In Gilded, #1 New York Times-bestselling author Marissa Meyer returns to the fairytale world with this haunting tale.
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… for a price. Love isn't meant to be part of the bargain.
Soon Serilda realizes 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.
Meyer (Instant Karma) explores the power of fiction in this inventive "Rumpelstiltskin" reimagining. Every full moon, the sadistic Erlking and his undead coterie enter the mortal realm to steal wandering children and hunt magical creatures. Pale-skinned Serilda Moller, 18, knows to remain indoors on such nights, but when she hears hellhounds chasing two moss maidens near her family's cabin in Marchenfeld, she feels compelled to intervene. Serilda successfully secrets the duo into the root cellar but is then confronted by the Erlking. Rather than betray the maidens, Serilda a spellbinding storyteller with gold wheels for irises falsely asserts that she is harvesting straw to spin into gold. The Erlking departs, but on the next full moon, abducts Serilda to his castle, where he locks her in a cell piled with hay and threatens murder if her claims prove false. Serilda is despondent until a pale, redheaded teen called Gild appears and offers to complete her impossible task for a price. Intricate worldbuilding and star-crossed romance help temper the Erlking's brutality, and though the book is overlong, well-drawn characters will leave readers craving a sequel. Ages 12 up. Agent: Jill Grinberg, Jill Grinberg Literary.
Good story but too many tangents. Pace was too slow