“all magic has a cost.”brandie june
Series: Gold Spun #1
Release Date: June 8th 2021
Publisher: CamCat Books
Genre: Young Adult Fiction | Fantasy | Retellings | Romance
Page Count: 320
Source: I received an advance reader’s copy of this book for free from the publisher via Edelweiss in collaboration with TBR and Beyond Tours. Thank you!
Summary: If Nor can’t spin gold, she can always spin lies.
When seventeen-year-old Nor rescues a captured faerie in the woods, he gifts her with a magical golden thread she can use to summon him for a favor. Instead, Nor uses it for a con—to convince villagers to buy straw that can be transformed into gold. Her trick works a little too well, attracting the suspicion of Prince Casper, who hates nobody more than a liar. Intent on punishing Nor, he demands that she spin a room of straw into gold and as her reward, he will marry her. Should she refuse or fail, the consequences will be dire.
Content Warnings: One mild scene of cutting for blood magic.
From the first time I saw this cover and read its description, I knew I was going to like it. Well, I was wrong. I didn’t just like it, I loved it! This is truly a masterpiece. Not only does it give the fairytale of Rumpelstiltskin a new life, it makes it a far more interesting tale than you ever thought it could be.
I enjoyed the characters in this book immensely. Nor is such a fun, interesting main character to read from. Even working as a con artist, she has so much charm to her that she was instantly likeable for me. Her hardships are portrayed in such a real, palpable way that even if you haven’t suffered through the same things she has, you can empathize with her circumstances in life. I liked how vocal she was about things she felt passionate about such as rebuilding the cities in the kingdom and assisting the poor. She gave some much needed perspective several times throughout the book which helped to ground it. I also loved the consistency in her character such as how she didn’t let the brighter circumstances that entered her life to cloud who she really is or let it change her. Her character growth was so organic and I really just loved so many things about her. I also liked Casper although he took a bit longer for me to warm up to. I really felt for him with how his life was basically turned upside down and his entire future had changed in just a few moments. You can tell how hard he’s trying to make the right decisions and to accept his new lot in life. I do wish we were given a bit more glimpses into his grief as I think it would’ve helped round out his character but I still enjoyed the other aspects we saw of him. Pel was so alluring and intriguing. He had the perfect amount of mystery and charm that I found myself looking forward to seeing him again while also being suspicious. I feel like there’s so much more to come from his character in the next installment and I’m really looking forward to more of his character being developed.
I also especially enjoyed the worldbuilding. It was easy to follow the different countries and their customs as they were slowly built throughout the storyline and at no time were we faced with an information dump. I liked learning about the fay organically and that there was still mystery surrounding them by the end of the book, keeping the ethereal allure to them. The book was also fast paced which I liked. The writing and storyline completely drew me in and kept me reading hour after hour. The romance was really sweet and I definitely felt my heart tugged in different directions during different times. And the ending! I’m so happy to see that the sequel has already been announced because my soul definitely needs more of these characters. I have found a new favorite retelling to add to my list after reading this.
My Favorite Quotes:
Quotes are subject to change since I received an advance reader’s copy and not a final proof.
“but aren’t the most dangerous creatures the beautiful ones?”chapter 2
“then by all means milady, do continue to distract me with tales of unrealistic love.”chapter 12
my pretty, my love, don’t disobey
you’ll break my heart if you run away
hey nonny, hey nonney hey
one dark night i’ll walk into your dreams
and tear out your heart to hear your screams
hey nonny nonny, hey nonney hey
i’ll lock your heart in a crystal jar
so never again shall you go far
hey nonny nonny, hey nonney heychapter 22
for the first time since the day my home burned, i realized that i had found someone i did feel safe with.chapter 22
he would show her that the fay were every bit the monsters the humans made them out to be.epilogue
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About the Author:
Brandie June loves storytelling in all sorts of formats, whether she is marketing animated movies or writing fantasy novels. Most of her early life she was on stage or at least as close to the front row as she could get. Initially an actor, she got her B.A. in Theatre from UCLA and branched out into costume design and playwriting, eventually getting her M.B.A. Her first stand-alone play, a dark comedy about Oscar Wilde, premiered at the Hollywood Fringe Festival to a sold-out run and won the Encore Producers Award. As a writer, she is especially passionate about fantasy and mythology, has published several pieces in anthology, and is a recent finalist with The Writers of the Future Award. Her debut novel, Gold Spun, is a fresh retelling of the Rumpelstiltskin tale through the miller daughter’s POV. Except now the miller’s daughter is a con artist and Rumpelstiltskin is a mysterious faerie with a dark secret.