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T. Kingfisher is the pseudonym of American freelance writer, artist and illustrator, Ursula Vernon.

She uses the pen name when writing horror and fantasy novels full of fairy-tales, elves and goblins, or as she would put it “writing things for grown-ups.” She also writes comics and children's books under her real name.

Raised in Oregon and Arizona, Ursula attended Macalester College, Minnesota, and earned a degree in anthropology.

The daughter of an artist, she spent her youth rebelling before ultimately giving into the alluring appeal of art.

Now a full-time artist and creator of oddities, Ursula currently lives in Pittsboro, North Carolina with her husband and his chickens.

Whenever she isn’t reading or writing, Ursula can be found in the garden, trying to make eye contact with butterflies.

More about T. Kingfisher

Genres: Fantasy / SF, Horror

Born: 1977

United States

Pseudonym: T. Kingfisher

Website: http://www.redwombatstudio.com/

Non Series

  • The Seventh Bride (2014)
  • Bryony and Roses (2015)
  • The Raven and the Reindeer (2016)
  • Summer in Orcus (2017)
  • Swordheart (2018)
  • The Twisted Ones (2019)
  • A Wizard's Guide To Defensive Baking (2020)
  • The Hollow Places (2020)
  • Nettle & Bone (2022)
  • What Moves the Dead (2022)
  • A House With Good Bones (2023)

Clocktaur War

  1. Clockwork Boys (2017)
  2. The Wonder Engine (2018)

Collections

  1. Toad Words And Other Stories (2014)
  2. The Halcyon Fairy Book (2017)
  3. Jackalope Wives And Other Stories (2017)

Novellas

  1. Nine Goblins (2013)
  2. Minor Mage (2019)

Saint of Steel

  1. Paladin's Grace (2020)
  2. Paladin's Strength (2021)
  3. Paladin's Hope (2021)

Detailed book overview

Non Series

The Seventh Bride

Young Rhea is a miller’s daughter of low birth, so she is understandably surprised when a mysterious nobleman, Lord Crevan, shows up on her doorstep and proposes marriage. Since commoners don’t turn down lords―no matter how sinister they may seem―Rhea is forced to agree to the engagement.

Lord Crevan demands that Rhea visit his remote manor before their wedding. Upon arrival, she discovers that not only was her betrothed married six times before, but his previous wives are all imprisoned in his enchanted castle. Determined not to share their same fate, Rhea asserts her desire for freedom. In answer, Lord Crevan gives Rhea a series of magical tasks to complete, with the threat “Come back before dawn, or else I’ll marry you.”

With time running out and each task more dangerous and bizarre than the last, Rhea must use her resourcefulness, compassion, and bravery to rally the other wives and defeat the sorcerer before he binds her to him forever.

Author: T. Kingfisher
First Release: 2014
ISBN: 978-1503949751
Publisher: 47North
Bryony and Roses

Bryony and her sisters have come down in the world. Their merchant father died trying to reclaim his fortune and left them to eke out a living in a village far from their home in the city. 

But when Bryony is caught in a snowstorm and takes refuge in an abandoned manor, she stumbles into a house full of dark enchantments. Is the Beast that lives there her captor, or a fellow prisoner? Is the house her enemy or her ally? And why are roses blooming out of season in the courtyard?

Armed only with gardening shears and her wits, Bryony must untangle the secrets of the house before she, or the Beast are swallowed by them.

Author: T. Kingfisher
First Release: 2015
ISBN: 978-1614504047
Publisher: Argyll Productions
The Raven and the Reindeer

When Gerta’s friend Kay is stolen away by the mysterious Snow Queen, it’s up to Gerta to find him. Her journey will take her through a dangerous land of snow and witchcraft, accompanied only by a bandit and a talking raven. 

Can she win her friend’s release, or will following her heart take her to unexpected places? A strange, sly retelling of Hans Christian Andersen’s "Snow Queen," by T. Kingfisher, author of "Bryony and Roses" and "The Seventh Bride."

Author: T. Kingfisher
First Release: 2016
ISBN: 978-1614503897
Publisher: Argyll Productions
Summer in Orcus

Summer is a perfectly ordinary 11 year old girl with a perfectly ordinary, needy, over-protective single mother. She always does what she is told and has become very good at listening and consoling her mother s fears, but finds the experience increasingly exhausting. Summer loves her mother and would never dream of running away, but wonders deep down if it wouldn't be nice to escape for just a little while and do something adventurous... maybe?

Along comes the crone Baba Yaga in her magical walking house, who spies Summer through the alley gate and offers to provide her heart s desire. Summer has no idea what this might be, but with the lighting of a frog-shaped beeswax candle she finds herself transported to the strange world of Orcus with nothing but a weasel in her pocket.

Like any girl of her age, she's read lots of fantasy books about people thrust into strange lands; but they usually seemed to have had some idea what they were supposed to do there.

Join Summer as she attempts to follow glimpses of turquoise across Orcus with the help of a weasel, a wolf with a house problem, and an aristocratic hoopoe with a penchant for trouble. Along the way she just might figure out what she is looking for, save a wondrous thing, and realize that some of the talents which she takes for granted are mighty useful indeed.

Author: T. Kingfisher
First Release: 2017
ISBN: 978-1936689590
Publisher: Sofawolf Press
Swordheart

Halla is a housekeeper who has suddenly inherited her great-uncle's estate… and, unfortunately, his relatives. Sarkis is an immortal swordsman trapped in a prison of enchanted steel. When Halla draws the sword that imprisons him, Sarkis finds himself attempting to defend his new wielder against everything from bandits and roving inquisitors to her own in-laws… and the sword itself may prove to be the greatest threat of all.

Author: T. Kingfisher
First Release: 2018
ISBN: 978-1614505228
Publisher: Argyll Productions
The Twisted Ones

When a young woman clears out her deceased grandmother’s home in rural North Carolina, she finds long-hidden secrets about a strange colony of beings in the woods...

When Mouse’s dad asks her to clean out her dead grandmother's house, she says yes. After all, how bad could it be?

Answer: pretty bad. Grandma was a hoarder, and her house is stuffed with useless rubbish. That would be horrific enough, but there’s more—Mouse stumbles across her step-grandfather’s journal, which at first seems to be filled with nonsensical rants…until Mouse encounters some of the terrifying things he described for herself.

Alone in the woods with her dog, Mouse finds herself face to face with a series of impossible terrors—because sometimes the things that go bump in the night are real, and they’re looking for you. And if she doesn’t face them head on, she might not survive to tell the tale.

Author: T. Kingfisher
First Release: 2019
ISBN: 978-1534429567
Publisher: Gallery / Saga Press
A Wizard's Guide To Defensive Baking

Fourteen-year-old Mona isn't like the wizards charged with defending the city. She can't control lightning or speak to water. Her familiar is a sourdough starter and her magic only works on bread. She has a comfortable life in her aunt's bakery making gingerbread men dance.

But Mona's life is turned upside down when she finds a dead body on the bakery floor. An assassin is stalking the streets of Mona's city, preying on magic folk, and it appears that Mona is his next target. And in an embattled city suddenly bereft of wizards, the assassin may be the least of Mona's worries...

Author: T. Kingfisher
First Release: 2020
ISBN: 978-1614505242
Publisher: Argyll Productions
The Hollow Places

A young woman discovers a strange portal in her uncle’s house, leading to madness and terror...

Pray they are hungry.

Kara finds the words in the mysterious bunker that she’s discovered behind a hole in the wall of her uncle’s house. Freshly divorced and living back at home, Kara now becomes obsessed with these cryptic words and starts exploring this peculiar area—only to discover that it holds portals to countless alternate realities. But these places are haunted by creatures that seem to hear thoughts…and the more one fears them, the stronger they become.

Author: T. Kingfisher
First Release: 2020
ISBN: 978-1789093308
Publisher: TITAN PUBLISHING GROUP
Nettle & Bone

This isn't the kind of fairytale where the princess marries a prince.

It's the one where she kills him.

Marra never wanted to be a hero.

As the shy, convent-raised, third-born daughter, she escaped the traditional fate of princesses, to be married away for the sake of an uncaring throne. But her sister wasn’t so fortunate—and after years of silence, Marra is done watching her suffer at the hands of a powerful and abusive prince.

Seeking help for her rescue mission, Marra is offered the tools she needs, but only if she can complete three seemingly impossible tasks:

—build a dog of bones

—sew a cloak of nettles

—capture moonlight in a jar

But, as is the way in tales of princes and witches, doing the impossible is only the beginning.

Hero or not—now joined by a disgraced ex-knight, a reluctant fairy godmother, an enigmatic gravewitch and her fowl familiar—Marra might finally have the courage to save her sister, and topple a throne.

Author: T. Kingfisher
First Release: 2022
ISBN: 978-1250244000
Publisher: Tor Books
What Moves the Dead

When Alex Easton, a retired soldier, receives word that their childhood friend Madeline Usher is dying, they race to the ancestral home of the Ushers in the remote countryside of Ruritania.

What they find there is a nightmare of fungal growths and possessed wildlife, surrounding a dark, pulsing lake. Madeline sleepwalks and speaks in strange voices at night, and her brother Roderick is consumed with a mysterious malady of the nerves.

Aided by a redoubtable British mycologist and a baffled American doctor, Alex must unravel the secret of the House of Usher before it consumes them all.

Author: T. Kingfisher
First Release: 2022
Ebook: B09FHGRWQ4
Publisher: Tor Nightfire
A House With Good Bones

In this ordinary North Carolina suburb, family secrets are always in bloom.

Samantha Montgomery pulls into the driveway of her family home to find a massive black vulture perched on the mailbox, staring at the house.

Inside, everything has changed. Gone is the eclectic warmth Sam expects; instead the walls are a sterile white. Now, it’s very important to say grace before dinner, and her mother won’t hear a word against Sam’s long-dead and little-missed grandmother, who was the first to put down roots in this small southern town.

The longer Sam stays, the stranger things get. And every day, more vultures circle overhead…

Author: T. Kingfisher
First Release: 2023
Ebook: B09XL78SQQ
Publisher: Tor Nightfire

Clocktaur War

Clockwork Boys

A paladin, an assassin, a forger, and a scholar ride out of town. It's not the start of a joke, but rather an espionage mission with deadly serious stakes. T. Kingfisher's new novel begins the tale of a murderous band of criminals (and a scholar), thrown together in an attempt to unravel the secret of the Clockwork Boys, mechanical soldiers from a neighboring kingdom that promise ruin to the Dowager's city.

If they succeed, rewards and pardons await, but that requires a long journey through enemy territory, directly into the capital. It also requires them to refrain from killing each other along the way! At turns darkly comic and touching, Clockwork Boys puts together a broken group of people trying to make the most of the rest of their lives as they drive forward on their suicide mission.

Author: T. Kingfisher
First Release: 2017
ISBN: 978-1614504160
Publisher: Argyll Productions
The Wonder Engine

In the sequel to CLOCKWORK BOYS, Slate, Brenner, Caliban and Learned Edmund have arrived in Anuket City, the source of the mysterious Clockwork Boys. 

They even managed to build some trust in each other's skills. That trust is built on quicksand as the risks continue to escalate. But the secrets they're keeping could well destroy them, before the city even gets the chance…Old foes and consequences of past decisions lurk in the shadows. Every team member's skills are required to succeed—even more so if they hope to survive.

The Wonder Engine never lets us forget our funny, broken group 0even as the action propels our heroes to new highs and lows. It shows that making the most of the rest of your life can be rewarding—no matter how many mechanical abominations you need to destroy to get there.

Author: T. Kingfisher
First Release: 2018
ISBN: 978-1614504429
Publisher: Argyll Productions

Collections

Toad Words And Other Stories

From author T. Kingfisher comes a collection of fairy-tale retellings for adults. By turns funny and dark, sad and lyrical, this anthology draws together in one volume such stories as "The Wolf and the Woodsman," "Loathly," and "Bluebeard's Wife," along with an all-new novella, "Boar & Apples."

Author: T. Kingfisher
First Release: 2014
Ebook: B00MFXJMGI
Publisher: Red Wombat Tea Company
The Halcyon Fairy Book

The Halcyon Fairy Book is a delightful collection of wry and insightful comments on traditional fairy tales, originally presented in her blog, along with her first collection of fairy-tale inspired original work, Toad Words.

Author: T. Kingfisher
First Release: 2017
Ebook: B0732GM3CR
Publisher: NESFA Press
Jackalope Wives And Other Stories

Winner of the Nebula and WSFA Short Fiction Awards. Includes "The Tomato Thief" winner of 2017 Hugo Award - Best Novelette From award-winning author T. Kingfisher comes a collection of short stories, including "Jackalope Wives," "The Tomato Thief," "Pocosin," and many others. By turns funny, lyrical, angry and beautiful, this anthology includes two all-new stories, "Origin Story" and "Let Pass The Horses Black," appearing for the first time in print.

Author: T. Kingfisher
First Release: 2017
ISBN: 978-1614503941
Publisher: Argyll Productions

Novellas

Nine Goblins

When a party of goblin warriors find themselves trapped behind enemy lines, it'll take more than whining (and a bemused Elven veterinarian) to get them home again.

Nine Goblins is a novella of low...very low...fantasy.

Author: T. Kingfisher
First Release: 2013
Ebook: B00G9GSEXO
Minor Mage

Oliver was a very minor mage. His familiar reminded him of this several times a day. He only knew three spells, and one of them was to control his allergy to armadillo dander. His attempts to summon elementals resulted in nosebleeds, and there is nothing more embarrassing than having your elemental leave the circle to get you a tissue, pat you comfortingly, and then disappear in a puff of magic. The armadillo had about wet himself laughing. He was a very minor mage. Unfortunately, he was all they had.

Author: T. Kingfisher
First Release: 2019
ISBN: 978-1614505006
Publisher: Argyll Productions

Saint of Steel

Paladin's Grace

Stephen's god died on the longest day of the year...

Three years later, Stephen is a broken paladin, living only for the chance to be useful before he dies. But all that changes when he encounters a fugitive named Grace in an alley and witnesses an assassination attempt gone wrong. Now the pair must navigate a web of treachery, beset on all sides by spies and poisoners, while a cryptic killer stalks one step behind...

Author: T. Kingfisher
First Release: 2020
ISBN: 978-1614505310
Publisher: Argyll Productions
Paladin's Strength

He’s a paladin of a dead god, tracking a supernatural killer across a continent. She’s a nun from a secretive order, on the trail of the raiders who burned her convent and kidnapped her sisters.

When their paths cross at the point of a sword, Istvhan and Clara will be pitched headlong into each other’s quests, facing off against enemies both living and dead. But Clara has a secret that could jeopardize the growing trust between them, a secret that will lead them to the gladiatorial pits of a corrupt city, and beyond...

Author: T. Kingfisher
First Release: 2021
Ebook: B08WWKXXVY
Paladin's Hope

Piper is a lich-doctor, a physician who works among the dead, determining causes of death for the city guard’s investigations. It’s a peaceful, if solitary profession…until the day when he’s called to the river to examine the latest in a series of mysterious bodies, mangled by some unknown force.

Galen is a paladin of a dead god, lost to holiness and no longer entirely sane. He has long since given up on any hope of love. But when the two men and a brave gnole constable are drawn into the maze of the mysterious killer, it’s Galen’s job to protect Piper from the traps that await them.

He’s just not sure if he can protect Piper from the most dangerous threat of all…

CW: gore, peril, medicine, brief mention of child death

Author: T. Kingfisher
First Release: 2021
Ebook: B09HDVSTTT
Publisher: Red Wombat Studio