Gilded – Marissa Meyer

Published By: Faber and Faber
Pages: 512
Released On: 02/11/2021

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…cor a price. Love isn’t meant to be part of the bargain.

Soon Serilda realises 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.

*****

Thanks to Faber and Faber for the advanced copy of this title in return for an honest review.

A book over 500 pages long can feel intimidating and daunting, but I’ll tell you know, I would read 1,000 pages of this book if it meant staying in their world. Fairytales have been rewritten countless times so it was interesting to see what angle Marissa had taken on it. I had heard such positive reviews, and the cover is amazing, that surely nothing could live up to my expectations.

Wrong.

This is one of the most thoroughly, wonderfully described fantasy book I think I’ve read since a certain bespectacled boy broke onto the scene in 1997. It is never boring or tiring or over the top, but full of delicious action, perfectly written that you can put yourself in the protagonist’s shoes.

This is the first Meyer book I have read, but she has this amazing ability to weave fairytale seamlessly into the real world that you often forget you’re reading a fantasy.

This gives Rumpelstiltskin a whole new perspective, one that will change the reading of fairytales for me. It really shows the magic that storytelling can have on children and adults like. This is marketed as a YA book, but at nearly 30, I can assure you its appeal ranges far further than that.

It is every and creepy, but not in-your-face frightening – the perfect blend of entertainment and enjoyment with a little terror. It’s that kind of fear that there’s someone behind you, breathing down your neck, always watching you, but always hidden.

There MUST be a sequel, and for this I am, in equal parts, thrilled but disappointed. Thrilled as this means I can continue in this world for a little longer, but sad because how on earth am I meant to wait another year, two years, who knows, to find out the next part of the story?

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