Book Review: A Curse Dark as Gold – Good Natured Bickering + Incoherent Rambling + Larkin
by Elizabeth Bunce
I’m doing something a bit different today! I’ve asked my friend Larkin to join me, so we’re reviewing/discussing A Curse Dark as Gold together. We’re… mostly coherent, although there is a great deal of… ‘Good natured bickering, that isn’t really bickering.’ as Larkin put it.
Iris – I loved A Curse Dark as Gold! I guess I knew I would, because it was a reread, but I don’t think I remembered quite how good it was.
Larkin – You didn’t know for sure that it would be good. You could have changed your mind.
Iris – Ha ha ha. What did you think of the book?
Larkin – Just saying you could have.
It was really really good. But that seems like a silly question, you already knew the answer.
Iris – I knew, but see Larkin, the point of a blog post is that other people read it. And those other people want to know what your opinions on the book are. So you need to say them, even if I already know them.
Larkin – I know I know.
Iris – So, the book!
Larkin – Oh yeah that’s what we’re supposed to be talking about.
Iris – Yes, it is.
Personally, I love A Curse Dark as Gold. I’ve read it three times now, and it impresses me every time. It’s such a beautiful book.
Larkin – I also love it and feel kind of like I’m going to end up copying you a lot.
Iris – I thought the writing in this was really amazing, and just… really lovely.
Larkin – Hey that’s what I was just thinking!
Iris – A Curse Dark as Gold is a retelling of Rumpelstiltskin. It doesn’t exactly follow the original story very closely though. I love retellings like this, because if it sticks too close to the original story… it really isn’t that interesting.
This book follows it very vaguely… enough that it’s recognizably Rumpelstiltskin, but so much has been changed, and there’s SO much more too it!
Charlotte and her sister are the last in a long line of Miller’s, and Charlotte will do anything to keep the mill. But with so many people working against them, (Not to mention a curse!) this is very difficult.
Larkin – I quite liked the plot. In most of the books I read I feel like I end up predicting the plot twists, often much sooner than I feel like I should be able to. But in A Curse Dark as Gold most of them actually ended up surprising me quite a lot.
Iris – Tbh, some of the plot twists surprised me! On my… third read… usually a bit before they actually happened, but… I would be reading, and it would say something, and I would remember with surprise, some large plot twist… that I had managed to forget… somehow… Great job memory.
I actually just really love the plot! Like every other aspect of this book, it is amazing.
Larkin – The world reminded me a lot of historical England… just with magic. And while the book didn’t describe the world very much, at the same time it felt really well done.
Iris – Personally, I loved Shearing (The town Charlotte lives in). It was a lovely town, and I felt it was beautifully done. Most of the townspeople were very superstitious, and had all these interesting things. Corn dollies, and blue ribbons, and hex signs.
Larkin – The mill in my head seems almost more like a character than part of the world but Iris says it’s part of the world and she’s very convincing-
Iris – Funny, I don’t really think of myself as being particularly convincing… I’m also not sure if that’s a compliment or not…
Larkin – I was going to say at least this time. I really like its sense of humor. And yes I know that I just said that it’s part of the world and if that’s true it shouldn’t have a sense of humor… But I like it anyway.
Iris – Either that, or I’m not quite as convincing as you claim.
Larkin – That might also be true but I think I’m just being silly and unreasonable. As usual.
Iris – The characters are by far the best part of this book. And that’s saying something, as I love every aspect of it. But the characters are simply spectacular! I absolutely adored most of them, and even the awful ones were amazingly developed!
Larkin – Yes! Charlotte is the main character as I think Iris may have already mentioned at some point but I think that saying it again is probably a good idea. I really like her and it’s interesting to have her as a main character because she’s not at all superstitious in comparison to most of the other villagers who as Iris also said are very superstitious.
Iris – I really liked Charlotte! She is so stubborn-
Larkin – Like me! 😜
Iris – Hmm… Sort of, she’s not nearly as contrary as you are.
Larkin – True, true. Wait… HEY!
Iris – Yes, yes, anyways. Charlotte is very stubborn, and refuses to let anyone help her. She has some amazing character growth over the course of the book.
Larkin – That’s not quite accurate she lets Jack Spinner help her.
Iris – Whatever.
I also love Charlotte’s sister, Rosie. She’s lovely, and sweet, and she is one of my favourite characters.
Larkin – She’s one of my favourites as well. She’s very silly and has some of my favourite lines and I just really like her.
Iris – Yeah, she’s great! My other favourite is Randall, he’s Charlotte’s banker, and later her love interest. He’s so great, and understanding, and he’s just the nicest person! And also he’s funny. I love him so much!
Larkin – He’s also my other favourite character. And Iris you said everything that I was going to say! He’s an amazing character but I can’t really describe him very well.
Harte is one of the most prominent of the mill workers. Actually he’s the most prominent of the mill workers and their friend. He’s really nice, which we seem to be saying about a lot of the characters… but it’s true! And he just seems like he’s consistently there for them. And he’s just very likable
Iris – Yeah, I really like Harte as well. He’s just super loyal to his friends, and overall likable. I don’t have a ton to say about him, but he’s great.
Another character I would like to address is Jack Spinner. He’s the Rumpelstiltskin figure, and he’s… creepy. But at the same time, by the end, I feel awful for him. He does some awful things, and he’s certainly not a good person, but he redeems himself a bit by the end, and I pity him.
Larkin – I think that Iris has said all there is to say about him while avoiding spoilers so I’m just going to move on to their Uncle Wheeler. I really don’t trust him pretty much from the start or at least as soon as he came in. He’s very pompous and definitely not very likable.
Iris – Yeah… ick. I can’t stand him. He’s just so sleek, and ‘proper’ and ugh, ugh, ugh. I just really hate him!
Larkin – Yeah, I think ugh pretty much sums him up.
Iris – So that’s pretty much all! I LOVE this book, it’s one of my favourites (Along with about a million other books, but still!). It is wonderful, and I HIGHLY suggest you read it!
Larkin – A million seems like a bit of an overstatement
Iris – No it’s not.
Okay, maybe slightly…
Larkin – I think it’s slightly more than slightly.
But yes it’s an amazing book and I absolutely love it and as Iris said I you should definitely read it!
Iris – I just realized we didn’t rate it… Anyway, I give this book five stars! It is sososososo good!
Larkin – Oops. I agree with Iris five stars. It’s amazing!
Iris – So… to sum up the whole thing, basically “It’s amazing, we love it, read it!”
Larkin – Sounds about right!
We had such a fun time writing this, and I hope you enjoyed reading it! I hope it was mostly coherent… although I don’t have a lot of faith in our ability to make it so… oh well!