Dark and Atmospheric

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**3.5 stars, but I’ll round up because I liked the cover art**

Gilded is a dark and haunting fairly tale. In this retelling of Rumpelstiltskin, a young miller’s daughter Serilda is said to be blessed by the god of stories or lies. When Serilda stories spin out of control she finds herself a prisoner in a haunted castle with only one way of escape: she must spin straw into gold. This classic tale is spun with Meyer’s magical knack for storytelling.

This book was a lot darker than the Lunar Chronicles or the Renegades series. There were lots of descriptions of gruesome deaths, creepy ghosts, and scary beasts. Though I prefer a more lighthearted story, I appreciated the way this one was presented. It felt immersive - the perfect book to settle into on a long winter evening. The characters felt distant, but this also fit well with the atmosphere. It was as if there were as many secrets hiding in the characters as were in the haunted castle.

My biggest criticism is that the book is not a standalone. I was very disappointed when I read all 500 pages only to be left feeling tricked and unsatisfied. It felt like the story was on track to end well, but then went a different direction in the last few chapters.

Generally, I liked it. I wish it were just one book, but I guess I’ll just have to read the sequel when it is released next year.