This is book number 1 in the Gilded Duology series.
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.
#1 Indie Bestseller
#1 New York Times Bestseller
A New York Times Best Children's Book of 2021
"When it comes to reimagined fairy tales, the reigning queen of the genre is Marissa Meyer... This dark, enchanting book is Meyer at the height of her powers — crafting a new tale with an old-school feel where nobody is guaranteed a happily-everafter. It is fresh and utterly engrossing while also familiar — just what Meyer does best."--The New York Times
"The queen of fairy-tale retellings is back, this time with “Rumpelstiltskin” as her inspiration, and the result is a gorgeously intricate tale that will have readers locked in from the start. ... Meyer weaves an enchanting tale filled with whimsically magical moments and some serious suspense. [She] knows how to capture fantastical worlds, and this one is pure perfection for her fans and new readers alike." —Booklist
"Cornered by the wicked Erlking on the night of the wild hunt, Serilda claims that she can spin straw into gold, a lie that saves her life but lands her in the Erlking’s castle on the next full moon with a room full of straw and an impossible task. Fortunately, Gild, an impish (and attractive) poltergeist shows up, offering help in exchange for Serilda’s golden necklace. Gild easily fulfills his end of the bargain and does so a second time for Serilda’s ring; when the Erlking makes the third demand, however, Serilda has nothing left to give Gild, and the romance that has sparked between them only complicates things further." —Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, recommended
"Meyer explores the power of fiction in this inventive “Rumpelstiltskin” reimagining. Intricate worldbuilding and star-crossed romance help temper the Erlking’s brutality, and ...well-drawn characters will leave readers craving a sequel." —Publishers Weekly
"Meyer flips tradition with a simple question: What if the king whom the miller’s daughter marries is the villain, and Rumpelstiltskin is her only way out? ...The queen of fairy tale retellings has spun what is sure to be another best seller." —School Library Journal