Cursed (Gilded #2)
Feiwel & Friends
Published November 8, 2022
Before the Endless Moon, when the Erlking means to capture one of the seven gods and make a wish to return his lover, Perchta, from the underworld, Serilda and Gild attempt to break the curses that tether their spirits to Adalheid’s haunted castle. But it soon becomes clear that the Erlking’s hunger for vengeance won’t be satisfied with a single wish, and his true intentions have the power to alter the mortal realm forever. Serilda and Gild must try to thwart his wicked plans, all while solving the mystery of Gild’s forgotten name, freeing the ghosts kept in servitude to the dark ones, and trying to protect their unborn child.
Romance, danger, and Serilda’s journey to find her power as a woman, a mother, and a storyteller make this reimagining of Rumpelstiltskin one that Meyer fans—old and new—will treasure.
So I listened to CURSED as an audiobook from my library, and I had to return it mid-read and then wait for my name to come up in the holds list again. All that to say that my reading was a bit choppy, which might have affected how I feel about the pacing, so I’m not going to pass any judgment there.
When I finished reading GILDED, I knew I had to read the second book. I love the way the author took a simple fairy tale story and reimagined it into this whole complex world with history and mythology and bigger reasons for things to happen. And, of course, where the Rumpelstiltskin character isn’t the villain. I thought that was an interesting change.
In CURSED, all the pieces set up in GILDED begin to move toward their final positions. Gild and Serilda try breaking their curse. The Erlking puts his plan to change the mortal world forever into place. So much happens in this book. There is truly never a dull moment.
As with the first book, I liked both Gild and Serilda’s characters, as well as others in the story. I enjoyed seeing Serilda begin to think of herself as a mother and to experience the joy and grief that comes with that transition. Because of that and the fact that Serilda is kind of on her own through the whole book, behaving independently, I think this is really more of a crossover book rather than true young adult literature.
In any case, I enjoyed reading it a lot. I think fans of Marissa Meyer will love it, and I think readers who didn’t get into CINDER because of the sci-fi elements will enjoy this duology for its more traditional fairytale feel.
Recommended for Ages 14 up.
Major characters are white. Two women, minor characters, get married to one another.
Profanity/Crude Language Content
Mild profanity used infrequently.
Kissing between boy and girl. References to sex (Serilda is pregnant). Two women get married.
The story contains characters who are essentially ghosts, including five children who were murdered so the Erlking could hold their spirits captive to control Serilda. Other characters called Dark Ones, belong in the underworld as servants of the god who rules there.
The story also contains mythical creatures and monsters, some of whom become Serilda’s allies, and some of whom fight against her. Some of the monsters are pretty creepy, like the ones that dig talons into someone and transmit their worst nightmares into their minds to paralyze them.
During the full moon, the veil between the mortal and immortal world falls, and Dark Ones and ghosts have the ability to interact with humans and living creatures.
In Serilda’s world, there are seven old gods who were once prayed to and worshipped. She tells stories about them and eventually encounters them.
Battle scenes and some references to torture.
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