Monday, 28 May 2012
Review: A Curse Dark As Gold
Author: Elizabeth C. Bunce
Publisher: Scholastic Books
Publication Date: March 1st, 2008
Genre: YA, Fantasy, Fairy Tale Retellings
When her father dies, Charlotte Miller is given the responsibility of the family mill, and will do anything to keep it running. The mill and the family that runs it is rumoured to be cursed, and while Charlotte doesn’t believe that, it’s easy to see that her family has had bad luck. With no grown sons in the family for generations, the mill constantly seems to be under hardship. When her estranged uncle becomes her guardian, the pressure to sell the mill begins to be put on Charlotte. When she discovers an unknown and massive debt of her father’s, things seem direr than ever. When a stranger arrives in town promising he can help, Charlotte makes a deal against her better judgment. As her debts grow deeper, she tries to learn the truth about her family’s curse. Charlotte will do anything to protect the mill, but to what price?
A Curse Dark As Gold is a retelling of the story of Rumpelstiltskin and the Miller’s Daughter, set in a fictional world that is reminiscent of England during the Industrial Revolution. This story has many differences from the original tale, removing the boasting father and the cruel king. It also looks at Rumpelstiltskin in a different and deeper light. The story centres around Charlotte, who is a strong young woman that carries the family mill after the death of her father. While the central romance in the story was forgettable, there was a strong heroine who knows what she wants and isn’t afraid to go after it. I found the story to be a bit slow moving but it was still well written. I liked how the writer created an original world that is similar to the 1700’s, only with magic. As a fairy tale retelling, this book is a unique and well thought out take on the original story. I liked how the author questioned the characters' motifs and tried to look at them in a different way. She also looks deeper at the story and at all the things the Brothers Grimm don’t tell us. It’s a retelling that is well executed and adds a lot to the original. Fans of fairy tales will enjoy this new take on a classic, which looks deeper into the hearts of the old characters. A Curse Dark As Gold is a story about desperation and the power of the past that will stay with you even after the last page.