Gilded by: Marissa Meyer
YA Fantasy | Rating: 4/5 | Spicy: 1/5
A dark and twisted retelling of Rumpelstiltskin, a poor miller’s daughter is trapped by the Erlking and once a month is dragged to the realm of ghouls and monsters. She gains help from a mysterious boy while spinning lies and investigating the mystery of a forgotten curse.
Would I recommend this book? Yes
If you liked: Grimm Retellings, Gallant by: V.E. Schwab, Belladonna by: Adalyn Grace
Initially, I was hesitate to start a retelling on Rumpelstiltskin. My initial expectations were comparable to the tv series, Once Upon a Time. However I was thoroughly wrong as this story has deep roots in death, blood, and gore.
The miller’s daughter, Serilda, is a liar which keeps getting her in and out of trouble. It’s a cycle of lying to live another day. The flaw I saw in Serilda that I found most taxing was her habit to play the victim to issues of her own doing. Also, Serilda held such high expectations for others to help her while thinking little to none of others’ sacrifice or safety until it’s too late.
Redeeming aspects has to be Gild, the mysterious boy trapped within the castle estate. There are still many lurking questions that aren’t answered in this book but post reading it’s clear the wildcards are Gild and the Erlking. I do like the twist that the Erlking [so far] is the villain, as I’m partial to believe the king in the original story was one too.
I am a long-time fan of Meyer’s writing from the Lunar Chronicles to the Renegades Series, and this duology has the same powerful world building and descriptive writing. The pace did feel a bit slow at times but the last 100-pages were worth it. There’s a lot of repetition of the names, towns, history, and customs. For me, the repetition established a sense of language, culture, and history as others may feel it’s unnecessary.
I would give this book one spicy chili-pepper just for the awkward young love. There is one fade-to-black exploit scene and a few sweet-nothing kisses. Nothing too crazy.
There were some obvious plot set-ups and equal parts surprises. All-in-all, I went in with low expectations and came out enjoying this book.
Your Bestie, T.
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