Gilded by Marissa Meyer

Gilded by Marissa Meyer Book Cover


Series: Gilded #1
Age Category: Young Adult
Source: Gift
Published: 2021

Official Summary

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.

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.

Star Divider


Gilded is a wonderfully atmosphere fantasy that blends darkness and romance to create a tale that feels so immersive, readers will never want to leave. Based on the fairy tale “Rumpelstiltskin,” the book quickly makes the story its own, adding in elements of the Wild Hunt, as well as an original mythology that includes gods and their curses and their gifts. Anyone who enjoys a highly inventive fairy tale retelling is sure to fall in love with Marissa Meyer’s Gilded.

Gilded immediately draws readers into the story through Serilda’s voice. Blessed by the god of lies (or stories), Serilda is a tricky character to write; readers must be convinced that she really does possess the ability to make a person believe anything, to spin a tale so wondrous that it leaves her listeners enraptured. Meyer writes her beautifully. Serilda is spunky and bold, kind and caring–and one marvel of a storyteller. The tales she weaves, far from interrupting the main story, add to it. They have the feeling and flavor of an old fairy tale, the kind that would draw people around the fire to listen, and then have them checking that the doors are locked, lest the spirits of the dead find a way in.

Meyer moves the story effortlessly from Serilda’s village, immersed in folklore and flavored by the joys and frustrations of life where everyone knows everyone, to the castle of the Erlking, which gives the book a darker note; here, Serilda’s stories are real, and not everyone gets out alive. The worldbuilding is extraordinary, deepened by the world’s history and mythology. Readers will love exploring a world where the magical and the ordinary exist side by side, the veil being pierced on occasions when the Wild Hunt can race across the land of the living, seeking their prey. What is terrifying and what is wonderful are sometimes one and the same–and that is the magic of Serilda’s world.

Readers who enjoy YA fairy retellings will not want to miss out on Gilded, its bold protagonist, and its sweet but sorrowful romance. This is a fantasy sure to ensnare the hearts of readers.

*The sequel to Gilded, Cursed, is currently listed for a November 2022 release.

5 stars

11 thoughts on “Gilded by Marissa Meyer

    • Krysta says:

      I wasn’t thrilled by Cinder like everyone else, so I wasn’t sure I would love this one–but I did! Maybe I connect more to the fantasy worldbuilding than the sci-fi world of the Lunar series.


  1. kamifurr says:

    I have this checked out of the library right now, but it is due next week. I seriously need to finish my current book and get to this! I didn’t know it was a Rumplestiltskin retelling!


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