Review of Marissa Meyer’s CURSED

Cursed by Marissa Meyer

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Ms. Meyer remains a master at fairy tale retelling. She transformed multiple beloved stories in this duology, foremost among them “Rumplestiltskin.” It became a thing of beauty and wonder, with the perfect touches of humor that are a hallmark of her writing style. Even her antagonists earn biting remarks that prompt a smile – or at least the occasional eye roll. And every character has a redeeming quality that sets them apart from the standard cardboard roles they’re cast within the classic fairy tale tropes.

Except for Perchta. Unfortunately, her time within the book is too short to create redemption. And she ends up falling decidedly flat. It’s a shame as it leaves her a paltry foil for Serilda. A reader approaches the final conflict wanting to see a genuine battle, but instead, they get the expected resolution. It was a missed opportunity to elevate the old standby.

That said, Ms. Meyer included enough unexpected surprises along the way to keep me turning the pages and engaging in the tale. Welcome, given how rote Gilded was in the revelation of Gild’s identity. I appreciated the constant twists and turns. They blended so seamlessly into the fabric of the stories.

I just wish the book had started later, trimming away some of the unneeded excesses of the beginning. While charming, it contributed nothing towards the plot that wasn’t already inferred from the previous book’s ending. And, given the option, I’d have the final epilogue instead been omitted. It didn’t match Serilda’s introduction, leaving much to be desired. While also leaving a monotone taste on the tongue. Turning the page without it was a more satisfactory way to the end things.

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