Quantcast
The Compulsive Reader: A Curse Dark as Gold by Elizabeth C. Bunce

Saturday, May 24, 2008

A Curse Dark as Gold by Elizabeth C. Bunce


When her father dies, Charlotte Miller is determined to keep the Stillwaters Mill in her family. She, along with her younger sister Rosie, work from sun-up to sun-down to keep the mill in operation, despite the many opposing forces that would have them fail. But then a young banker approaches Charlotte with devastating news—a mortgage has been taken out on the mill by her late father, and unless they can pay the impossible sum, the bank will be forced to foreclose.

And so when Jack Spinner shows up, offering Charlotte a way out of debt, it is with trepidation that she accepts, knowing that it is her only choice. At first the price is small. But as times grow harder, and the supposed curse of Stillwaters closes in around her, Charlotte is forced to rely on Jack Spinner more and more. And the price of his help grows steeper, until one desperate day, Charlotte finds herself inadvertently promising Spinner more than she is willing to give.

A Curse Dark as Gold is a hauntingly beautiful tale. The story reads more like a historical fiction steeped in superstition than a fantasy, but is nevertheless spellbinding, magical and absorbing. Though it is a retelling of the fairy tale Rumpelstilstskin, this version has been tweaked to give it its own unique and inimitable flair that will keep readers intrigued, while at the same time staying true to its roots. Charlotte is the ideal narrator—determined, human, and amusing, and the cast of wonderful and diverse characters that surround her all work together to create a highly convincing picture of village life. Bunce shows real and promising talent as she weaves seamlessly a story that is just the right mixture of suspense, magic, romance, and charm, making her an author to keep your eye on.


Fairy tale retellings are my absolute favorite kinds of books, whether they are completely mixed around, like Snow by Tracey Lynn, or follow the original story closely, like The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale. Either way, I'm always on the lookout for new ones. What's one really good fairy tale retelling that you've read? What are your thoughts on A Curse Dark as Gold, or any other similar read? Be sure to comment, because today is officially RANDOM COMMENTER WINNER day, and I'll be giving away a copy of cool new June release Twelve Long Months to one random person who comments on this post. So go ahead, tell me what you think.

15 comments:

Breanna said...

One really good fairy tale re telling that I've read is Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister by Gregory Maguire. I read it last year or something, I can't quite remember. I just know that I really liked it.

Tasha said...

I love fairy tail retellings too!! I bought this book originally for the beautiful cover, but it sounds so great. I absolutely must reat it soon!!

harmonybookreviews said...

The only book close to a re-telling that I've ever read if If I Have A Wicked Stepmother, Where's My Prince? by Melissa Kantor and I'm not even sure if that counts or not. But I really loved it.

I haven't read A Curse Dark as Gold but I really want to.

Erin said...

I really loved this book.
Other good ones: Book of a Thousand days by Shannon Hale, Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine, Zel by Donna Jo Napoli...

RR2 said...

I liked this book, although sometimes I felt like shaking Charlotte.

Other good ones are Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow and Hush: An Irish Princess's Tale.

Madison said...

Ooh! I loved this book. I couldn't stop reading it. I was actually reading it while it was kind of stormy outside when I reached the one scene...Ah! I wanted to stop reading because it was really scaring me, but I couldn't.

My all-time favorite book is The Goose Girl so...Otherwise...I'm not really sure.

Katlin Seagraves said...

I absolutely LOVE Gail Carson Levine's Ella Enchanted. I read it years ago and am still madly in LOVE with it. I also love Melissa Kantor's Where's My Prince.

You have made me want to read this book.

Bunny B said...

I love fairytale retellings! My fave would have to be The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale! The others I've read can't compare :)
Thanks for the chance to win :)

bunnybox9 at gmail . com

Rylie said...

I haven't read A Curse Dark as Gold, but it sounds interesting. A really good fairy tale retelling that I've read is Beauty by Robin McKinley.

bcanyon at hotmail dot com

paperxxflowers said...

Hmmm... I really liked Zel, but alot of Gail Carson Levine's books are really good too.

This book is on my wishlist--it sounds sooo good.

Liv said...

I'm pretty into fairytale retellings. I haven't read any lately but this one is one my to-be-read list and I'm hoping to get to it soon!

The Book Muncher said...

i really like fairy tale retellings, especially Spindle's End and Ella Enchanted. Those were my favorites. I have yet to read Hush (my friend's reading it right now) and A Curse As Dark As Gold, but i really look forward to the latter, bc i love Rumpelstiltskin :D

Angiegirl said...

I adored A Curse Dark as Gold as well and reviewed it on my blog. I just loved how real it felt.

Other favorite fairy tale retellings include Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier (The Seven Swans) and Deerskin by Robin McKinley (Donkeyskin).

elizabethcbunce said...

Thank you so much for the lovely review!

I *loved* Tracy Lynn's SNOW! It's probably my favorite from that series.

And it's not really a fairy tale, but one of my all-time favorite retellings is McKillip's WINTER ROSE.

~ecb

~ecb

NancyG said...

I LOVED THE BOOK..THE BEST!..WELL I WOULD LIKE TO SEE THE MOVIE. i must admit that some parts escared me and i felt frustrated..happy..and sad..and happy..wile reading the book. FANTASTIC!!!!