Nicole Prestin's Reviews > A Curse Dark as Gold

A Curse Dark as Gold by Elizabeth C. Bunce
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's review
Oct 20, 08

it was amazing
bookshelves: fantasy, young-adult

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 fantastic, but the author doesn't get bogged down in the details and the plot moves along nicely. Even though the book is about 400 pages, every scene has a purpose. And although I'm not usually a big fan of first person narrative, this book shows how wonderful first person can be in the hands of a talented author.

It helps that Elizabeth Bunce actually has a clue about how to write an honest to god strong and smart female heroine, something that I think a lot of authors (male and female) fail horribly at. It's refreshing to read someone who just doesn't tell you how strong, intelligent and independent their character is (while usually having said character cling to a man, make tons of irrational decisions and cry a lot), but actually has that character act that way. The author has reimagined the heroine as a business woman who's fighting to protect her family, her town and her business, which makes her a hell of a lot interesting than her fairy tale counterpart, or hell, most fantasy ingenues for that matter.

Anyway, this book is highly entertaining, and even though it's marked as a young adult book (why, I have no clue) I'd recommend this to anyone who likes fairy tale retellings. I'm looking forward to seeing what this author writes next.
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