Series Name:
Gilded, # 1

Review By Veronica

Gilded is a dark whimsical retelling of the classic fairy tale Rumpelstiltskin.

Favourite Quote:

“Straw!” she said—practically shouted, so that the hunter actually looked startled. “I’m harvesting straw, of course. What else, my lord?” 

His brows dipped in toward each other. “On New Year’s night? Under a Snow Moon?” 

“Why—surely. It’s best time to do it. I mean… not that it’s the new year, exactly, but… the full moon. Otherwise it won’t have quite the right properties for the… the spinning.” She gulped, before adding somewhat nervously, “Into… gold?” 

She finished the absurd statement with a cheeky smile that the hunter did not reciprocate. He kept his attention fixed on her, suspicious, yet still… interested, somehow.

Goodreads Synopsis: 

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.

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.

Marissa Meyers is one of my favourite insta buy YA authors. I always recommend her books to people looking for something to read in the YA fantasy world. Her writing is sharp and powerful, and her ability to create these detailed and lush worlds is truly remarkable. Gilded is the first book in her latest duology that centers around the classic fairy tale Rumpelstiltskin. 

I LOVED this book; I was instantly drawn into Meyers’s dark and creepy world that she made. She took that classic tale and really made it her own. This book has ghosts, goblins, and other creepy things that go bump in the night. There are parallel mystery stories about the Erlking and his hunters and another about Gild and his mysterious past. There is a lot going on in this book to keep you entertained and guessing. But not so much going on that you would feel overwhelmed or lost. I enjoyed how fresh and new this story felt. I loved that Meyers picked the Rumpelstiltskin fairy tale because there haven’t been a lot of retellings around this classic tale. For me, it made this story stand out more because of that. The detailed descriptions and complex world history are amazing and well thought out, which is typical for her books. This book is chock full of diverse characters and smart dialogue.

This book is slower paced than her other books. Instead of a lot of action, you have a focus on exploring this dark other world of the Erlking and Serilda trying to solve the mystery around his castle and Gild’s past. 

Serilda is a pretty typical Meyers heroine. She is tough, smart, and misunderstood by those around her. But underneath that prickly exterior is a heart of gold. Her storytelling abilities (or curse) were a wonderful twist to the classic Rumpelstiltskin tale. It is Serilda’s storytelling abilities that put her in the unfortunate situation of having to spin straw into gold. She finds it hard to not embellish her stories, which causes many to believe that she is a liar. The character that captured my heart was Gild (aka Rumpelstiltskin). He is such a charming hero and the fact that we have no idea who he is made his character that much more interesting. 

Gilded is a spell-binding YA fantasy story that is hard to put down.