“But she couldn’t help feeling that they fit together, just right. She and this boy. This … whatever he was.”
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.
If you love losing yourself in fairytale retellings then you must read this retelling of Rumpelstiltskin that tells the story of a girl who befriends a gold spinner after she’s taken by a ruthless king.
Serilda is believed to be cursed, she brings bad luck the villagers say. The miller’s daughter, who loves telling stories, is an outcast in her village and then one day, a made up story leaves in peril because she made the feared Erlking believe she spins straw into gold and takes her away. He gives one night to spin straw into gold or he kills her and that’s when she first meets Gild, a mysterious poltergeister that has that ability and helps her in exchange for payment.
“Much as I enjoy knowing that you think I might be a gentleman, I’m afraid I can’t. My magic won’t work without a payment of some sort. It isn’t my rule, but there it is. You’ll have to give me something.”
Everytime the Erlking takes her, Gild helps her and their connection deepens. The problem is, the more Gild helps her, the less Serilda has for payment. Between finding her solution to her problem, Serilda also wants to find out more about Gild’s past for he’s the only one in the castle that doesn’t obey the Erlking’s orders and doesn’t remember anything about his past.
I love how Marissa Meyer described Gild. The kindness and friendship he had with Serilda that later evolved to something more and yet something unachievable and doomed set a deep emotion in me. It makes us wonder who the true villain in thai tale of Rumpelstiltskin really is because it sure is not Gild.
“I know I’ve barely met you,” he said, his voice fighting to not tremble, “but I can tell that you are worth all the bad luck in the world.”
After an exciting beginning the books set in a slow pace, picking up everytime the Erlking arrived to get Serilda and the ending was absolutely brutal. I despise the Erlking with all my might so Marissa did a great job with the character but I’m afraid a much bigger villain is coming in the sequel…which is set to be released a year from now….be still my beating heart..it’s a long way there….
– Serilda saving the moss maidens
– Gild appearing in the cage Serilda is being held
– Gild trying to go through Serilda only to realise she’s flesh and bone
– Serilda and Gild sitting next to each other just holding hands while he rested against her shoulder
– Serilda visiting the cemetery trying to find some ancient graves with names
– The message written in the sand: “Will you come back”
– Serilda trying to fool the Erlking
– The courtyard scene
– Gild’s story
“You asked if you were still a prisoner,” he said. “But we are all prisoners. Once His Darkness has you, he does not like to let you go.”
If you run, he will only further relish the chase.
“Why not? I’m a good storyteller.” He eyed her, thoroughly unconvinced. “All I’ve wanted to do since the last time you were here is get that horrendous story you told out of my head. I don’t think I can stomach another one.”
“Don’t be absurd,” she said. “I’m sure you’re fond of me, but to ask for my hand in marriage? I’m quite flattered, but we barely—” “Wha—marriage?” he blurted, jerking away from her in a way that was just a little insulting. Serilda hadn’t meant it, of course, but she couldn’t help but scowl. “I meant the ring,”
“No, he doesn’t. And he can’t. If you tell him …” He fumbled for words. “I’m trapped enough as it is. I won’t be enslaved to him as well.”
A mysterious stranger who appears magically whenever a fair damsel is in need of rescuing? Who dresses like a drunken earl, but can create gold at his fingertips. Who is flippant and aggravating, but somehow charming, too, when he wants to be.” He snickered. “It was a convincing start, but now I know you’re only mocking me.”
“I’m satisfied. Go.” He looked, for the barest of moments, like he didn’t know what she was talking about. Then his expression cleared. “I’m not,” he whispered. “What?” “Please forgive me this.” He leaned forward and pressed his lips to hers.
“What?” she asked. “Sweethearts give each other locks of hair all the time. It must be a coveted treasure.” Surprise, and a hint of hope, flashed across his face. “Are we sweethearts?”
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