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A Curse Dark as Gold

3.55 of 5 stars 3.55  ·  rating details  ·  9,734 ratings  ·  1,403 reviews
Audiobook performance of Elizabeth C. Bunce's national award winning novel "A Curse Dark as Gold" as performed by British and Broadway actress Charlotte Parry.
MP3 Book, 0 pages
Published November 1st 2010 by Scholastic Audio (first published March 1st 2008)
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Let’s just make this perfectly clear: I loved this book. Fairy tales retold are pretty much a sure thing with me, but this one’s a humdinger. You think you know Rumplestiltskin? Think again.

Elizabeth Bunce refers to her work as “historical fantasy” and she’s dead-on. One of the main strengths of A Curse Dark as Gold is the setting. The mill stands firmly at the center of the plot, and Elizabeth Bunce makes the place feel very real, right down to the last creaking board. But the setting is more t
Allison (The Allure of Books)
I bought this book expecting to fall in love with it, and it did not let me down. It was an incredible story, and my head is spinning with everything I want to say about it.

First of all, I was touched before the story even began. In Elizabeth Bunce's acknowledgements she says "And lastly, to my husband, Christopher, for always being there. If I wrote you into a story, no one would believe you were real." I think that is lovely, and I was in love with the author from the get-go.

On that subject-ma
If you, like me, are hard-pressed to find truly chilling gothic fiction, then A Curse Dark as Gold is not one to pass up. As a re-telling of “Rumplestiltskin,” this novel is haunting, poetic, and – most importantly – whole. Out of all the fairy tales in the world, “Rumplestiltskin” is easily my least favorite. After all, who really wants to read the story of a nameless heroine who later betrays the only character who helps her and winds up marrying the man who threatened to ruin her? It simply d ...more
I LOVED this book! Loved the way this retelling of Rumplestilskin was fit into a real setting, loved the way even despicable characters had their moments when we felt sorry for them, loved the magic and the mystery. I loved the words, too. I'm living in a non-English speaking country and sometimes I feel starved for words, and by the time I got to page 2 it was all I could do not to stuff the whole book in my mouth and devour it. Lovely!

I've been savoring this one. I mean, I read a chunk every day, don't get me wrong. But if something happened to come up at night during my normal reading time, instead of muttering, "Vital point," like I usually do, I was up for it.

Watch a movie? Sure.

Clean out a few more boxes from the study? Let's do it!

Because I just didn't want this book to end. It more than lived up to the expectations I had, having heard such wonderful early reviews. And I was so pleased that it did because the initial pro
If there is one word that I would use to sum up this book it's intricate. I was floored to find out that this was the author's debut novel. Ms. Bunce is up there with the best veterans of the fantasy genre.

Charlotte Miller knows her share of hardships. Her mother and baby brother died, and the book starts with the reader witnessing Charlotte and her sister burying their father. Too bad for Charlotte that this is not the last she is going to see of bad luck. With her father gone she has to shoul
Every possible fairytale is eventually hunted down and stripped of its elements for middle grade and YA novel reinterpretation. This is not an unusual thing. For centuries humans have been fascinated with such tales, telling them, retelling them, and changing them to suit current needs. Nowandays, when contemporary authors take a tale it becomes the skeleton for a larger story to come. Cinderella becomes Donna Jo Napoli’s Bound. East of the Sun, West of the Moon becomes Sun and Moon Ice and Snow ...more
Eeeeeh. I will admit, friends, that I was not 100% sold on A Curse Dark as Gold, which is way sad because I heart fairy tale retellings hardcore.

But for me, the story dragged just a little tiny bit. I could only read so many instances of Charlotte being all, “THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS MAGIC, SILLY PEASANTS” whilst the silly peasants calmly wove straw dolls and painted sigils and, you know, dealt with all the magic. Because seriously, Charlotte, you work in a mill that will sometimes choose, lite
This book arrived Thursday, but I didn’t get a chance to read it until Friday. We were out at the dentist when it arrived, and didn’t see it when we got back because it was lodging between our doors. Friday morning, my Mom was driving me to school, and we noticed something on our front steps. It was a package… I brought it in the car, unwrapped it, and found A Curse Dark as Gold. The book was frozen- literally. The pages cracked when I turned them. It was quite an experience. I didn’t think that ...more
Not a bad book, really, just...a book that had some aspects to it that kept me from enjoying it enough to give it more stars.

A pet peeve of mine in fiction is when a protagonist constantly makes the wrong decision in situations that might have brought about a sooner resolution. Specifically, when other characters who want to (and can) help ask her what's wrong, and she keeps her secret bottled up, dealing with the problems on her own. This especially seems ridiculous when the character keeps he

I could probably write a lengthy review about the many things I admired about this debut YA (#1 on that list - the skill with which the curse was woven all through the novel, with the mill itself becoming a creepy almost-character), but I think it boils down to one statement really. I simply can't decide which I wish more: that I'd been the one to edit this book, or the one to write this book! Alas, since neither were options, I'll settle for being a fan and waiting eagerly to see what Elizabeth
It's a retelling and historical fiction. Such a great combination. It's a great retake on the Rumpelstiltskin tale, set in the Industrial Revolution.

Charlotte Miller and her sister Rosie are the last of the Miller thread that make quality cloths. The whole process of making the wool was pretty nice. It didn't seem like it was teaching me anything but I still learned a little about the time period and cloth making.

I was frustrated with Charlotte a number of times. She is so responsible and carr
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Steph Su
I always look forward to fairy tale retellings, and with this one winning the Morris Award for Best Debut YA, I eagerly picked up A CURSE DARK AS GOLD after two years of having this in my TBR pile. Unfortunately, it was pretty much an all-around disappointment, and in rather unexpected ways: for some reason, the way the story was written, and the way it unfolded, really frustrated and repelled me.

A CURSE DARK AS GOLD theoretically had all the elements I like in a story: a unique spin on a fairy
Dec 04, 2011 Terence rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: YA fantasy fans & my nieces
Recommended to Terence by: Amanda
Elizabeth Bunce’s A Curse Dark As Gold is a retelling of the Rumpelstiltskin myth set in an England-like world on the cusp of an Industrial Revolution, and it’s a wonderful book. The story centers round the village of Shearing and the millhouse of Stirwaters where Charlotte and Rosie Miller have been left orphaned by the death of their father. For five generations, Stirwaters has been in the Miller family despite the fact that no son has survived childhood and a curse seems keep the operation fr ...more
Nov 13, 2008 Wendy rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Wendy by: Rose
Wow. This book took my breath away! An original, multi-layered, exquisitely written retelling of the Rumplestiltzkin story. Compelling characters who wrestle with painful ethical dilemmas, make mistakes, and ultimately gain a personal understanding of choice and accountability, repentance, and forgiveness. One word of caution--it's a ghost story--don't read it alone late on a windy night!
Nicole Prestin
This has to be the most enjoyable book I've read all year.

I have to admit that in the beginning, I was skeptical about all of the praise I'd seen about this book. While I love fairy tale retellings, Rumplestiltskin isn't exactly one of my favorite fairy stories. But this loose retelling, set at the beginning of the industrial revolution, is pretty damn entertaining.

I think a lot of that has to do with the author's style. The story just kind of creeps up on you as you read it. The atmosphere is
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Julie M. Prince for

Since her father's death, the fate of the Miller family woolen mill and that of the Shearing village rests on Charlotte's shoulders. An unexpected and seemingly insurmountable debt leads to a difficult choice for the normally practical and levelheaded miller's daughter.

Must she take the offer of the strange little man who can weave straw into gold, or can she make her own way through the maze of ill luck and deceit that seems her family legacy?

Feb 19, 2009 Lucy rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of fairy tale retellings
When Charlotte Miller's father dies, her world feels flipped on its head, but she knows what she has to do: what she always has. The Stirwaters Mill has been in her family for generations, and it has always been at the center of the town of Shearing. All of the townsfolk work in and around the Mill--it provides livelihood for all of them.

And so Charlotte knows that she must pick up where her father left off, and, with the help of her sister Rosie, run the Mill and keep the town afloat.

But one sp
Charlotte Miller and her sister Rosie have problems. Their father has just died, leaving their family mill in deep debt. Their long-lost uncle has arrived and is pushing them to sell. But their small community relies on the mill for its residents' livelihoods, and Charlotte isn't willing to give up her life and her friends' lives so easily. When Jack Spinner shows up and promises a way out, Charlotte makes a bargain with him to save the mill, but she gets far more than she bargained for and must ...more
This book caught me up in the very first pages. Instantly I was drawn to Charlotte Miller, the main character. The story begins as Charlotte and her sister are buring their father, and with the decisions they must make to survive. Deciding to run their father's mill in his place, they are faced with ill luck, a family curse, and all manner of hardships. As the story intensifies, so does the danger and the stakes. I loved the wonderful suspense and clues the author weaved throughout the story, an ...more
Apr 29, 2008 Elysse rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Lauren
Shelves: fantasy, fairy-tale
This is probably one of the best fairy tale retellings that I have ever red; and definately the best Rumplestilskin one.
The story begins in Charolett Miller's point of view, shortly after her father's death. Orphaned, Charolett and her sister Rosie must take over the family wool mill in order to survive. However, bad things keep happening, making the girls question whether there is actually a curse on the family mill. As their financial problems mount, they enlist the help of Jack Spinner, in t
It's fabulous, absolutely fabulous. Iloved Charlotte, sometimes I wanted to slap her, but her love of her town and determination won me over in the end. It's much better than the orginal. It's more of a mystery (and I LOVE mysteries). Full of suspense and many answers to the traditional story. The miller's daughter finally gets real character as a determined hard working buiness woman, not just a hopeless victim. What can I say? I love retellings! This is the author's first book, I'd definitely ...more
I haven't read any fantasy for a while and I was starting to think that maybe I just didn't enjoy it as much as I used to. Reading this reminded me of why I loved fantasy so much. Specifically the reason why I'm such a huge sucker for fairy tale retellings.

Quick Overview: After the death of her father, Charlotte Miller and her sister Rosie are left in charge of the small family owned wool mill. As mishap and hardship continue to plague the Miller family and the mill, whispers of the long lived c
This novel set in the 1700's is based on the old Rumpelstiltskin fairy tale. “A Curse Dark As Gold” by Elizabeth C. Bunce was selected as one of the "2009 Kansas Notable Books" and one I very much enjoyed reading.

Two teen-age sisters left alone after the death of their father and living on a shoestring must decide if they will try to keep the family woolen mill running despite its taxing work and overwhelming mortgage or sell it and cut their losses. Charlotte, the elder sister determined to ke
Wow. I had been anticipating this book for some weeks, as I had been quite intrigued by the synopsis and been reading great reviews. It worked out that I needed to Read a Book by a Goodreads Author for my Book Challenge, and this author was one! I'll admit, I was about 75 pages in, and I still hadn't quite clicked with the book. I thought there was too much laying down of the setting and all, even though it was not too detailed and written in such a way that you were expected to already know stu ...more
Brooke Shirts
Whoa. A ripping good retelling of "Rumpelstiltskin" with enough edgy suspense and supernatural flavor that it's more ghost story than fairy tale.

Bunce has reset and reimagined the tale in late 17th-century England, at the dawn of the Industrial Revolution. Charlotte Miller is the heir of her family's 150-year-old wool mill, a mill that, while lovingly cared for and capable of producing stunning cloth, is constantly plagued by disaster. Machinery breaks down, debts pile up. Just when Charlotte se
I have read many a fairy tale retelling in my day. This Rumpelstiltskin story ranks in my top three.

Charlotte Miller is the "Miller's Daughter" - a young woman whose family's woolen mill falls into her hands when her father passes away. Her steadfast love for the mill and those who work there is constantly put to the test as misfortune after misfortune seems to happen at the mill. Charlotte's disbelief in the superstitions of her fellow mill workers begins to fade as that crazy little man comes
Sep 09, 2008 SheWunders rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to SheWunders by: Allie Williams
Rumpelstiltskin terrified me a girl, so took a bit of courage for me to face him again. In fact, I sweat through the last 70 pages of this book - literally. I hung on every word.

Charlotte, stubborn by nature, is determined to save her mill, but at what cost. At first it seems that Charlotte will sacrifice anything, her marriage, her possessions, her trust, but then the price becomes to high. Charlotte is forced to account for a family curse and save her son. There is a clear message of trust an
April Helms
I really loved this story, a mix of classic fairy tale and good old-fashioned mystery. Charlotte Miller struggles to save the town's wool processing mill -- and the town of Shearing itself -- after her father dies. But it seems like many things go against her -- from her conniving uncle, to sellers who want a monopoly and even from a supposed curse. When a mysterious man -- Jack Spinner -- comes along and offers to give her what she needs, the question becomes is he really so benevolant -- or is ...more
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Smith English 4250: Review 1 2 Nov 09, 2014 08:01PM  
Into the Forest: Curse Dark as Gold - Spoilers 9 31 Nov 12, 2013 11:27AM  
Into the Forest: Curse Dark as Gold: No Spoilers 9 20 Oct 18, 2013 04:20PM  
! YA Heroines !: A Curse Dark As Gold 4 17 Jun 28, 2013 11:34PM  
YA Reads for Teac...: A Curse Dark as Gold - Elizabeth C. Bunce 9 21 Jun 28, 2010 08:01PM  
  • Toads and Diamonds
  • The Crimson Thread: A Retelling of "Rumpelstiltskin" (Once Upon a Time Fairytales)
  • Golden
  • Thornspell
  • The Rumpelstiltskin Problem
  • Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow
  • Spinners
  • Mira, Mirror
  • Ice
  • The Rose Bride: A Retelling of "The White Bride and the Black Bride" (Once Upon a Time Fairytales)
  • Violet Eyes (Once Upon a Time Fairytales)
  • Snow in Summer
  • Wildwood Dancing (Wildwood, #1)
  • The Swan Kingdom
  • The Phoenix Dance
  • Troll's Eye View: A Book of Villainous Tales
Star Crossed (Thief Errant, #1) Liar's Moon (Thief Errant, #2) Bones: Terrifying Tales to Haunt Your Dreams

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