Saturday, March 23, 2013

A Curse Dark As Gold

This book is a couple of years old, but I love a good fairy tale adaptation, so when I saw it on audio from the public library, I decided to jump in.  I'm so glad I did!  This retelling of the Rumpelstiltskin tale is layered, complex, and dark.

When Charlotte Miller's father dies, she and her younger sister, Rosie, are left to run the family woolen mill.  Life at Stirwaters has never been easy, and no Miller has even been able to pass the mill on to his son.  Each generation the mill has passes to a cousin or uncle or some other Miller relative, but now Charlotte and Rosie, as the last of the Miller line, are determined to be successful.

The only problem is nature, circumstances, and the mill seem to be conspiring against Charlotte, and they are close to ruin before they can even get started.  The mill workers and villagers hint at dark magic and curses, but practical Charlotte won't hear it.  Even when a mysterious man who calls himself Jack Spinner shows up to save the day in a decidedly magical fashion, Charlotte ignores the truth.

This is only the beginning of a spiral of lies, magic, and ancient rage that jeopardize the mill, the village, and everything Charlotte holds dear.  Will Charlotte become the next victim of the curse, or will she find a way to save the mill and her friends?

This is a beautifully written story filled with characters who have depth and personality.  Elizabeth Bunce's first novel is a perfect mix of history, romance, mystery, and fairy tale.

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