Oct 25, 2021

ARC Review--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 received this ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest and voluntary review. I was in no way compensated for this review.


Marissa Meyer returns to the world of fairy tales with her latest retelling, Gilded. If you thought you knew the fairy tale of Rumpelstiltskin, think again! In true Marissa fashion, she takes the story to whole new level, while still giving the nods to the original classic.

Serilda was gifted by the gods with the art of storytelling and she was also gifted with wheel spokes in her eyes. It makes looking her in the eye a little startling for her fellow villagers, so she’s naturally an outcast. Her only friends are the small children she helps to teach at the school. Then one night she finds herself helping out some faery creatures to hide from the Erlking who is out on the Hunt. When he confronts her, she conjures up a story to explain her present that eventually leads her to say that she can spin straw into gold.

Now if you know your fairy tales, you know that this king now wants Serilda to perform this very task for him. But he’s one of fae, so basically in this world, he’s pure evil. And he really is the villain of the story. When Serilda realizes what her storytelling has gotten her into and that her very life was on the line, she’s in despair. You have to give her props for literally trying to spin the straw into gold though and it’s then that a boy around her age magically appears. He says he can help her…for a price.

The boy calls himself Gild, he’s been a prisoner of the castle that magically appears every full moon for years now that he can’t remember anything from before. Gild is able to turn straw into gold but as he explains to Serilda, all magic comes with a price. He’s not the nefarious creature that we know from the original tale and I really liked this spin that Marissa took with his character.

This story was dark you guys, really dark. It’s not for the faint of heart. As with each passing moon Serilda tries to escape the Erlking’s grasp but fails and that only makes him angry and he’s not the type you want angry. There are other faery like creatures in this world as well, some are deadly, some are dangerous, and some are something else entirely. But you can definitely feel the fairy tale vibes in the air in this story, the original ones that were dark and gloomy and not meant for little ears.

Naturally, there is a bit of romance brewing between Gild and Serilda. Serilda has never really had luck in the romance area because of her eyes, friendships weren’t easy too. So seeing her develop feelings for this mysterious boy was sweet and endearing and to see Gild returning the affections. They are a lot alike in that way.

There is another bit of mystery going on behind the scenes in this one that involves the castle that magically appears every night of the Hunt. It’s one that involves the previous owners and what happened to them as there are gravestones nearby that are without names. The mystery doesn’t take up too much attention but it’s still there and it makes you curious as to how it will tie back into the current events.

I really enjoyed this retelling! Rumpelstiltskin isn’t one of your more popular fairy tales to choose in retellings as everyone is for the “princess” stories so I liked that Marissa picked one of the lesser known ones. Gilded is a dark and harrowing retelling of the classic Grimm tale that will leave you enchanted and needing more! The fairy tale retelling genre is one that needs to be built up more in my opinion! There are so many possibilities waiting in the tales of old and Gilded is one you will want to re-read again and again!


Overall Rating 5/5 stars


Gilded releases November 2, 2021






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