Jessica's Reviews > A Curse Dark as Gold

A Curse Dark as Gold by Elizabeth C. Bunce
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's review
May 16, 11

bookshelves: young-adult-books
Read in May, 2011

I actually sort of hated this book at the beginning. It's very...slow. There isn't anything wrong with the writing style itself, I decided, but just the way this book is written. It spends way too much time relating the mundane, everyday experiences of Charlotte's mundane, everyday life, so I felt like I had to slog through a bunch of segments of a boring documentary about the life of a mill girl in order to get to any of the interesting bits. And a good part of the book is spent on Charlotte worrying, fretting, complaining, etc. and that got really old really fast. So, basically, the pacing of this book stinks. And as a newly married woman of almost a year myself, I found Charlotte's treatment of her husband both troublesome and disconcerting.

About halfway through, however, things pick up pretty well and the mysterious quality I'd been waiting for, given that this is an adaptation of the classic Rumpelstiltskin fairy tale, comes into play. I really enjoyed seeing how this author changed the story, and how deeply she ingrained this great mystery into Charlotte's family's past. So, I did end up really enjoying this book, and the story. It just took a lot of patience and frustration to get there. Basically, this book could probably be cut down to half its size and it wouldn't change the story at all, and would make it a much more enjoyable read. I'd definitely read this book again, but contrary to my normal stance on reading a book, I would just skim the first part before actually sitting down to read it, starting from the middle. Oh, and I didn't like that the author chose not to use the traditional name "Rumpelstiltskin" at all, which contributed to making the ending a little bit odd and difficult to both understand and believe.

Warnings (on a scale of 1-5):

Sexual/Body: 1 There are a few mentions of Charlotte experiencing pains in her chest, and a big hint that she has intercourse with her husband while on their honeymoon.

Witchcraft: 4 The last half of this book deals very extensively, and in great detail, with the dark arts, black magic, and witchcraft, which some parents might not want their children exposed to.

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