Gilded by Marissa Meyer

Genre: Fantasy

This exciting retelling of Rumpelstiltskin centers around Serilda, who lives alone with her father at their mill, as she intervenes one night to save two forest creatures from the dreaded Erlking. The Erlking can only hunt during full moons, but everyone is on high alert during these times as he has been known to kidnap children for his own amusement. Serilda can’t bear for him to get his hands on these forest creatures so she hides them and pretends she is gathering straw in the middle of the night to spin into gold, a gift she tells him she was given by a god. In reality, she was blessed by a god, but its the god of stories. Ever since she can remember she has always been able to tell fantastical stories to anyone who would listen. Unfortunately, many see her as a nuisance who brings bad luck in her wake. The Erlking believes her story at first, but returns in a month to force her to come to his castle to prove her ability to spin straw into gold. She knows if she cannot perform this feat by morning that he will know she lied and will torture and kill her. A teenage boy appears to help her, but only for a price. As she survives her first night she knows he will continue to summon her forever unless she can break the terrible spell that gives the Erlking his powers. How can she save those who have been tortured by him for centuries? What other secrets does this castle hold? Why can no one remember who lived in this castle before the Erlking?

Fans of Marissa Meyer’s books will not be disappointed with this new series. The characters in this story are multi-layered and often surprising as more of their background is slowly revealed. Serilda and most of the other characters are no stranger to loss and must persevere during difficult times, but as bad as things get they never lose hope completely and always hope for a better tomorrow. Serilda feels like she is the key to breaking the terrible spell that the Erlking holds over this castle and all the people around it, but doesn’t know how. The ending is particularly compelling and many will be eager to get to the next installment.

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