Skip to main content

A Curse Dark as Gold by Elizabeth C. Bunce

I've been savoring this one. I mean, I read a chunk every day, don't get me wrong. But if something happened to come up at night during my normal reading time, instead of muttering, "Vital point," like I usually do, I was up for it.

Watch a movie? Sure.

Clean out a few more boxes from the study? Let's do it!

Because I just didn't want this book to end. It more than lived up to the expectations I had, having heard such wonderful early reviews. And I was so pleased that it did because the initial prospect of a Rumpelstiltskin retelling was not all that attractive.

Let's face it, in its original form it's an awful fairy tale. Awful Dad sells his nameless daughter to Awful King in exchange for money. Awful King threatens nameless daughter with death unless she is able to spin straw into gold. Otherwise he'll marry her. Then to top it all off, creepily Awful Dwarf appears and saves nameless daughter's bacon....in exchange for her potential first-born child. And she's willing to make this Awful Bargain because she really doesn't want to die and can see no other way out. So she marries Awful King, makes a baby with him (shocker!), and, when Awful Dwarf comes to claim his due, is only able to save her baby by guessing his Awful Name. Yeah. Not my favorite fairy tale.

Turns out it wasn't Elizabeth C. Bunce's favorite either. I love that she rewrote it because it bothered her. And she did such a splendid job filling in the cracks, reworking the plot, carefully shaping it into a lovely tale of courage and ill luck, curses and redemption. The setting was a perfect choice: eighteenth century England, just on the cusp of the Industrial Revolution. And the beautiful names. Charlotte Miller, Randall Woodstone, Shearing, Stirwaters, Jack Spinner. The names truly belong to their characters and places. I could tell each one was carefully chosen for effect, like a Dickens cast. And I was drawn to them, the animate and inanimate alike. For the mill, the mansion, and the curse itself are characters in their own right. Bunce's beautiful, unselfconscious writing propels the story forward to its climactic conclusion. This is a dark, drafty, remarkably real tale and, like Jack Spinner, it will spin its golden thread around you.

Links
Bookshelves of Doom Review
Look Books Review
Miss Erin Review, Miss Erin Interview
Sarah Miller Review

Comments

  1. Great review for a great book. :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Such a great book.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Congratulations! So excited for you guys.

    I want to read this book.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thanks, Kos! We're excited, too.

    And I think you'd really like this one. Really the most original reworking of a fairy tale I've read in ages.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thank you! I'm delighted you enjoyed it. And may I say, what a perfect job you did summing up the Awfulness of the original fairy tale! So true.

    ~ecb

    ReplyDelete
  6. Thank you! I keep trying to describe to people what you did with it to make it so different and wonderful and I end up saying, "Oh, just read the book!"

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Angie's 2018 Must Be Mine List

It's time for a clean slate and a brand new list of titles I can't wait to get my hands on. Behold, my most anticipated titles of 2018:




 And no covers on these yet, but I can hardly wait, all the same:
The Comfort Zoneby Sally Thorne
A Court of Frost and Starlightby Sarah J. Maas
Making Upby Lucy Parker
There Will Be Other Summersby Benjamin Alire Saenz
Off the Airby L.H. Cosway
Fall Boys & Dizzy in Paradiseby Jandy Nelson

Which ones are on your list?

Review | Hunted by Meagan Spooner

I'm just going to start off by saying I cannot stop thinking about this book. I finished it weeks ago, but this lovely Beauty and the Beast adaptation will not leave my mind. This is the first book I've really read by Meagan Spooner. I gave These Broken Stars a bit of a go awhile back, but we sort of drifted apart halfway through. Not the case here. The gorgeous cover caught my eye and the early glowing reviews reinforced my conviction. Having finished it, I immediately ran out and purchased copies for a number of the relevant readers in my life. And despite having pushed on and read several books since, Huntedis the one I find my mind and heart returning to over and over again.

Yeva holds a lot of things in. She loves her family—her father, her sisters—and so she sits obediently in the baronessa's chambers. She pretends to make small talk and embroider bits of cloth with the other ladies. She smiles politely at the young man who is said to be courting her (and doesn'…

Angie's Best Books of 2017

Somehow it's New Year's Eve again, and here we are. I don't especially feel like getting into what this bloody year was like and how I thought it couldn't get worse than last year, but then 2017 came and was all . . . ahem. Well, you know the rest. 
Suffice it to say, I feel like my favorite reads of the year reflect what I needed and what all you wonderful writers and readers had and needed to give. Just ten titles this year, you guys. A literal Top Ten, which I don't believe I've ever actually achieved. It is the last day of the year, and I present you with one highly distilled list of impeccable reads.

(in the order in which I read them)
Pretty Faceby Lucy Parker A Season of Daring Greatlyby Ellen Emerson White A Conjuring of Lightby V.E. Schwab Thick as Thievesby Megan Whalen Turner Huntedby Meagan Spooner A Court of Wings and Ruinby Sarah J. Maas No Limitsby Ellie Marney All the Crooked Saintsby Maggie Stiefvater Speak Easy, Speak Loveby McKelle George A Conspiracy…