Author: Marissa Meyer
Series: Gilded, part 1
Genre(s): Retelling, fantasy, ya
My rating: 4/5 stars
Other books by this author: The lunar chronicles, Renegades, Heartloos, Cursed (part 2), Instant karma
Find Marissa Meyer here:
Gilded follows the story of Serilda, she lives with her father the miller and she herself helps out a bit at the village school. Serilda doesn't really have luck on her side, because she has very special eyes and the rest of the village thinks she only brings disasters to the village. The only people who don't run away from her or avoid her are five children from the school. They like to hang out with Serilda and especially enjoy listening to her stories. Because that's what Serilda is good at. Telling stories, although the words that leave her mouth are always considered lies by the other villagers. When one night Serilda decided to help two fae to hide from the Erlking, her entire life changes in a way she never could have imagined.
In Gilded we mainly follow Serilda who is very firmly established right from the start. It is almost immediately clear what kind of character she is and how she looks at the world. Pretty soon we also meet other people who are important in her life and people she would rather see disappear. Her bond with the five children is also immediately apparent and that is also very strongly portrayed. The story begins quietly for a while with getting to know Serilda and her life in the village, but pretty soon we find ourselves in the other world. The world Serilda was always telling stories about.
The Erlking and his retinue are also very well portrayed and it is immediately noticeable what they stand for and also how Serilda thinks about them. Although of course we are not inside the Erlking's head and you don't know exactly what he is up to. In that castle, Serilda also meets Gild, a boy who knows nothing about his past, but is very willing to help Serilda. And Serilda talks to herself to find out who Gild really is and what all happened in the castle.
In the beginning I really had to get into the book for a while, but pretty soon I wanted to know how Serilda's story would continue and what the real story is of what all happened there in the castle. I flew through the book and after the final twist I was extremely happy to be able to move on to part 2 right away.
The author's writing style is incredibly beautiful to follow and although this is my first book by this author, I am already pretty sure I will be reading the rest as well. I really think this author writes super beautifully and already finds the retelling incredibly well laid out. I think the story is super nice and I don't really have any things that I liked much less.
Here and there I found the story maybe a little stretched and I would have liked to see some quicker answers or new action, but other than that I thought it was a top notch book. And in the beginning I didn't see the chemistry between Gild and Serilda that much either, although I can understand why the author chose something so quick. Especially with Gild's background and also because of how Serilda's character is. Other than that, I thought the author introduced all the characters well at a nice pace and also gave you as a reader enough time to really get to know them. I also liked that some characters turned out to be different than they were first portrayed after all (due to Serilda's thoughts).
So I am extremely curious what part 2 will bring and how it will end with Serilda, Gild, the Erlking and the others of course.
Gilded is a great book for anyone who likes retellings of fairy tales. The first part is already very strong and builds nicely to a strong ending in part 2. The book has plenty of twists and turns and that keeps the book fun even if you already know the fairy tale from all sides.
Let's finish with one of my favorite quotes from the book:
"But there are two sides to every story. The hero and the villain. The dark and the light. The blessing and the curse. And what the miller had not understood is that the god of stories is also the god of lies. A trickster god."
- Marissa Meyer, Gilded.