoy reading this, but take note that it's a slow burn. I honestly started thinking I might DNF it right around 45%, mostly because the story was based around a lot of dialogue between characters, and there really wasn't much magic involved. It wasn't boring, I was still interested in reading it, I just felt it was slow. Then right around 50% the story really took off and I couldn't put it down.

As a whole, the magic in the book wasn't really in your face. It was written in a subtle way - mostly green flashes here and there, and some smells. As someone that needs to connect to the characters, I enjoyed all of them. The story does revolve around Cordelia (14) but I don't find this to be a coming of age tale. There are plenty of age ranges for a reader to connect to. This novel reads like a Magic Mystery, and honestly, I gave it 5 stars because it is worth a read. T. Kingfisher's writing is so unique and quirky, and she really has a knack of keeping the reader interested.

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As always, Kingfisher does it better than anyone else in the game. I love the original story this is based off of and enjoyed the twist on it. Thought the writing was phenomenal and can’t wait to read more by this author.

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This was fabulous! T. Kingfisher is truly a master at their craft! Nobody does a retelling quite like they do. Their quirky style always puts a fresh spin on things. Everything about this was perfect. A plot that didn't feel predictable. A diverse cast of characters with amazing character development. Steady pacing and impeccable world-building. I absolutely loved it!

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This book is an incredible mix of Horror, fantasy, witty fun and regency shenanigans (plus the mandatory evil horse of course), think Jane Austen’s Lady Susan but with more dead people and magic.
It’s amazing how well Kingfisher puts together themes I never would have thought could be turned into a great story.
It’s about Cordelia and her journey to break free from her evil sorceress mother and her unlikely allies she finds along the way. It’s refreshing to have pure evil in a book again. No grey shades, no redemption arc just pure evil, it was a delight. Great characters all around, a thrilling atmosphere and a refreshing genre mix make this book one of my absolute favourites of this year!

Also big bonus point for the Nettle & Bone Bonedog reference 😄

Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for the earc!

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Another book that proves T. Kingfisher is one of the most versatile writers of the day, and an absolute master of it.

I think this may be my favorite of hers so far. This retelling of The Goose Girl has all elements and nostalgia of reading a dark fairytale--we have an abused and somewhat naive main character and an evil, villainous mother (who so happens to be a sorceress). It definitely gets grim at times but there is also humor, some lovey-dovey romance, and a good dose of the supernatural. I will say that I generally dislike any romance in a book, but this worked; it was sweet and believable. Perhaps this is due to the fact that the romance aspect was kind of a side story but nevertheless, it was a wonderful addition to the book.

This is simply brilliant. It is exciting, fresh, and completely satisfying. Again, I reiterate that T. Kingfisher is so incredibly talented and in my opinion is one of the most versatile writers in these modern times.

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I recently had the pleasure of reading T. Kingfisher's A Sorceress Comes to Call, and I have to say that I was thoroughly impressed with the book. The story is engaging and filled with well-developed characters that will keep you hooked from beginning to end.

I enjoyed the changes in Cordelia as she grows in strength in the book from being terrified of her mother, to finally standing up to her face-to-face in the end. I also enjoyed Hester who defies the typical image of an old spinster sister and brings a bit of comedic relief and practicality as well.

Overall, I highly recommend A Sorceress Comes to Call to anyone who loves a good fantasy adventure. T. Kingfisher has been added to my reading list and authors to look out for.

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Thank you, NetGalley, for the opportunity to read this prepub ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Everything about this book, from the characters to the dark fairy tale vibes to the horror elements to the suspenseful pacing, was so enticing. The villains in particular gave me the honest-to-goodness creeps. There were a few instances where I would read this before bed and get so unsettled that I would have to put it down and turn on some self-soothing mindless television to calm me down enough to sleep.

The thing that made this unique for me was that one of the villains was a horse. Apparently this is a common theme for T. Kingfisher due to a traumatic incident involving a horse when she was a youngster, but as God has wired my brain to be obsessively passionate about horses no matter how many ways they try to kill me, I can’t identify with her in this way. This is only my second Kingfisher book, and my first encounter with this thing she has about horses, but I have to say that if you can write a horse in a way that makes me afraid to sleep and wish it would just die already… well, that’s quite a feat. I’ve never been afraid of a horse, ever. Props to you, madam, for scary me out of my cowgirl boots.

The team of protagonists were just as lovable as the villains were scary. I loved Hester’s ability to discern the situation between Evangeline and Cordelia, and how protective she became of Cordelia, and how she encouraged everyone else to do the same. I loved Penelope’s aunt-like friendship that eventually became a catalyst for motivating Cordelia to fight back against her mother. And I admire Cordelia for her tremendous courage, overcoming her timidity and fearfulness in spite of the terrifying circumstances surrounding her.

I am so glad Kingfisher has written so many fantasy stories. I will be jumping with both feet into as many as I can get my hands on - even though she feels the way she does about my beloved horses - and if I enjoy all of them as much as the first two I’ve read, I think I’m going to have a new favorite author on my list. So spooky and thrilling!

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T. Kingfisher hits it out of the ballpark again with this gothic reimagining of the classic fairytale The Goose Girl. True to style, A Sorceress Comes to Call centers on a young woman’s journey to do what’s right against all odds and the family she finds along the way. Cleverly quirky characters that are never overdone, livestock behaving in unexpected ways, along with witty and comedic dialog, keep the reader engaged from the first page to the last.
Thank you to Tor Publishing Group and NetGalley for the opportunity to read this fantastic ARC.

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T. Kingfisher is becoming one of my favorite authors.
This is the perfect mix of fairy tale, fantasy and horror.
A retelling of the Goose Girl, A Sorceress Comes to Call follows the lives of Cordelia and Hester as their worlds collide and they become friends while trying to figure out what to do about Cordelia's mother who is not quiet what she seems.

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A Sorceress Comes to Call is a dark and twisted story about a girl named Cordelia with a Sorceress, Evangeline, as her mother. Cordelia has been living under her mother's terror and has grown to be a timid and jumpy girl. The mother and daughter went to live with a wealthy old Squire and his sister Hester. Evangeline was planning to marry the Squire herself and marry Cordelia off to a wealthy man. Everyone and everything that stands in Evangeline's way was in danger. Cordelia, Hester, and the group of house guests needed to find a way to face the sorceress.

This book did an awesome job building up the atmosphere of repression and fear. It's a total page-turner that makes you want to find out what happened to the characters and how they can overcome the unknowns and challenges. It's a retelling of the fairy tale Goose Girl, but the story is only loosely related to the original. It has a life of its own.

If you like a spooky story that has dark secrets, ghosts and demons, and of course sorcery, but also with heart-warming found family and love, then this book is for you!

Thank you NetGalley and Tor Books for the ARC!

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I loved this. T. Kingfisher is one of my favorite authors. I haven’t read one book yet that I didn’t like. You get so immersed in the story without being bogged down. I loved all of the characters, and truly this was a delightful read.

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This is the first I have read a book by this author (Kingfisher). The opening scene was arresting and the overall story unfolded at a great pace to keep my interest. I don't have a tremendous amount of free time to read, but I found myself thinking about the story, wondering where it would move next and looking forward to the next opportunity to continue reading. Well written, descriptive with a satisfying ending. Will recommend.

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5/5 stars
Recommended if you like: fantasy, sorcerers/sorceresses, Victorian era, fairytales, T. Kingfisher

This review has been posted to Goodreads as of 5/11 and will be posted to my review blog on 5/30 and to Instagram on 6/7.

As usual, Kingfisher does not disappoint. Her books tend to fall into two categories: fairytale-esque or fantasy horror, and this one is one of the fairytale-esque ones. Like Nettle & Bone though, it does have some creepy elements.

The world this book is set in is a world of small magics. Sorcerers and sorceresses are known to put magic on things for petty reasons, such as to change hair color, cheat at cards, or get more money for a horse than it's worth. Big magic, like controlling people, is thought to be an old wives' tale. But Cordelia knows better. She may have led a sheltered life and not know what everyone else thinks of magic, but she knows what her mother can do, and her mother definitely utilizes the world's perception of magic to her advantage.

This book is very much a story of escaping abuse, and the support system that's necessary for doing so. Cordelia has lived her entire life under her mother's thumb, and while her mother doesn't lay a hand on her, she certainly prevents her from having any privacy and she does lay her magic on her. Hester recognizes something is off about Evangeline, Cordelia's mother, immediately, as does Cordelia's lady's maid (Alice) at the Squire's house. Hester wants to get rid of Evangeline before she can do something to her brother, but at the same time she wants to protect Cordelia. The scheme ends up involving multiple different people as they try to save Cordelia and the Squire. I really liked how everyone who was let in on what was going on immediately jumped on the bandwagon of getting rid of Evangeline, and even if they didn't believe Cordelia about the magic at first, they definitely believed her when she said something was wrong.

Hester is very no-nonsense and pretty much takes things in stride. She clocks Evangeline as Bad News before the woman even arrives at the door, and her perception ends up being frighteningly correct. Once Evangeline and Cordelia move in, and Hester gets to see how Cordelia behaves, she immediately sets about inviting some of her closest confidantes to the house in order to figure out what's going on and then get rid of Evangeline. I liked Hester and enjoyed seeing her interact with her friends. I also liked seeing the camaraderie she had with the staff of the house. She does harp a bit on being old, but if I'm not mistaken she's only in her 50s, which is middle-aged, not old (and this is coming from someone in her 20s, you're not old until you're in your 70s!).

Cordelia is a young teen who's been almost entirely isolated from the outside world and subject to her mother's cruelties and whims for her entire life. When exposed to the world, she's not only not quite sure how to act, but also terrified of getting something wrong and bringing her mother's wrath down on her and the household. I liked seeing Cordelia get the chance to blossom and discover that she's charming and has her own strengths. I also liked that she made friends with Hester and Hester's friends, and that they took her under their wing not just for protection but because they liked her. Cordelia definitely grows into herself throughout the book and becomes quite bold. By the end, while she's still scared of her mother, she understands that she's her own person and that she does have the strength to fight against her, particularly when there are other people on her side.

The side characters were all lovely (not Evangeline) and I really enjoyed reading their interactions. Imogene is a longtime friend of Hester's and is not only very no-nonsense, but she's sharp as a tack and has a nice streak of ruthlessness in her. She has no qualms about suggesting they push Evangeline down the stairs to solve their problem. Penelope Greene was a wonderful character of a person and I enjoyed her not-too-over-the-top over-the-topness. She's bold and doesn't care what anyone else thinks. Richard (Lord Evermore) balances out the group with a gentle pragmatism. He and Hester used to be lovers, and Hester kind-of-but-not-totally regrets not marrying him when he offered. Regardless, he stands as a good solid presence in the group and is immediately ready to believe Hester and do what needs to be done. You can also tell he's a man written by a woman because enduringly understanding of Hester and continues to love and support her, as well as the fact that (view spoiler). I also treasure Alice, Cordelia's lady's maid, who immediately clocks that something is wrong between Cordelia and Evangeline and immediately acts as Cordelia's protector before going to Hester with her concerns. The girls strike up a friendship and I liked that they got along so well. Tom is the butler of the house and a longtime friend of Hester and the Squire. He also immediately notices something off and is willing to go all-in on a plan to get rid of Evangeline. Tom also has some funny jokes that subtly reference the "butler did it" trope, which I enjoyed.

While the geese take a while to come into the story, I do appreciate the geese. There are a bunch of goose families where I live and I love seeing the babies each year, but a lot of people seem to dislike geese on principle, so I like that the geese are the good guys in this story. They add a humorous element to the story as well, once it's clear what their purpose is.

Overall, I greatly enjoyed this story and thought the characters were very strong. I liked seeing their relationships with one another and how they all interacted.

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T. Kingfisher has done it again! My very first book was Nettle and Bone and I loved it. This book had me falling had over heels in love again. The writing is superb, witty and clever. The characters are so thoughtfully layered. The conversations are effortless. The whole plot was full of imagination. Do not delay and read this book now!!! My review will NEVER do this justice. This book is a super 5 star read. I could not stop reading it and found so many things relatable even in a regency fantasy setting.

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Truly fantastic. It was equal parts cozy and terrifying, with some truly interesting bits of magic and some very charming characters. The story was excellently paced and felt neither too long nor too short. I especially enjoyed the focus on a more psychological form of horror and the exploration of familial abuse.

I suppose, if I was really trying to dig around for a complaint, I might say that I wish Cordelia's arc had been concluded in a little more definitive of a way, but her ending the story without any clear plans for the future seems fairly realistic for her situation.

Altogether, this felt like a combination of Wizard's Guide to Defensive Baking and A House With Good Bones, and it's definitely going in my list of the top-five Kingfisher books.

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