Wednesday, January 13, 2010

A Curse Dark as Gold

A Curse Dark as Gold A Curse Dark as Gold by Elizabeth C. Bunce

Book 4 of 100 for the 100+ Reading Challenge
Book 3 of 50 for the New Author Challenge
Book 3 of 50 for the RYOB Challenge
Book 2 of 50 for the YA Reading Challenge
Book 10 of 25 for the MG Reading Challenge
Book 1 of 10 for the Book Awards IV Challenge

Awards: William C. Morris YA Debut Award; Smithsonian's Notable Book; YALSA Best Books for YA

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I've always found Rumpelstiltskin to be pretty creepy. But I was intrigued by this retelling after reading some reviews. When I saw it at the Scholastic Warehouse for $3 I went for it.

Debut author, Elizabeth Bunce decided to set her historical fantasy novel during the early Industrial Revolution. While she says the book is set in neither the US or Britain, my reading mind set the book in England based on the place names and some of the word choice. Bunce has a lovely writing style, and I felt like I was a part of the town of Shearing.  

Charlotte Miller's father passed away, leaving the woolen mill to his two young daughters. Shearing relies heavily on the business of the mill and Charlotte does her best to keep the mill running. But there is talk of a curse on the mill. Charlotte doesn't believe it, but she can't deny that they seem to have more than their fair share of bad luck. While she works hard to repay a mortgage on the mill, a man named Jack Spinner appears to help them, but at what cost?

I found this book to be enjoyable, but the story took too long to develop. The last 100 pages flew by though, and I liked how everything came together at the end. I really liked Randall, Charlotte's love interest, and her sister Rosie. But I wanted to throttle Charlotte for making mistake after mistake and never learning her lesson. Even at the end, I felt like she would put the mill before anything else and she was too proud to let those that love her help.

This book was very clean and I would recommend it for sixth grade and up. Even though I liked this book, I didn't love it. However, I think there is a lot of potential in Bunce's writing and I will look for her next book, Starcrossed, out in the fall.

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Source: Purchased


Stephanie said...

This sounds very interesting to me, even with its flaws. Thanks for your honest, balanced review.

bermudaonion said...

I'm not much for fairy tale retellings, so I'll probably skip this one.

Jaz said...

I totally agree. Loved Randall more than Charlotte, beginning was too long, always frustrating when main characters keep making the same mistakes.

alisonwonderland said...

I like re-tellings of fairy tales, and I think I'll look for this one. Thanks for the review!

Holly (2 Kids and Tired) said...

I love the honest review. I may have to check into this one!

Corinne said...

Maybe it didn't bother me since I read this one in the car on a long road trip? I loved it :)