Cover Image: Gilded


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Member Reviews

I truly believe that Marissa Meyer can do wrong with fairy tale retellings. I admit to never particularly liking the Rumpelstiltskin story, but this reimagining goes so far beyond the original tale. It's definitely more dark than I'm used to with YA, but the way Meyer pulled it off actually makes it all the more compelling. Serilda and Gild are both utterly fascinating and immediately likeable.
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This book, oh lord THIS BOOK. I went into this book with next to no expectations but I knew I loved Meyer’s writing from reading her previous novel Heartless. And Gilded did not disappoint even with no expectations. The plottwists were phenomenal, I couldn’t stop reading!! The world building was perfectly paced and something new happened pretty much every chapter. I swear I never saw one plottwist coming and I’m normally really good at that!! I was hooked so much that once I hit 50% I immediately preordered a copy because I just have to own a finished copy. Meyer’s retelling of the fairytale Rumpelstiltskin has become one of my FAVORITE books of 2021.
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This book was great! A Rumpelstiltskin retelling, that leans more toward the darker side with ghosts, goblins, witches and more! The characters are great and the setting is in a German type fantasy world, which was interesting. The cover is gorgeous as well! All in all I had a fantastic time reading this!
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I received this ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest and voluntary review. I was in no way compensated for this review.


Marissa Meyer returns to the world of fairy tales with her latest retelling, Gilded. If you thought you knew the fairy tale of Rumpelstiltskin, think again! In true Marissa fashion, she takes the story to whole new level, while still giving the nods to the original classic.

Serilda was gifted by the gods with the art of storytelling and she was also gifted with wheel spokes in her eyes. It makes looking her in the eye a little startling for her fellow villagers, so she’s naturally an outcast. Her only friends are the small children she helps to teach at the school. Then one night she finds herself helping out some faery creatures to hide from the Erlking who is out on the Hunt. When he confronts her, she conjures up a story to explain her present that eventually leads her to say that she can spin straw into gold.

Now if you know your fairy tales, you know that this king now wants Serilda to perform this very task for him. But he’s one of fae, so basically in this world, he’s pure evil. And he really is the villain of the story. When Serilda realizes what her storytelling has gotten her into and that her very life was on the line, she’s in despair. You have to give her props for literally trying to spin the straw into gold though and it’s then that a boy around her age magically appears. He says he can help her…for a price.

The boy calls himself Gild, he’s been a prisoner of the castle that magically appears every full moon for years now that he can’t remember anything from before. Gild is able to turn straw into gold but as he explains to Serilda, all magic comes with a price. He’s not the nefarious creature that we know from the original tale and I really liked this spin that Marissa took with his character.

This story was dark you guys, really dark. It’s not for the faint of heart. As with each passing moon Serilda tries to escape the Erlking’s grasp but fails and that only makes him angry and he’s not the type you want angry. There are other faery like creatures in this world as well, some are deadly, some are dangerous, and some are something else entirely. But you can definitely feel the fairy tale vibes in the air in this story, the original ones that were dark and gloomy and not meant for little ears.

Naturally, there is a bit of romance brewing between Gild and Serilda. Serilda has never really had luck in the romance area because of her eyes, friendships weren’t easy too. So seeing her develop feelings for this mysterious boy was sweet and endearing and to see Gild returning the affections. They are a lot alike in that way.

There is another bit of mystery going on behind the scenes in this one that involves the castle that magically appears every night of the Hunt. It’s one that involves the previous owners and what happened to them as there are gravestones nearby that are without names. The mystery doesn’t take up too much attention but it’s still there and it makes you curious as to how it will tie back into the current events.

I really enjoyed this retelling! Rumpelstiltskin isn’t one of your more popular fairy tales to choose in retellings as everyone is for the “princess” stories so I liked that Marissa picked one of the lesser known ones. Gilded is a dark and harrowing retelling of the classic Grimm tale that will leave you enchanted and needing more! The fairy tale retelling genre is one that needs to be built up more in my opinion! There are so many possibilities waiting in the tales of old and Gilded is one you will want to re-read again and again!


Overall Rating 5/5 stars


Gilded releases November 2, 2021
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Listen, when I got to the end of this book and realized that it's the first in a series, I almost threw the book out the window. I NEED to know what happens next. The storytelling and world-building are intricate. You definitely want to keep up because the plot is always taking you in new directions. The only parts of the book that felt a bit slow were when Serilda kept going from the dark and creepy castle back into town. Those journeys didn't seem really necessary. Keep her in the castle. The castle is fascinating with monsters and nightmares, and a really hot gold-spinner named Gild. I also like that the main character is a plucky heroine. She's coming into her own by the end of the book, realizing her powers just as there is a huge plot-twist. I'm left wondering how she's going to get out of this next HUGE challenge, and I can't wait until the sequel.
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I don't know what I expected going into this new release, but I certainly did not expect it to be AS DARK as it was, which is not a negative thing at all. It was a pleasant surprise, and it added a lot to the story overall.

Serilda is blessed by the god of lies and has a knack for storytelling and just embellishing stories, in general, but one night during the full moon, she lies to the wrong person: the Alder King. A full moon cycle later, Serilda is called to act on her lie, which is to spin straw into gold, and her life is thrown into chaos. When all seems lost, a mysterious ghost(?) named Gild arrives and offers to help Serilda with her task in exchange for payment. The rest is history as Serilda survives the first night, but she soon realizes the Alder King wants more than just a night's worth of straw turned gold. And the worst part? Serilda doesn't mind Gild as much... She's sorta drawn to him for some *unknown* reason.

To put it simply, Marissa did a wonderful job holding onto the darkness of this fairytale but added in her own details and changes to the plot to make it just as bad— if not worse. I found myself laughing, trembling, and even covering my mouth with my hand at numerous spots. She's a genius at writing addictive fairytales!

Personally, I think Gilded is now my new favorite Marissa Meyer book; although, Archenemies is still fighting it each and every day. I think plenty of people will love all of the elements or even just a few. In many ways, I wasn't sure if I'd enjoy this book since Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik is an amazing Rumplestiltskin retelling too, but this story is wholly unique and just as invigorating to read. Maybe this is my favorite fairytale retelling.All these authors do it very well.
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Holy mother of Pearl! I am amazed! Marissa Meyer, aka the queen of fairytales, is back and better than ever with this dark Rumpelstiltskin retelling. We follow Serilda who is cursed by the god of lies and tells outlandish stories to the children in her town. Her stories end up getting her taken by the Erlking who wants her to spin straw into gold, and as she spends time in his castle she experiences some nightmarish things that spin a golden tale (haha see what I did there). This is the absolute perfect first book to a series: It has great characters, incredible world building, and the plot escalates as the book goes on and ends with me wanting the next book yesterday, please and thank you. One of the amazing things about this book is Serilda's storytelling. Her tales are elaborate and so detailed and really just blow me away with how intricate they are, these stories within a story. I adored the world-building; even with this being a first book we get a great understanding of the gods of the world, the landscape of the different villages, and even the histories of these places. The characters are equally well-developed, especially Serilda. She's a pretty average teenage girl who gets ends up in extraordinary circumstances and her reactions and motivations are believable and make her a relatable, admirable character, even for her faults. The Rumpelstiltskin retelling element was also top-notch; I did sort of see how it would play out about 3/4 of the way through but it didn't lessen my enjoyment at all. I can't recommend this one enough and I hope you'll pick up this dark fairytale on release day!
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While I love Meyer's other books (especially the Lunar Chronicles) this one left a lot to be desired.  I enjoyed the short excerpt that I received this summer, but then I got the whole book,  And let me tell you: it is slow.  Like, painfully slow. and nothing happening slow.  When the story finally got going, it was over.  And there was NO ENDING because, of course, this is the first in a series, which I did not realize when I started to read it. Too little too late for me.  I don't plan on reading the next book. I can appreciate the storyline, but several parts of this could have been edited out and her story wouldn't have suffered.
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Overall: In freaking love. I thought Cinder was the best series by Meyer. Then I read Heartless, and well, I thought I couldn't love Marissa Meyer more after that book, but I picked up Gilded. And fell in love.

"Serilda felt immediately comforted by the scnet of leather and vellum, parliament and binding glue and ink. She inhaled deeply, ignoring the odd look that Leyna gave her. It was the scent of stories, after all."

Serilda tells fantastic stories, that everything thinks are just that--stories. Until the Erlking believes it and requires her to prove her story by spinning straw into gold. Forced to make bargains with a young man--because magic isn't free--in order to save herself, a more fanciful story that anything Serilda could have told is taking place around her.

I love stories within stories. And Serilda's tales, whether the ones she tells the children int eh village, or the one she weaves for Gild, always drew me in.
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I did not realize this was a twisted tale when I began reading it. Rumplestilskin's retelling was absolutely phenomenal. This is not a standalone, another thing I did not realize. It follows the Cinder template of writing. Great story!
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For fans of dark fairy tale retellings, this is a good one, but readers should be prepared for an abrupt ending that leaves our main characters in an unresolved place. Hopefully this means Meyer has a sequel planned. This seems like it has a slightly older intended audience than Meyer's Lunar Chronicles, but fans of her Lunar Chronicles series will likely also enjoy this one, especially if they have the patience to get through the slower beginning to the story.
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This book was like being inside a ghost story.  It is so wonderfully atmospheric and beautifully, hauntingly written.  The perfect book to read on a cold, fall day.

I was immediately intrigued when I saw it was written by Marissa Meyer and even more intrigued when I saw it was a dark, Rumpelstiltskin retelling.  It did not disappoint!

I do not have too many negative things.  It was wonderfully descriptive and the world building is utterly fantastic to say the least.  It almost had a Labyrinth, Goblin-king vibe about it too.  It was dark, terrifying, beautiful, and gothic feeling. 

The one negative thing I can say is I do not know if this is a series or not.  On Marissa Meyer’s website, it is listed as a stand-alone.  If that is the case, then the ending has left me with so many questions.  So many questions that answering them could fill another book or two (hint hint).  I really do hope this is a series because I am left with so many questions to I am craving answers to.  I won’t list them here for fear that I will spoil too many plot-lines. 

I guess now it is a waiting game to see if another book in this series will come out.  Until then, I cannot give a full review because there are still too many unanswered questions, but I will say, this is an excellent start to a new gripping, dark, fairy tale series from Marissa Meyer. 

**There are trigger warnings in this book of suicide, murder, and acts of violence against children.  Please be aware of these themes before reading. Also at times, descriptions of death can be rather graphic.**
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I can't tell you how mad I am that this is the first of a series and I'm expected to WAIT SO LONG for the next one.

Serilda is a miller's daughter, blessed by the god of fortune with the gift of spinning fantastical stories. Shunned by most for her strange eyes, thought to be a sign of bad luck, Serilda spends much of her time alone or telling stories to children. That is, until she, unfortunately, gains the attention of the evil demon king Erlking. In an attempt to save her own life, Serilda lies and says she can spin straw into gold. When trapped to complete this task, she thinks all hope is lost...until she meets Gild, a mysterious boy willing to turn her straw into gold...for a price.

Not only is this a fantastic reimagining of Rumpelstiltskin, with its own unique twists, but it's a fiercely compelling story. Serilda and Gild are characters you HAVE to root for, and while Erlking is the typical evil, there are enough secrets being slowly revealed that he isn't quite one-note. Pieces were JUST starting to fall into place when I noticed I only had twenty pages left and I started to worry... 

I highly recommend this book not just for lovers of Meyer's works in general, but for people who enjoy sarcastic, glib characters, notes of the creepy and paranormal, mysteries, and fairytales. This book has a little bit of everything, and I can't wait for book two. PLEASE, Marissa. I need some more answers.
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Thanks to Feiwel & Friends and NetGalley for an advanced copy of this to review! Marissa Meyer is definitely known for her re-tellings, and I've enjoyed everything I've read from her thus far. Fans of her writing will definitely enjoy this one, too! Dark, spooky world building which makes for a perfect fall read.

What this book excels at is the world building. Meyer has built this dark world where Serilda and Gild are trying to escape the Erlking. Even though it's been awhile since I've read the Rumpelstiltskin tale, I enjoyed the spin that Meyer put on the original tale. Especially set in the world she created. The strongest aspect is the castle, full of secrets, ghosts, and other monsters. Meyer really sets the scene, pulling her characters into it.

However, the plot itself is a bit slow moving, at least for me. Especially if this is the first book in a new series. There were definitely scenes that I think could have been cut out and the story would make sense. I also think the characters suffer at the expense of the world building. Outside of Serilda and Gild, the side characters aren't super developed. The romance also lacked oomph for me. I wanted more from it. Maybe she's saving it for the next book!

All in all, if you're looking for an atmospheric retelling, this one might be for you! Just be prepared for a bit of a slow moving plot.
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Marissa Meyer is unequivocally the Queen of Fairy Tale Retellings.  Gilded is sure to be a major hit as it reimagines the story of Rumplestiltskin in a fresh, unique, and vibrant manner.  The Character and World Building is so rich in its complexity that I was sucked in and this book kept its grip on my attention until the very end.  I am so excited that this is the beginning of a new set of amazing stories because not only was it entertaining but intriguing and thoroughly enjoyable as well.  You cannot miss this incredible book!  Recommended to the fullest...
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Meyer created a whole, rich world out of the fairytale Rumplestiltskin. I have never been so invested in my life. If you know any of her previous books, the plot may seem a little quieter than you’re used to. There isn’t the level of fighting and running around the city as you would have seen in Renegades. Instead, we have a quiet storyteller of a main character who gets in too deep when she spins a tale for the Erlking to make him believe that she can spin straw into gold. Serilda is of course locked in a dungeon to prove her talent, and is saved by Gild - our Rumplestiltskin character. While Gild spins straw into gold, Serilda spins enchanting stories. 

I love stories-within-stories, and Gilded kept me on the edge of my seat.
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This book took a bit for me to get into it but the latter half sped by and I can't wait for the sequel.  It was fun to read Marissa Meyer take on something completely new and the reinterpretation of Rumpelstiltskin was fun.
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“ I know I’ve barely met you,” he said, his voice fighting to not tremble, “ but I can tell that you are worth all the bad luck in the world.”

YES, the QUEEN of fairytale retellings is back and with a very uniquely written underrated fairytale. I went into Gilded knowing there was a ghost and that it was a Rumplestiltskin retelling so I brushed up on the original version to see what has changed and PHEW. This book is VERY dark for a YA fairytale retelling and is definitely pushing upper YA with some of the elements in this book. I definitely wasn’t expect all of the ghosts, monsters and a castle that only comes alive on the full moon of each month? Dare I say this fairytale retelling is actually perfect for the fall season?? There’s creepy vibes and sad scenes and a VERY slow burn romance, think like most of the book slow. 

What I loved most though, the mystery. There is a lot of mystery shrouded around this castle and everything that has happened there and I’m curious to see where this story ends up heading because yes, it’s going to be a series. I went into this story believing it was a standalone retelling but left it hoping there will be a true fairytale ending some day in the future.
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Marissa Meyer is back with a fabulous new series that I could not keep my eyes off of while I was reading. This epic fantasy will be in my mind for the next year. The characters, the story, the setting--all of it was so imaginative and creative. Meyer has outdone herself with Gilded.
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I was generously provided a free copy of Gilded by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. 

Like other novels by Marissa Meyer, Gilded is a new twist on a fairy tale. Unlike Cinder, it doesn’t take place in a dystopian future, but in roughly the time period in which the original fairy tale was written. I think that was the biggest disappointment to me, that everything was still very old fashioned. 

The rest of the story is engrossing and easy to read. Serilda was marked at birth by a God, and now she is a very talented storyteller- or a very proficient liar, according to her fellow villagers. She loves making up new stories for the young children in her village and is viewed warily by adults, who are distrustful of the physical way the God has marked Serilda. 

During a ghostly hunt, Serilda saves the lives of two moss maidens by lying to an evil being. The evil being now believes that Serilda can spin straw into gold. This being continues to come kidnap Serilda every month during the hunt in order to test her gold-spinning skills. 

I loved this book. The characters were very interesting and I really was intrigued to find out what happened next. Once I finished reading, I immediately recommended it to a friend. That’s how I know it’s a wonderful book!
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