The Seventh Bride
I've enjoyed a few of Ursula Vernon/T. Kingfisher's books before, such as Castle Hangnail and A Wizard's Guide to Defensive Baking. This one just popped up as a Kindle offer for free, and the description sounded interesting, so here we are.
Rhea, age 15, is a very ordinary girl. Her family runs the local mill, and she spends most of her time helping at the mill, doing chores, and trying to fend off the swan that always steals her lunch. She's not pretty, or talented, or rich, so why does this Lord Crevan want to marry her? Maybe it doesn't even matter, because you can't say no to a lord. Peasants who try to say no to lords generally end up homeless and out of work, at best. So when Crevan orders Rhea to walk a certain forest path to his house, even though that's completely improper and there shouldn't be a house in the forest at all, she has to do it for her parents' sake.
She arrives at a truly horrifying manor house, with dead crows whispering warnings and a housekeeper with her throat ripped out. She discovers that Crevan already has six wives and most of them are alive. Ish. Every evening, Crevan gives her an impossible task, and if she fails, he will marry her. There doesn't seem to be any way to escape, or even to tell anyone -- and would anyone believe a peasant girl's word if she did? Rhea's weapons are her wits, her friendship with Maria the first wife, and a hedgehog....
Just like the other books I've read by this author, The Seventh Bride blends humor, common sense, and some seriously scary elements into a great read. It's a retelling of the Blackbeard/Robber Bride story, but only barely recognizable and with wonderful originality and detail. Highly recommended -- this is a great story!