By K.M. Shea
When Gemma’s drunken father tells King Torgen of Verglas that his daughter can spin straw into gold, Gemma assumes her life is over. Held captive in a room filled with straw, Gemma is ordered to spin it all into gold by dawn the following day, or she will be killed by the king’s orders. Rather than cry her eyes out over her sad fate, Gemma tries escaping, and becomes acquainted with a mysterious mage named Stil. Stil offers to help Gemma complete her task, for a price, and turns the straw into gold thread.
Unfortunately the gold whets the greedy appetite of King Torgen, who is determined to wring more gold from Gemma. Gemma is relieved when Stil agrees to help her a second and third time…but his requested payments for the task grow stranger and stranger…
Can Gemma outsmart the evil king and survive Stil’s unusual bargains?
What an interesting way to retell Rumplestiltskin! The trend right now is to make Rumple the good guy/love interest instead of the little trickster that he was in the original. This is no exception, and to boot, Stil (as he is known in this story), is a mage. A wandering sorcerer who hears of Gemma’s predicament and wants to help. You know what they say about good intentions, sometimes they end up making things worse. I enjoyed this novel a great deal, mostly because Gemma is so snarky and no-nonsense. She doesn’t place trust in anybody but herself, and will escape on her own thank you very much. Stil is ever amused by her and, obvious to everyone but Gemma, almost immediately starts to try and win her affection. It’s cute and fun, and boy am I enjoying Shea’s development as a writer. Her characters are getting more and more interesting all the time and a pleasure to read!
I give this a 3.75 out of 5