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Gold Spun

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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. Desperate for help, Nor summons the faerie’s aid, launching a complicated dance as she must navigate between her growing feelings for both the prince and faerie boy and who she herself wishes to become.

320 pages, Hardcover

Published June 8, 2021

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About the author

Brandie June

6 books860 followers
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.

You can find out more about Brandie at www.brandiejune.com and follow her @brandiejune.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 247 reviews
Profile Image for Helen Power.
Author 10 books423 followers
May 22, 2021

Gold Spun is a bewitching and fast-paced young adult, fantasy retelling of the fairy tale Rumpelstiltskin.

The worldbuilding in this book is phenomenal. It’s a sign of a truly talented writer when the reader doesn’t even realize that worldbuilding is happening. There are no information dumps, and all the details of the world and how it works, from the geography of the kingdoms and the powers of the faerie are revealed to the readers as they need to know them. In the prologue, Prince Casper is casually thinking about his preference in teas, all the while the reader is subtly learning about the different kingdoms and the fact that Prince Casper is a freaking war hostage held by the King of Faradisia.

After the prologue from Prince Casper’s POV, the majority of the book is written in the first person point of view of Nor. Elenora Molnar is a war orphan, and she has three brothers that she needs to take care of. She’ll do anything to keep them fed, including lying, swindling, and stealing from others.  She gets caught pretending to be able to transform magic straw into gold by Prince Casper, and that's when all her lies and deceit finally catch up to her. 

Nor is a relatable character, and she’s far from perfect. She’s stubborn and ambitious, and just a little bit greedy. As mentioned before, she’ll do whatever it takes to survive, but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t feel guilty about her sometimes unethical behaviour. Nor’s personality evolves quite a bit as the novel progresses. I’m eager to see how she continues to grow as a person in the next book! 

Prince Casper is a bit more of an enigma, because aside from the prologue being in his point of view, we only get to know him as Nor does. Since his brother’s death in the events preceding this book, he’s preparing for his coronation as the new King of Reynallis. It quickly becomes clear to us that he and the other members of the court have no idea what’s truly going on within their kingdom. We understand and relate to Nor's frustration with their privilege and ignorance. Let them eat cake, anyone?

The plot is fast-paced and fun. Because this is a Rumpelstiltskin retelling, it’s a little predictable (it’s impossible for retellings to completely shock with plot twists), but there are a couple of surprising plot developments, particularly towards the end of the book. 

There’s a hint of a love triangle in this book--between Nor, the mysterious fay 'Pel', and Prince Casper. There are some super cute moments, and unfortunately I can’t elaborate because, well, spoilers, but I will say that I’m definitely looking forward to more of these three in the sequel!
I recommend this book to lovers of young adult fantasy, particularly ones with faeries, cute love triangles, and court intrigue.


*Thank you to CamCat Books, Edelweiss, and the author for the ebook to review*
Five stars
This review appeared first on https://powerlibrarian.wordpress.com/
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Profile Image for Brandie June.
Author 6 books860 followers
January 26, 2021
I am so excited to be sharing Gold Spun with the world. It has been such a pleasure and a work of love to write this Rumpelstiltskin retelling and see it through to publication. I have always loved the dark versions of fairytales and the new takes I'm constantly reading with retellings. With Gold Spun, I really wanted to examine the three main characters - Rumpelstiltskin, the miller's daughter, and the king. I wanted to make them all more complex, more sympathetic, and more motivated than in the original tale. This is especially true of the miller’s daughter. In Rumpelstiltskin, the miller’s daughter doesn’t even have a name. She gets thrown in this awful situation because of what her father promised and what the king commanded. She seemed to have no say. I wanted to give her a LOT more agency. In Gold Spun, the miller’s daughter takes center stage as Nor, a young con artist, whose actions land her in hot in water. I don’t want to give away too much, but I had a great time creating the complicated relationships between Nor and the future king and Rumpelstiltskin. I hope you enjoy reading Gold Spun!
Profile Image for Savannah.
83 reviews1 follower
May 27, 2021
I am giving Gold Spun 3.5 stars. Let me tell you why. Gold Spun is a fun and fast-paced retelling of Rumplestilksen. I was immediately interested in how this fairytale retelling would be done! I think the overall story was a little lacking, with the middle of the book being a bit boring, in my opinion. I felt our main character, seventeen-year-old Nor, was a fun and interesting main character, but could have had more character development. On the other hand, I found our mysterious fae trickster Pel to be written quite whimsically. I found myself hoping with each chapter that he would pop up. With Prince Casper, "who hates nobody more than a liar." I found him to be a bit annoying at the beginning of the book, but I warmed up to him as the story went on. I seriously loved the plot twist at the end. I think it set up for the sequel beautifully. I have high hopes for it to be even better than the first, and I cannot wait to get my hands on it.
Profile Image for Stay Fetters.
2,014 reviews117 followers
June 14, 2021
"One dark night I’ll walk into your dreams. And tear out your heart to hear your screams."

Rumpelstiltskin is a Grimm Fairy Tale that we all know and love. We grew up with this tale of an Imp spinning straw into gold for a girl's firstborn child. It's spooky. Brandie takes this classic and spins it on its head and fills it with Fae and darkness. You've never read a retelling like this one.

The characters in this all stood out and were all well written. They were memorable in their own little way. The good and the bad shined brightly and it was hard to choose a favorite. We all know I like the evil ones with their broody behavior but I really think King Casper was it for me. There was something about the way he handled things that made me swoon. I did wish that there was more of a back story when it came to Nor. We kind of got glimpses here and there but I wanted to see more into her past.

And let's talk about the worldbuilding. Damn! It was mesmerizing. It wasn't thrown at you all at once and I appreciated that. It slowly displayed itself as more Fae came into the picture and as things got more intense.

Gold Spun was a fast-paced retelling that shocked me in all the best ways. It was dark and intense with a blossomed love story thrown in. It was phenomenal. I am so excited to see where Brandie takes us with the second book. I'm on the edge of my seat waiting to see what happens next.
Profile Image for Shanna  Stanley-Gibson.
104 reviews6 followers
June 1, 2021
SO let me start by saying this is a pretty good read. It's a nice time. Now let me get a little picky...

*I received a free version of this book for my unbiased review.

The first thing I noticed was that she uses Faerie and Fay instead of Faerie and Fae. This just aggravated me to no end. Every single time I read the Fay spelling I cringed. But hey, it is her book and her characters and her choice. I just didn't like it.

By chapter 4, I was already in love with Nor. I loved her impulsivity. She was fiery and fiercely loyal to her brothers. She genuinely has this passion for life that matches that impulsive nature I mentioned. That nature however is exactly what gets her into trouble. But overall as a character, she has this huge heart and is just trying to survive after being dealt an unfair, hard life.

When you get around to Casper's decision on what to do with her after her performance in the market place(this is where the story really starts and the "scene" has been cast), that's when the writing really begins to tighten its hold. You can literally taste her fear. You can hear her head spinning. Writing like that is magical and this book has it.

The author also does a great job of adding in laugh out loud moments with little jests and witty comebacks sprinkled throughout. I adored the delightful giggles and the breath from the fear/suspense within the book.

I could stop there and leave this as a good review for a cute retelling. BUTTTTT I cannot do that and feel like I told you the whole story.

1. I did receive and early copy so all the little editing mistakes were hopefully corrected. Let me tell you that little "r" to show a paragraph skip was annoying.
2. The characters lay out their personality but, outside of a little improvement in Nor, they don't grow. They are the same from world building, to scene set, to end of book. IMO That may be a little harsh for Constance, but I feel like she didn't grow, we just saw a little more of her.
3. I feel like there is a little love triangle that wasn't fully developed on one side. You don't just trade your whole life over for one little moment; or maybe you do since this is teen fantasy. I simply wanted a bit MORE.
4. That ending though.... *There is no spoiler here, I talk in generals, but stop reading if you don't like to hear about endings before having read the book or if you don't want your opinion to be swayed.

The ending:

What happened????? The book just stopped! It was obvious something was going to go down, she made that clear in her writing, but she just dropped the book. At 91% she just flips the whole thing upside down and there isn't enough book left for that kind of twist. Also, it was so anti-climatic that I put it down and then had to make myself finish it so I could write this review. It was a complete turn off, for me, and I had a hard time digesting the last 3-5% of the book. I was good with it up until then. I cant really say more without spoilers.

Nevertheless, everything was good until the ending. Maybe others will like it more than I did. I do think it was a great attempt at a retelling. It was fast paced and fun and a new take on a classic.
Profile Image for Brittany (whatbritreads).
523 reviews1,034 followers
June 15, 2021
*Thank you so much to the author Brandie June for sending me a copy of this for review!*

Listen, I can absolutely not at all remember the original story of Rumpelstiltskin so bear in mind that I’m literally just writing this about the book as it stands on its own - though I’m pretty sure it took a few deviations from the original narrative anyways.

This book was literally so fast past I was surprised how quickly I ended up getting through it. One I started reading it I was literally some within a couple of hours - there’s no babble or infodumping which I liked, we just got straight to the point. Having said that though, on the flip side I would’ve liked a slower build up to the main plot. Maybe some more backstory or glimpses into the life of our protagonist before all this madness happens. I feel like we didn’t get a wide enough scope of her character from just diving straight into the plot.

It was a fun read and very lighthearted. The interactions between the characters made me smile at points and it’s definitely leaning towards more entertaining than thought provoking but I think it worked well for the scenario.

While I liked our protagonist, I don’t think the romance worked for me. I just didn’t particularly care at all about any of the live interests introduced and it all loved a bit too quickly for my preferences but it was fine. It was pretty sweet and standard, nothing was really wrong with it at all - just not my cup of tea! I would’ve liked the explore more of the fay and their lives, I think multiple POV would have actually worked really well for the book.

I don’t often say this, but I wish it was longer! With more fleshed out characters and a slower burn, I think I would’ve loved this more! Having said that, it was enjoyable and a nice bit a escapism. If this sounds like your sort of retelling, give it a go!
Profile Image for A. S..
Author 2 books192 followers
July 10, 2021
Such a fun Rumpelstiltskin retelling! There's action, suspense, romance, and even a little bit of magic.
Um, what more could you want?

I adored the push and pull battle our main character, Nor, went through as she simultaneously tries to take care of herself and her family--a challenge that is relatable to everyone, even if we don't live in a fantasy world with fay.

June did a fantastic job making you root for Nor at every page-turn, even when Nor wasn't necessarily on her best behavior. I felt like I was just as torn between the love interests as Nor was, and THEN THE ENDING HAPPENED AND GASP! Warning, you're going to gasp, too.

Read GOLD SPUN if you enjoyed fairy-tale retellings with sweet love stories and head-strong females.

*And on a slightly off-topic note: I REALLY appreciated that this book is *truly* young adult. Nowadays I feel like you read a YA book and it's... well, full of adult content. But this is absolutely appropriate for the age range that YA is labeled for, and I can't wait for my daughter to read it one day.
Profile Image for D.B. Woodling.
Author 12 books151 followers
March 23, 2021
Reinventing the beloved classic Rumpelstiltskin by the Brothers Grimm, June offers fantasy readers an escape into a pre-nineteenth century world where faeries, kingdoms, mean girls, and budding love abound.

Navigating her post-war orphan pilgrimage as a con artist, Nor, the protagonist, often skirts the law in her efforts to provide her siblings the basic necessities. Taking a cue straight from the faerie playbook, Nor attempts to swindle the good people of Reynallis out of their hard-earned coin by decreeing she can turn magic straw into gold. Piquing the prince’s untoward scrutiny, Nor must prove her claim or suffer the presumed consequences. With the promise of freedom and a betrothal to the prince, she recruits the fay, who owes her his life, and together they replenish the royal treasury.

Addressing the sexual tension between Nor and her love interests—Prince Casper and the infamous Rumpelstiltskin—with a delicate touch and temperate pacing, the author delivers a promising simmer rather than a full-on boil, which makes Gold Spun ideally suited for younger teens.
Profile Image for Sheri Fink.
Author 14 books169 followers
October 10, 2020
Gold Spun is a modern retelling of the classic Rumpelstiltskin fairytale that keeps you turning the pages as the mysterious magic unfolds. Novelist Brandie June breaks convention with creative storytelling matching her strong heroine with complex world-building and perilous adventures into the unknown.
Profile Image for Chelsea.
115 reviews4 followers
August 31, 2021
I read this in one sitting and it was just the book I needed at the time I picked it up. There’s something about reading a book that actually feels like a fairytale retelling. They’re like a bubble bath for the brain. I’ve read plenty of retellings and there are many I didn’t enjoy at all. This one, however, is now joining an elite list of retellings that I have every intention to reread.
Profile Image for Susan Ouellette.
Author 0 books121 followers
April 25, 2021
Gold Spun is a fantastic tale about a quirky, brave young woman named Nor who finds herself swept up in romance with not one but two handsome and possibly dangerous men. One, a crowned prince. The other, a faerie from a land that is a sworn enemy of the prince's land. Nor must battle conflicting feelings, deception, and threats against her loved ones in her struggle to figure out where she belongs in the world.

Brandie June writes beautifully of the land of Reynallis that Nor inhabits. Her writing transported me into the forests, palaces, royal balls and pitched battles to the death. The end will leave you guessing - whatever will happen to Nor and her loved one(s)? I eagerly await the sequel.
Profile Image for Meredith Lyons.
12 reviews2 followers
September 14, 2022
I'm not an 'automatic A' on retellings, but I enjoyed this one and I'm glad to have it on my shelf! This is a fun variation on Rumpelstiltskin but in this version, the Miller's Daughter not only gets a name, she gets agency. And for good or bad, she drives much of the story. (Who doesn't enjoy a morally gray heroine occasionally?) That enough would have had me picking it up. Bonus content is that the 'imp' in the Grimm's tale is fae (fay is the spelling used in this 'verse) in this story, with some fun, well-defined magical rules, and oh, a little love triangle? Yes, please and thank you.
**Nothing too spicy, it's definitely appropriate for the YA genre!
Profile Image for Kobe.
181 reviews35 followers
May 31, 2021
I absolutely loved this book, and I adored each of the main characters! It’s a unique twist on ‘Rumpelstiltskin’, which I’ve never seen a retelling of, and it made for a fun fantasy read. It was a little slow in the middle, but the ending definitely made up for it.

Overall, I’d highly recommend to anyone who loves fantasy, especially because of the strong fairytale feel of the book!

*I was provided a review copy of this book, but all opinions expressed are entirely my own*
Profile Image for Ruthie.
360 reviews78 followers
June 11, 2021
Gold Spun is a fairy tale retelling of Rumplestiltskin. Nor is the miller's daughter, a swindler, thief, and liar. She starts with trying to fool villagers and ends up trying to figure out how to fool a kingdom so she can rule the kingdom by Prince Casper's side. If she can ignore her heart's desire.

I really enjoyed reading Gold Spun! It was giving me Spinning Silver vibes with the whole turning things to gold and humble beginnings of our MC. BUT, as I read further, I realized Gold Spun is more of a political and social royal court intrigue Rumplestiltskin retelling whereas Spinning Silver is more of a rugged retelling.

So, it was very different and didn't compete with my love of Spinning Silver. I was able to enjoy it because the stark differences meant I wasn't constantly comparing (like what happened when I read The Bear and the Nightingale and didn't enjoy it) but instead just reading and enjoying Gold Spun.

Nor reminded me of America Singer from The Selection series, especially in her conversations with Prince Casper opening his eyes to the kingdom's problems that he didn't know about. Plus, the prince set up an arranged marriage basically so we get to see how Nor will respond to this situation. Nor also reminds me of Mare Barrow from the Red Queen series because of her deceitful ways and the way she -swindles for good- because she has a family to help take care of after all!

It's been a few years since I've read The Selection and Red Queen so it was enjoyable to read about Nor's journey because I like those books and female MCs so, it had a nostalgic feeling to read but it was also something totally new.

I'm also a sucker for princes and fae so the fact that there's one of each and their path intersects with Nor multiple times throughout the book makes it even better.

I felt brought along in the story very naturally. There were no long monologues of world-building. It was a great blend of action, important conversations, and world-building all happening at the same time so that every scene is pertinent and I stayed hooked and turning the pages. Besides Nor's reminiscence to some of my other favorite female MCs mentioned above, she's a well-rounded character. She feels like a real person and she may present this tough exterior to Prince Casper but, on the inside, she feels deeply and she does realize that her thieving and lying isn't the best way to live. Nor is quick thinking when she's put in various situations throughout the plot and her quick, unexpected decisions definitely made the book feel fast-moving. There are also some surprises towards the end that make me excited for the next book. The end definitely has closure. But, also sparks a question in my mind of oooo what will happen next??

Disclaimer: I received the review copy of Gold Spun free of charge from Wunderkind PR . It was my choice to read and I'm leaving this review voluntarily.
Profile Image for Pretty Peony Reads.
277 reviews22 followers
Read
September 27, 2021
Gold Spun by Brandie June is a Rumpelstiltskin retell about a 17-year-old girl named Nora who finds herself in a mess after rescuing a fae. The fae gifts her with a golden thread and promises to return to her every time she calls upon him. Excited about this golden thread, in her haste, Nora comes up with a plan to make money using it. This captures the attention of the prince who tells her if she could spin a room full of straw into gold, he’ll marry her. If not, she’ll pay a heavy price.

It’s been a long time since I read Rumpelstiltskin, so I had to search it up and brief through it. Gold Spun follows the storyline somewhat but with slightly different characters. I like the idea of the fae and the way he was portrayed. He felt likeable, yet you couldn’t really tell if he was trustworthy, so there was a mysterious edge to him. The prince at first seemed cocky and full of himself, but he turned out likeable. His affection for Nora made him protective and supportive and a real gentleman. As for Nora, I liked that she was always quick on her toes. She doesn’t give up and she has so much love in her for her family and the villagers. However, I also found her a bit childlike. I think she was meant to be intelligent and brave and was supposed to play it down, but I didn’t get that. I wanted her to be a little more mature for someone who was responsible for a lot of things.

The overall story was enjoyable. I love retells and Gold Spun did an excellent job with it. I found the love triangle just so cute. Also, Ms. June’s writing style is flowy and smooth and makes you want to keep reading.

Note: I was given this book to read and review but the opinion is purely my own.
Profile Image for Nicole.
142 reviews
February 2, 2021
This book is incredible!

My favorite thing about Gold Spun is the main character, Nor. Instead of the captive, weeping miller's daughter of the original tale, Nor is a bold, cunning, and fierce woman who will stop at nothing to keep her family safe and trips over her own flaws.

Instead of an isolated story about three characters, Gold Spun weaves a compelling world in a dazzling palace set against a backdrop of war, conflict, and strife. The rich history of the world plays into the character's relationships and desires in such a way that both come to life.

This is the first book in a potential duology/series and I can't wait to read more!

Disclosure: June and I are a part of the same writing group.
Profile Image for Melodie.
140 reviews13 followers
September 12, 2022
3.75-4 stars; audiobook

This was a very cute Rumpelstiltskin retelling! I'm sure there will be a sequel based on the ending!! At least I really hope so!

There was a bit of a love triangle, but nothing super dramatic (to my slight disappointment, I was hoping for something juicy!). I really liked how Nor wasn't a perfect character. She makes mistakes, and is even a little greedy, and I found her relatable in that way. I wish the affections between the characters was a bit more convincing, but other than that, I found this book an entertaining read!
Profile Image for Aamna Qureshi.
Author 4 books254 followers
March 18, 2021
Such a fun book! It reads like a classic fairytale filled with pretty clothes and princes and faeries, which I really loved. I loved this retelling of Rumpelstilskin which gives the miller's daughter more autonomy and voice and center's her story. The characters were complex, clever, and charming in their own ways, even as they conflicted with one another, and I'm excited to see how June will develop this story further in a sequel!!
Profile Image for Kelly Savage.
26 reviews
December 1, 2022
Orphan Nor rescues a faerie in the woods, and he gives her a piece of gold thread, which she uses to con villagers into thinking she can spin straw into gold. When her trick catches the attention of the young king, Nor must find a way to spin a room full of straw to gold for him.

I figured out pretty quickly what I was in for with this book: a tropey, self-indulgent fantasy romp, at once heartfelt and not taking itself too seriously. I mean all of this in the best way. The characters are lovable, there’s a streak of the gruesome, and the plot dragged me right along. This book also contains one of very few standard love triangles that actually works really well. Nor’s two love interests each complement a different part of her, and whoever she chooses will really be a choice about what kind of life she wants and what parts of herself she nourishes. They’re also both so appealing that at no point in the book was I sure who I even wanted her to be with.

As for the audiobook itself, Katherine McInerney’s narration was immersive and engaged. She really made it feel like Nor was telling me her story.

All in all, this book was just a fun, earnest experience, and I’ll definitely be picking up the next book because wow that cliffhanger!

Advanced Reader’s Copy audiobook provided by NetGalley and CamCat Books in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Monica.
481 reviews95 followers
June 9, 2021
Initial Thoughts
I was really excited to be chosen for this tour. I love lesser known fairytale retellings and Nor sounded like she’d be a really interesting main character.

Some Things I Liked
I love a good fairytale retelling so I was really excited to see the tale of Rumpelstiltskin told here and I loved the con artist element.
Magic system and world building. I also really enjoyed the world building in this story and think it has a lot of potential to be expanded upon. I think there are a ton of secrets and clues hidden throughout the story and I can’t wait to see how those play out.

One Thing I Wasn’t Crazy About
I felt like the romance was pretty lackluster. I wanted to like Caspar more but he seemed like a jerk at times and then I really wanted to like Pel but there was still something odd about his relationship with Nor. I can’t quite put my finger on it but neither of the ships felt right so I couldn’t really get into the romance in this book. Hopefully it will develop more in subsequent sequels.

Series Value
I’d keep reading this series. I liked the world building and am curious to know about the other kingdoms mentioned and several of the minor characters.

I also think there’s a ton of spin off value here and I could easily see prequels or side stories set in this world that I’d enjoy reading.

Final Thoughts
I enjoyed this book. I think it was a promising start to a series that I would continue reading.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Profile Image for Robin Pelletier.
832 reviews6 followers
January 8, 2023
I had the pleasure of meeting this author in person and hearing her speak about this book. When NetGalley offered me the opportunity to review it, I leaped at the chance! Yes, this is the second Rumpelstiltskin retelling I have read recently (okay, okay - back to back), but I liked them both (for different reasons).

Nor has had to fend for herself and provide for her brothers for a while. Life for war orphans is tough. Nor has come to rely on her skills at trickery and deceit to put food on the table and survive. So when she has the chance to save a fae and is rewarded with a golden thread, Nor concocts the scheme of spinning straw into gold in order to get enough coin to survive a while longer. But her theatrics draw a crowd and to her growing dread, the new king is in the audience she's amassed. Soon to be King Casper demands she spin straw into gold to deplete his war spent coffers or face exile. Nor calls in a favor from Rumpelstiltskin, but similarities to the fairy tale end there. Can Nor spin enough lies to save herself and her brothers?

What I loved: the twist on the classic fairy tale, the additional plot twists and complications, the not overly romance threads, the sibling devotion, the not happily ever after ending

What I could have done without: the in-depth descriptions of blood magic
Profile Image for Dani Clark - Clark Book Reviews.
118 reviews14 followers
June 13, 2021
"But at least now I had a secret weapon. I knew his name. His true name."

Gold Spun is a fun, and face-paced enemy to lovers retelling of Rumpelstiltskin. I am a huge fan of fairy tale retellings, and I'm happy to say I loved this one. Gold Spun was my first Rumpelstiltskin retelling. I wasn't sure how the author was going to go about executing it but I think that Brandie June did a fabulous job.

Gold Spun introduces us to Nor, a witty, clever and devious seventeen year old girl. Nor helps out a captured faerie and in turn he repays her with a thread of gold, one she can spend and one wrapped on her wrist. She may choose to summon him whenever she sees fit to repay the debt. Nor decides to use the thread in a scheme to gain more coin for her and her brothers. Everything was going so well until the prince shows up and demands that Nor help the kingdom. In return, she will become his wife and the Queen. If she fails, the consequences for her and her loved ones will be horrible.

Nor is a great protagonist, she is a character you want nothing more than to root for. Nor is very family oriented and that's what fuels the way she lives. She can't help but get into trouble. In the end, will she choose the troubled path, or the golden one? Prince Caspian is a cocky but just ruler. He wants nothing more than to show his kingdom that he can rule. Pel is a faerie with a heart, does he really mean well by Nor?

Overall this story was very well done, I do feel the middle lagged a little but it picked right back up and I couldn't put down the book. I'd definitely recommend this story to all fairy tale lovers.

Thank you to TBR and Beyond and CamCat Books for a free copy of this book.
Profile Image for Gabby Graham.
9 reviews
March 5, 2022
2.5 stars: A Creative Concept that Falls a Little Flat

I am a sucker for a retold fairytale. I got my copy of Gold Spun from Bookish Box, finally got around to reading it, and the copy I have is physically gorgeous. The description of the book - giving the miller's daughter a name, playing into the importance of names appropriately for a spin on Rumplestiltskin - sold me.

Unfortunately, this book didn't live up to its own hype.

For the most part, the base concept for building Nor, the miller's daughter, into a more developed and relatable character was a fun and creative one. The world was fleshed out a bit more, new characters with debatable agency were thrown in, and our faerie was given the tools (a.k.a. pretty face) to set up a love triangle to add another layer of twists. Nor is morally gray, and not always likeable, and that works just fine. We got a straw to gold, our irresponsible faerie name reveal, and our fascinated King parallels in nicely.

But that's really all that worked.

The biggest issue for me was the inconsistency in language throughout the book. The author's voice itself was inconsistent; it was so jarring that I was pulled out of the story constantly. . . not to mention some of the wording was very awkward and (a risk I find most often in first person narrations) even a little cringey. This felt like a second or third revision draft, not a polished publication.

This was a fairytale-turned-fantasy-love-story, but I was not convinced of anybody's love. The love triangle is something we've come to expect in any young adult book, fair enough, but there was no build. Pel's hot and smells like nature and I guess Nor's into it. Okay. Nor is. . . clever-ish? (The book claims this more than shows it.) I suppose she's brave, too. So Pel and Casper dig that I guess? And Casper is charming and actually cares about commoners. So Nor's sold on him. But uh. None of that feels enough to start throwing around words like heartbreak and love. We went 0 to 60 in a handful of pages. And a few make out sessions didn't really convince me these weren't just a bunch of horny teens in over their heads and complex feelings were involved at all.

If we're going to take the time to layer in court politics, war, class differences, etc, then skimping on character dimensions and development seems an odd choice.

By the end of the book, the characters felt rather two dimensional at best and the story felt shallow.

(And where did our court alchemist go? Is someone making sure he remembers to eat?)

Some of the staying power in original fairytales lies in the strength of their messages, lessons, and images, especially without 300+ pages to support the stories. This re-telling's additions to flesh out the bare bones of the original didn't really add any oomph though.
Profile Image for Rajiv.
957 reviews62 followers
June 18, 2021

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“Gold Spun” is a beautiful retelling of a classic Grimm’s fairy tale that the author weaves seamlessly for the young adult fantasy genre, and I loved reading it!

I must admit; Rumpelstiltskin is one of those stories that I vaguely remember, but I was never an ardent fan of the fairy tale. But reading this wonderful retelling has made me want to go and revisit the classic. I loved how the author creatively took the classic and turned it into a breathtaking young adult fantasy romance.

I adored Elenora, aka Nor, in the lead. She is headstrong, feisty, immature, but I still adored her. Moreover, the author wrote Nor’s romance so well that it perfectly fits a Young Adult audience. I loved her chemistry with both Pel and Casper. Her scenes with Pel are purely fantastical, which you wish would happen to you, whereas her chemistry with Casper is something you can relate to, as it is sweet and grounded.

However, if I had to recollect the memorable moments of the story, most of them revolve around Pel. I loved the scenes when they first meet or when Pel revisits and helps her, or how she helps him in return later. I also liked the side characters like Constance, Flora, Finn, and Devon. It was interesting to see how Nor tackled Constance and Ilana.

The story also ends with a cliffhanger that has me eagerly await for its continuation. I feel the story would be twice as exciting as we get to know more about the Queen.

Overall, I would recommend “Gold Spun” to anyone who loves reading a good retelling of a classic fairy tale, as I loved it.
Profile Image for Maya Unadkat.
Author 6 books18 followers
February 13, 2022
*thank you to the publisher for sending me a copy of this book to read in exchange for an honest review*


Let me begin by saying: I was enchanted by this novel, but now I NEED BOOK 2!!!


I fell in love with this story the moment I picked it up. I have been excited for this book for so long and my expectations were high. For once, I can say a book actually surpassed my expectations!


As a Rumpelstiltskin retelling, I did expect the story to be somewhat predictable, but surprisingly that was absolutely not the case. With romance, battles and fighting, this was such a unique retelling of the original story.


From the very first page, the story was fast-paced, intriguing and completely captivating. This was definitely one of those cases where I chose a book over sleep.


I've already recommended this book to so many people I know would love it, so if you're a fan of fantasy, fairytale retellings, fae, love triangles, the 'fake dating' trope, enemies to lovers that involves actual daggers, and the 'kingdomcore'/ 'royaltycore' tropes, I would absolutely check this out.


A serious 'well done' to Brandie June for this fantastic novel!
Profile Image for Dana Claire.
Author 10 books295 followers
February 17, 2022
Gold Spun knits together a classic tale into an exciting, twisted adventure. Be prepared to see this magical story unfold in a profound new way. The heartwarming characters will weave into your heart and mind and by the end you’ll crave more. (Thank goodness there’s a sequel)

Our protagonist, Nor, is no stranger to loss. She and her orphan brothers are fighting for survival the best way they know how, as hustlers. But when a con goes tragically wrong, it’s Nor’s love for her family, altruism, and quick thinking that saves the day. Now her life is in danger, her world forever changed, and her heart torn between a royal romance built on lies and a magical fae love interest whose loyalties run hot and cold.

In a world filled with magic and passion, you’ll quickly fall in love with Gold Spun.
Profile Image for Caylie Ratzlaff.
451 reviews26 followers
August 6, 2021
This was just overall really disappointing. This review is salty.

I like fairytale retellings and I love the blurb on the back of “…that gives the miller’s daughter of the original fairy tale a life, a purpose, and most importantly, a name. Names, after all, are always powerful”

But, Nor was annoying. The plot was predictable. And of course, it ended on a cliffhanger of “oh no I have to prove my love after my lies bite me in the butt!!” Nor “isn’t like other girls” - oh no, she doesn’t ride side saddle! What a concept!

However, the bookish box hardcover has gorgeous foiling on it. How can a gorgeous book be so boring.

2.5/5 because the edition I have is gorgeous and the plot twist with Pel — although predictable — made it at least go by faster in the last 1/4 of the book.
Profile Image for Natalie.
255 reviews
August 2, 2021
Just over three stars. This started off good and the retelling happened every quickly in the beginning and then moved on to a love triangle and a war between the fae and humans. It started falling apart for me with things twisting in so many separate ways that it made it hard to keep up and I no longer cared as much about the story. I thought this was a stand-alone but that ending left it pretty open. Either way I don’t see myself picking up the next book if another one does come out.
Profile Image for Victoria Pewitt.
43 reviews647 followers
March 22, 2021
I read this in one day and I couldn't put it down. At all. The ending was a bit confusing but overall I really liked it.
Profile Image for Arielle Ali.
431 reviews
August 15, 2021
DNF. This book is boring. The writing is flat, the plot is simple, the world building is predictable, and the characters are unenjoyable.
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