Mini Book Review: Gilded, by Marissa Meyer

“All Magic Comes At A Price”

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Synopsis: Serilda, a miller’s daughter, was cursed by the God of Lies – the consequence? Serilda has an extraordinary talent for storytelling, for spinning lies into marvelous tales. But on the night of the Hunt, Serilda spins a tale to the Erlking himself, a story of spinning straw into gold. The Erlking’s interest is captured and Serilda is taken to his castle, locked in a dungeon with the order of spinning his straw into gold. If she fails, she dies. But in the dungeon she meets a strange young man who offers to help, for a price. But the two are drawn to each other, and no bargain of love was made.

CW/TW: Murder/child death/kidnapping/gore/body horror/death/Suicide/imprisonment.

So, I really enjoyed the Lunar Chronicles, more so as the series went on, and enjoyed book 1 of the Renegades, by Marissa Meyer series, so when I saw a Rumpelstiltskin retelling by Meyer I had to request it! I have a particular love for Rumpelstiltskin, from iterations throughout my childhood, to Once Upon A Time (tv series). Gilded, definitely has a darker tone compared to TLC and really delves into the darker side of fairy-tales.

Gilded, by Marissa Meyer is an intensely atmospheric read that perfectly captures the fairy-tale tone it aims for. Meyer’s prose is easy to read and is richly descriptive. From the main character’s narration to her stories, it is all beautifully written and engaging. Serilda’s narration is very interesting, especially as she is a storyteller, cursed by the God of lies, so her tales are always interesting and embellished when she retells them. Meyer incorporates Serilda’s tales incredibly well into the story and utilises the well in terms of building mystery and tension. The pacing of the story is a little slow at times, but it works well to build the tense and dark atmosphere.

The plot is a retelling of Rumpelstiltskin so some elements are a little predictable but it doesn’t take away from the story itself, since the plot is compelling, captivating and has enough twists and turns within it to keep you surprised and intrigued. We follow Serilda, cursed by the God of stories and lies, as she spins a tale to the dark Erlking himself resulting in her imprisonment and encounter with a curious young magical man. I really enjoyed the story, the idea behind the nights of The Hunt that result in missing people, at the hands of the Erlking and his army of gory ghosts. From magical beasts, to God blessed and cursed people, it is a truly magical read with a viciously dark streak.

I particularly enjoyed the interactions between Serilda and the Erlking, and Serilda and Gild. The contrast between the two made for some interesting scenes, and the creepy aura from the Erlking makes the story all the more sinister. The Erlking was a great villain, creepy, ruthless, cold and cruel, and yet able to manipulate and act unsettlingly charming. Gild was a perfect contrast to the Erlking, awkward, sweet, and mischievous. The duality of their personalities and scenes made the story quite compelling. Serilda, however, was quite the force on her own and made the story very interesting. She is bold, creative and chaotic – it was rather amusing watching herself use her stories to escape one situation just to find herself in the middle of a plethora of more problems. I loved Serilda’s relationship with the children in her town, her connection with them and how fiercely she loves them. I loved her determination, and it made all the dark turns and twists more impactful.

Overall, Gilded by Marissa Meyer is a captivating, dark and magical retelling of Rumpelstiltskin that was twisty and compelling. From the stories, to the magic, to the settings and the characters, Meyer perfectly captures the dark fairy-tale atmosphere and made all the elements engaging.

*I received an eARC via #Netgalley in exchange for an honest review -thank you!*


    • Thank you! It is quite an interesting read, I liked the darker tone! It is a fairytale that doesn’t get many retellings, that’s what drew me to this initially too! Hope you get to read it and enjoy! 💜


  1. I loved how you said that “it is a truly magical read with a viciously dark streak.” That is a very cool description that says so much. Gilded is on my TBR with its gorgeous cover 😍 Wonderful review!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. […] Mini Book Review: Gilded, by Marissa Meyer – ⭐⭐⭐⭐(4 Stars) – Netgalley eARC – Gilded is a Rumpelstiltskin retelling, so I very quickly snapped this up because retellings of this are not common! And I was thrilled, this is a dark fairytale that keeps you on your toes and has some beautiful story telling. I also really liked the stories made up by the main character, who was blessed by the God of stories and lies! Another great retelling from Meyer, I can’t wait to see what happens next. […]


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.