Gilded by Marissa Meyer
Marissa Meyer, #1 New York Times-bestselling author, returns to the fairytale world with this haunting retelling of Rumpelstiltskin.
Long ago cursed by the god of lies, a poor miller’s daughter has developed a talent for spinning stories that are fantastical and spellbinding and entirely untrue.
Or so everyone believes.
When one of Serilda’s outlandish tales draws the attention of the sinister Erlking and his undead hunters, she finds herself swept away into a grim world where ghouls and phantoms prowl the earth and hollow-eyed ravens track her every move. The king orders Serilda to complete the impossible task of spinning straw into gold, or be killed for telling falsehoods. In her desperation, Serilda unwittingly summons a mysterious boy to her aid. He agrees to help her… for a price. Love isn’t meant to be part of the bargain.
Soon Serilda realizes that there is more than one secret hidden in the castle walls, including an ancient curse that must be broken if she hopes to end the tyranny of the king and his wild hunt forever.
I really loved this!
I have only read Marissa Meyer’s Renegades series, so this was my first real fantasy/fairy tale retelling from her and I was definitely impressed. Marissa has a great way of telling stories and the stories within the story were such standouts to me. It really felt like I was sitting there listening to someone tell me stories and I loved that. It’s hard to explain, but Serilda is a storyteller. She was blessed/cursed before her birth by a god. Her eyes are odd and people are afraid of her. They think she’s bad luck. Serilda tells stories to the children. Most people just think she’s a liar and she’s not sure how she comes up with the stories she tells. They just come out. A lot of the stories about about the Erlking and his hunts. The hunt does come with every full moon and people like Serilda’s mom never return if they leave with it.
Serilda hides a couple of moss maidens one night and encounters the Erlking. She has to lie about why she’s outside and tells him that she’s getting straw to spin into gold. That she’s blessed by a god with that ability. The Erlking comes for Serilda and makes her prove it to him. Otherwise she’ll die for keeping him from his prey. Serilda somehow summons a boy, Gild. He can spin the straw into gold for a payment. Gild is trapped in the castle. Serilda is let go which is unheard of, but she is called back month after month. Gild keeps saving her and they start to fall for each other. When Serilda runs out of payment, she offers up Gild her first born child.
I’m excited to see where this story goes after reading the second half of the book. I know the basics of the fairytale, but I’m loving Marissa Meyer’s twists on it.
I gave this book 5 stars. Thank you to the publisher and Edelweiss for my review copy.
Warnings for death and animal/creature torture, captivity, death of parent, talk of sex and pregnancy, mention of abortion, blood.
Have you read this yet? Is it on your TBR?