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.
More than 5 stars !
That book was light and dark, brutal and mischievous, sad and funny.
And it was so imaginative!
“ 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.”
The world building with all the lore and tales of gods and monsters and dark ones was sublime!
I was swept off my feet, transported into that world of dark fairytales, praying that Serilda would stay alive, hoping that she would find a way to break the curse, dreaming that all would be well in the end, wishing that her father was alive and that everyone she loved would be safe, wanting…
Oh I wanted so many things!
I was enthralled, enraptured by Marissa Meyer’s story!
At the beginning of the Story, we follow Serilda. A young woman who has always been see as cursed by the villagers as she has strange irises, surrounded by golden wheels. Everyone think she has been “blessed” by the god of stories and lies. Everyone think she is lying. And from liar to thief there is no great gap.
“ When she talked, she could hardly keep herself from telling the most outlandish tales, as though her tongue could not tell the difference between truth and falsehoods. She began to trade in stories and lies herself, and while the other children delighted in her tales—so full of whimsy and enchantment—the elders knew better.”
She is distrusted except by the children!I adored these five small kids whom Serilda is helping to teach with Madam Saur.Madam Saur was …surely and disagreeable, killing all the fun while Serilda’s specialty since childhood was to tell amazing tales. With winged gods, Wild Hunts, dark ones and whole bestiaries.She loved these kids so much as they accepted her, praised her stories!Daughter of a miller, Serilda will one night, a full moon night, when the Wild Hunt is on the hunt, help to save the lives of two moss maiden.She will protect them from the Erlking telling him lies about her gift to spin straw into gold.Everyone is terrified of the Erlking and the Wild Hunt!
Marissa Meyer did a splendid job writing these evil villains who took pleasure in hunting and killing their preys. Tormenting humans was one of their favorite pastimes. And anyone who heard the call of the Hunt on a full moon was swept away in a savage chase, often left for dead come morning, adults and children alike.
The King was a true villain! No grey here. Just black soul and terrifying presence.
When Serilda will be taken to his castle to prove that she can spin gold, she is desperate. But as the synopsis says, she will have the help of a mysterious ghost: Gild. They will bicker at first and it was funny to see both stubborn and spirited!
“It would appear that you’re trying to be aggravating, but that is my talent, I’ll have you know.”
“Suit yourself. After all, why be accommodating when one can be difficult?”
I won’t say more about the plot.
That story has everything!
Amazing characters, incredible atmosphere, a mystery and a dash of romance!
I had no problem connecting with Serilda.She has felt alone all her life as the villagers thought she was a liar because of her incredible stories. She could have been bitter but she was very generous instead.
There was a buoyancy to Serilda in the beginning.
“The world was full of small enchantments, when one was willing to look for them. And Serilda was always looking.”
She lived her stay in the King’s castle as an adventure. A tale to tell the kids once she would return. But the more the story progressed, the more she became conscious of the gravity of her predicament.
There was an urgency to thwart the King’s plans. A desperate race against the clock.
Gild was the other main character and I wanted to pierce his mystery.
I loved the boy trapped in the castle and courageous enough to play lots of pranks to irritate the Erlking! He was sweet and a little bit of swoony. Like a true hero of a fairytale!
The book ends on a cliffhanger and I absolutely need the sequel!
This was an enchanting dark tale that made me forget the world for a few hours.
Told by the talented Rebecca Soler, if you love audiobooks, go for that one!
Thanks for reading.