Sometime in my browsing of books online I came across this title. Billed as a retelling of Rumpelstiltskin, I was immediately intrigued. I enjoy reading fairytale retellings.
So I had high hopes for this book. In ways, it worked, and in some, it fell short.
To start, the book begins very slowly. For the first 100 pages or so I was only half-heartedly interested. I was almost to the point of abandoning the book when it finally started to get interesting.
I think part of the reason I had trouble was that so much of the beginning chapters of the book focus on the workings of the mill. The author tells us about looms, spinning wheels, spindles, water wheels, and tenterhooks were virtually no explanation as to what these things do or what they look like. It was very hard to have a vivid picture in my mind of what was going on.
Things I liked: the way the author tells the story is very lyrical, almost flowing from one page to the next. Also, the magic in the tale is very different from standard YA fantasy novels. However...
There are many rituals and instances of magic that are never fully explained. Why is the character doing this? How did they know to do it?
The main character, Charlotte, is stubborn and independent, but too much so. She confided in no one; insisted upon handling all problems that arose on her own. Even her husband, she pushes away despite his urging for her to let him help.
Lastly, I was mildly disappointed that our mysterious man's name didn't end up to be Rumpelstiltskin, and the name that he did have, wasn't that important. The biggest aspect of the original Rumpelstiltskin, to me, is that the miller's daughter is forced to discover this man's name in order to save her child. However, in this story, the things she needed to break his curse were much different.
All in all, it was interesting, but there were too many confusing parts to it for me to whole-heartedly recommended it to a friend.