This book is reviewed by Vidula. To see more of Vidula's reviews please visit her Instagram page.
Gilded by Marissa Meyer is a Rumpelstiltskin retelling that follows Serilda, a young woman who was marked by the god of lies as a baby. She is known for telling ridiculous stories, but when one of her tall tales reaches the Erlking, the leader of a group of undead hunters, she is caught up in a dark and twisted world. The king orders her to spin straw into gold as the price for telling lies, and in her desperation, she summons a mysterious prince to help her. Soon, Serilda realizes that things are not as they seem, and she must put her life in danger to end the tyranny of the hunt forever. Right away, I noticed that this book was a much more direct retelling than the Lunar Chronicles series. This was an interesting change, and I enjoyed watching Meyer develop a fantasy world; she did a good job outlining the legends and folklore Serlda grew up with. Additionally, this book had a much darker feel than Meyer’s young adult books, closer to the source material. The beginning of the book was a bit slow; I could have done with less exposition, but once the story picked up, I was captivated by the plot and couldn’t put the book down. I also really liked the main character, Serilda, but I would have liked to see her insecurities and inner conflicts explored further. The ending was perfectly climactic, leaving me in anticipation of what would happen next. Overall, this wasn’t my favorite of Meyer’s book but still a well done retelling in its own right. I’ll definitely be reading the second book when it comes out, and I’d give this one an 8.6/10!