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Gilded (Gilded #1)

[A quick note: A huge thank you to Bookish First for this book! I won this in a raffle in exchange for a review. While it took me a little while to get to it, and the book was actually quite late in reaching me, I finally finished it. The cover is gorgeous, am I right??]

โ€œ๐๐ฎ๐ญ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ซ๐ž ๐š๐ซ๐ž ๐ญ๐ฐ๐จ ๐ฌ๐ข๐๐ž๐ฌ ๐ญ๐จ ๐ž๐ฏ๐ž๐ซ๐ฒ ๐ฌ๐ญ๐จ๐ซ๐ฒ. ๐“๐ก๐ž ๐ก๐ž๐ซ๐จ ๐š๐ง๐ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ฏ๐ข๐ฅ๐ฅ๐š๐ข๐ง. ๐“๐ก๐ž ๐๐š๐ซ๐ค ๐š๐ง๐ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ฅ๐ข๐ ๐ก๐ญ. ๐“๐ก๐ž ๐›๐ฅ๐ž๐ฌ๐ฌ๐ข๐ง๐  ๐š๐ง๐ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐œ๐ฎ๐ซ๐ฌ๐ž. ๐€๐ง๐ ๐ฐ๐ก๐š๐ญ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ฆ๐ข๐ฅ๐ฅ๐ž๐ซ ๐ก๐š๐ ๐ง๐จ๐ญ ๐ฎ๐ง๐๐ž๐ซ๐ฌ๐ญ๐จ๐จ๐ ๐ข๐ฌ ๐ญ๐ก๐š๐ญ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ ๐จ๐ ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐ฌ๐ญ๐จ๐ซ๐ข๐ž๐ฌ ๐ข๐ฌ ๐š๐ฅ๐ฌ๐จ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ ๐จ๐ ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐ฅ๐ข๐ž๐ฌ. ๐€ ๐ญ๐ซ๐ข๐œ๐ค๐ฌ๐ญ๐ž๐ซ ๐ ๐จ๐.โ€โ€”Marissa Meyer

What starts off feeling like a fairytale quickly turns dark and twisted. Serilda is born with an ability to weave fantastical stories. While the townโ€™s school children love her for it, most of the town regards her with distaste. Sheโ€™s bad luckโ€”blamed for every misfortune that comes their way. Soโ€ฆshe mostly keeps to herself. When the Erlkingโ€™s full moon hunt threatens to claim a couple of forest nymphs, Serilda weaves a story to save their lives, capturing His Grimโ€™s attention. He soon returns to claim her for an impossible demand, a demand that she must fulfill or forfeit her life.

I adored the twist to Rumpelstiltskin! Thereโ€™s a dark fairytale feel to this story, complete with romance and a witty MC. When sheโ€™s summoned by the Erlking, Serilda must spin straw into gold not once, not twice, but three times before she finally stands up to him. Every time he demands it of her, she must sacrifice something dear to accomplish the task. The truth is, Serilda has no idea how to turn straw to gold, but Gild does. What she can do, is weave stories, which she soon discovers are more than just simple tales.

The Erlkingโ€™s hunt is well known, even if most of whatโ€™s known about him is myth. Every full moon, his retinue rides out with their hounds to hunt creatures all across the land. Those who hear the call and follow it, perish to their deaths. Some are claimed to the court of the undead, but most just wander too far from home and die gruesomely. A few return as zombies. Itโ€™s well known that the hunt claims lives, and every full moon, those who donโ€™t wish to be claimed stuff their ears with wax to avoid its call.

The Erlking is an undead being who lives beyond the veil. One night a month, the night of the full moon, the veil between his undead world and the human world vanishes. His castle comes alive with living dead, and each dawn following the full moon, the veil closes and the castle turns to crumbling ruins. It is here Serilda must attend to the Erlking to complete each of his demands. And no matter how she tries to run and hide, he always finds her.

She must uncover the secrets about the castle, the Erlking, and a charming young man named Gild, if she is to free herself. What she discovers is a harrowing tale that she herself has woven. Sheโ€™s caught in it like a fly in a web. When the children of her town are threatened, she will stop at nothing to save them, even if it means betrothing herself to the monster sheโ€™s determined to defeat.

This story took such an unexpected turn. I didnโ€™t realize it was the start of a series, so I was hoping for closure at the end. Instead, there were twists and turns and lots of darkness. Iโ€™m a little bummed that it didnโ€™t conclude in one novel. But I am looking forward to the next installment. It was a fun and refreshing read. The world building was unique and felt very fairytale like. I enjoyed the romance between Serilda and Gild, especially. And as far as retellings go, a definite slam dunk!

๐Œ๐˜ ๐‘๐€๐“๐ˆ๐๐†: ๐Ÿ’.๐Ÿ“/๐Ÿ“โญ๏ธ


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