Monday, April 25, 2022

Marissa Meyer: Gilded

In the first in a new series, Marissa Meyer ventures into the old fairy tale world with a haunting retelling of Rumplstiltskin:

Before Serilda was born, her father knew that she was going to be different as she had been blessed or cursed by the God of Lies. This "blessing" allows Serilda as she grows older to tell not only tell lies, but the most fantastical stories but yet the stories seem true. Serilda is put to the ultimate test one night, when she ventures outside her home during the Night Hunt, and it stopped and questioned by the Erlking about the quarry he was hunting. Serilda's choice to tell a  lie, weave a story changes her fate forever. Now she garnered the Erlking interest and on the next Hunt he summons her to his castle to prove she can indeed spin straw into gold. With the her fate, that of her fathers and her village in her hands, Serilda unwittingly summons a boy who can do as she is tasked, but only for a price.

I can say that I am not very familiar with the Rumplestiltskin  fairy tail other than the spinning of straw into gold and I would venture to say that most readers do no remember many details of it either. This gives Meyer a lot of room to develop this story, characters and world in her own way. And lets say that Meyer takes things to a fairly dark side of things, which was unexpected but appreciated, but as i write this I realize that there was not lightness in this book as all. The whole book reads really severe throughout.

The begining and end of this book were really well done. Meyer does a great job of hooking the reader with her character Serilda, her ability to tell stories and the idea that her fellow town folks are wary of her not only due to her stories but her strange eyes. When we reach the middle part of this book, it becomes fairly long winded. Yes, Serilda has the ability to tell stories by do we need a new one, or continuation of the last one every few pages. I understand why the stories are in the book as they hold many hidden secrets, there just seemed to be a lot of them, that I felt I was drawn more to the story that Serilda was telling that her own story, like I want to know what happens next too, who cares about Serilda anymore. To me this made the book feel very long winded.

The best I can say about Serilda is she is an interesting character, is very much 16 in the book, which is fine, but frustrating at times. Like each time she is summoned to spin Gold, she seems so shocked that Gild is once again going to have to ask for payment. I mean he told you all the other times that the magic requires payment, why would this time be any different. Also I do not know how many times her strange eyes need to be mentioned, at least once a chapter I swear. We get it she has strange eyes, but this does not need to be constantly reinforced, we are not going to forget I swear.

I loved all the different creatures that Meyer presents within this book and after reading some information about the book, most are from German folklore which is really cool and an awesome addition to the story. I like that Meyer took the time to do the research into these creatures and the tails behind them. The Night Hunt is also an interesting concept and for the time this book appears to be based in would be something to fear but also wonder about.

Don't get me started on the insta-love, but hey at least there is no love Triangle, so I guess I need to pick the trope that I like better? I mean why couldn't they have been friends first, God knows that Serilda needs at least one friend.

Overall, I enjoyed this book and that cliffhanger at the end, I know i will be picking up the next book in the series. I just hope that there is more of a focus on Serilda's story and not so much of her telling stories to have the reader get lost in. I think if you have enjoyed Meyer's other series you will like this one too, but be warned I thought it was fairly different from the other series by her that i have, darker for sure, I would say more mature in this content, especially when you near the end.

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