Author Marissa Meyer (Lunar Chronicles, Heartless) is soon returning to the realm of fairy-tale retelling—her next book, the Rumpelstiltskin-inspired Gilded, arrives in November. Today, io9 has an exclusive look at the gorgeous cover, as well as some insights from the author about her latest fantasy creation.
“I’ve always known that I would eventually come back to fairy tale retellings,” Meyer said in a statement provided to io9. “There are so many that I love and that have boundless potential to be re-interpreted. Rumpelstiltskin is one that’s been on my radar for ages, and I’m really excited to be putting my own spin on this super creepy story.”
More on that spin below, but here’s the full cover reveal. The art is by Tim O’Brien, and the design is by Rich Deas.
So, what’s that spin going to be? “As with many of my books, the idea for Gilded started with a what-if question. In this case—what if Rumpelstiltskin isn’t the villain of the story? Reading the old versions of the tale, there’s a lot of room for debate as to how much Rumpelstiltskin does or doesn’t help the miller’s daughter, and who is the true antagonist,” the author said. “So that’s led to a lot of exploration into the characters and their motivations. I hope readers will have as much fun discovering these twists as I’ve had writing them!”
Here is the official synopsis of the story, being revealed here first:
Long ago cursed by the god of lies, a poor miller’s daughter has developed a talent for spinning stories that are fantastical and spellbinding and entirely untrue.
Or so everyone believes.
When one of Serilda’s outlandish tales draws the attention of the sinister Erlking and his undead hunters, she finds herself swept away into a grim world where ghouls and phantoms prowl the earth and hollow-eyed ravens track her every move. The king orders Serilda to complete the impossible task of spinning straw into gold, or be killed for telling falsehoods. In her desperation, Serilda unwittingly summons a mysterious boy to her aid. He agrees to help her… for a price. Love isn’t meant to be part of the bargain.
Soon Serilda realizes that there is more than one secret hidden in the castle walls, including an ancient curse that must be broken if she hopes to end the tyranny of the king and his wild hunt forever.
As for Gilded’s cover, Meyer hinted that there’s more going on there than just a gold-dripped illustration. “I am so in love with this cover, and for a lot of reasons that I can’t fully explain because they would lead to big spoilers!,” she said. “Suffice to say, there is some amazing symbolism happening here that perfectly encapsulates various moments and themes throughout the book. I can’t wait to hear what readers think!”
Gilded by Marissa Meyer arrives November 2; you can learn more information and pre-order a copy here.
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