But for our purposes, it started during that Endless Moon. The sky was slate grey and a blizzard was being heralded across the land by the chilling howls of the hounds, the thunder of hooves. The wild hunt had emerged, but this year they were not only seeking lost souls and aimless drunkards and naughty children who had risked misbehaving at a most inopportune time. This year was different, for an Endless Moon only occurs when the winter solstice coincides with a bright moon in all its fullness. This is the only night when the great gods are forced to take their beastly forms. Enormous. Powerful. Almost impossible to catch.

Gilded is about a storyteller who in saving others becomes enslaved. In a spin off from the traditional fairy tale of Rumpelstiltskin, bestselling author, Marissa Meyer has created a story of courage, suspense, and fantasy in Gilded, and her fans will not be disappointed.

Every full moon, the main protagonist, Serilda must spin straw into gold or face death. Meyer has taken the story of Rumpelstiltskin and made a modern fantasy story of love. But this is no ordinary love story. Just like Shahrazad in The Thousand and One Nights, Serilda must perform or be killed.

What I loved about Gilded:

  • Fantastic world building. I was soon swept away by Meyer’s fantastical world and could easily visualise every element. Meyer’s description of monsters and characters, and the landscape soon had me turning me pages with a mix of excitement and trepidation.
  • Excellent characterisation. The characters leapt from the page – from the main character, Serilda to the villainous Erlking, every character was finely drawn. Serilda was a strong female character. She was courageous and relatable. I was totally invested in her fate. I particularly enjoyed the backstory of both the antagonist and Gild.
  • This is a fast-paced read which will keep you reading well into the night. I hardly noticed the pages turning, not a mean feat for a 500-page novel!

I can’t wait for the next instalment, as Gilded left readers hanging!

Publisher’s blurb:

What if Rumpelstiltskin isn’t the villain of the story?

By the following winter solstice, the miller would become the father of a baby girl. She was indeed healthy and strong, and in that, the god of stories had granted the wish precisely as requested. But what the miller had not considered is that the god of stories is also the god of lies. The trickster god. For every story has two sides to it. The hero and the villain. The dark and the light. The blessing and the curse.

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 into a grim world where ghouls and phantoms prowl and hollow-eyed ravens track her every move. Erlking imprisons Serilda in his castle and sets her the impossible task of spinning straw into gold, a task she must complete 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 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 Erlking and his wild hunt forever.

Many thanks to the good folk at Text Publishing for sending me an advance copy to read and review.