“Not every story is willing to reveal itself right away. Some of them are bashful.”
About This Book
Title & Author: Gilded by Marissa Meyer
Series: Gilded Duology
Length: 512 pages
Publication: Feiwel & Friends [November 2, 2021]
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.
Star Rating: 🌾🌾🌾🌾🌾 • 5 / 5 bundles of gilded straw (yes I know it’s the wheat emoji. shut up.)
“As I understand,” she said, “gold has caused as many problems as it has ever solved.”
I absolutely adored this book. Marissa Meyer has done it again – she’s written yet another amazing retelling of a classic fairytale.
I’ll admit it: I’ve never actually finished The Lunar Chronicles, though I have read the majority of the series. I loved the sci-fi twist on the magic and such. But I just never had the time to finish reading TLC when I was first reading it. Perhaps I’ll come back to it one day…
Anyway, back to Gilded. I definitely liked it just as much as the TLC books I read, probably ever more so. This time Meyer goes full fantasy with a novel packed full of dark-fairytale creatures, ghosts, curses, and even hellhounds. It’s amazing.
Now if you haven’t guessed by the book’s title, which alludes to gold, this is a retelling of Rumpelstiltskin. It’s very different from the original fairytale, though. Sure it’s got the bare-bones spinning straw into gold deal – along with a couple other things that are spoilers – but Meyer adds so many more subplots and characters that are entirely wonderful and original.
The characters are fantastic in Gilded, as per the usual with Meyer. Serilda 📖 is a great protagonist, and I loved her neverending mischievous streak. She does make a few pretty stupid decisions – that seem to only happen for the plot to continue which I hate – but this is only part one of two in a duology, so it can be forgiven (for now), and chalked up as arrogance.
“I know I’ve barely met you,” he said, his voice fighting not to tremble, “but I can tell that you are worth all the bad luck in the world.”
Gild 💛 , Serilda’s new friend (and possibly more?? 😉), is a total sweetheart. I’m so tired of the “bad boy” archetype that’s so often used in YA – wherein it’s especially popular – and Gild is the furthest thing from that. He’s kind, brave, supportive, and loves to joke around. And his relationship and banter with Serilda are absolutely fantastic. I look forward to more of him in the sequel.
The Erlking is a big ol’ a-hole. I’m sorry, there’s just no other way of putting that. But he’s the villain of the story, so it totally makes sense that he would be. He’s cruel, does whatever he wants, and goes on a magic hunt every full moon to kidnap and kill humans and beasts alike. That’s where all the ghosts in the book come from, see.
The Erlking and Serilda become acquainted during one of those hunts: she saves a couple of forest spirits that he considers his “prey.” She tricks him into sparing her life by convincing him that she can spin straw into gold. This comes back to bite her, however, when he returns on the next moon, expecting her to do just that for him.
Anyway, this book was absolutely fantastic, and a great fairytale retelling. It’s sooo good, and I can’t wait for the sequel that’s coming out.
Have any of you read Gilded? What did you think? Are you excited for the sequel, Cursed?
Anyway, thank you all so much for reading, and have a wonderful day/night!