The good news is that this book came out in November, and I’m reading it in January! ARCs aside I am nearly caught up with new releases and can start reading my backlog soon.
You can find my review for Gilded here, and now let’s talk about Cursed.
Bookish quick facts:
- Title: Cursed
- Series: Gilded #2 (Duology)
- Author: Marissa Meyer
- Publisher & Release: Feiwel & Friends, 2022
- Length: 496 pages
- Rate & Recommend: ⭐⭐⭐ ⭐ for fans of dark fairy tales and retellings
A quick note on the audio: narrated by Rebecca Soler, at 16.5 hours from MacMillan Audio in 2022
Here’s the synopsis from Am*zon:
Be still now, and I will tell you a tale.
Adalheid Castle is in chaos.
Following a shocking turn of events, Serilda finds herself ensnared in a deadly game of make-believe with the Erlking, who is determined to propel her deeper into the castle’s lies. Meanwhile, Serilda is determined to work with Gild to help him solve the mystery of his forgotten name and past.
But soon it becomes clear that the Erlking doesn’t only want to use Serilda to bring back his one true love. He also seeks vengeance against the seven gods who have long trapped the Dark Ones behind the veil. If the Erlking succeeds, it could change the mortal realm forever.
Can Serilda find a way to use her storytelling gifts for good―once and for all? And can Serilda and Gild break the spells that tether their spirits to the castle before the Endless Moon finds them truly cursed?
Romance and adventure collide in this stunning finale to the Rumpelstilskin-inspired fairy tale
At this point I’ve read nearly everything that Marissa Meyer has published, and most of it has been consumed by listening to Rebecca Soler. I’m going to get the annoying thing out of the way first and then talk about all the good things.
The thing is, I think Meyer really had to stretch to make this book 500 pages long. There was a lot of repetition, a lot of explanation, and while I understand that she wants the reader to get the point, I feel like I would have been more bored if I was reading the text. That said, at this point we know that the Erlking is absolutely evil. Serilda is generally a pretty smart person yet she just kept begging and screaming and crying at him repeatedly over multiple instances, and I just got sick of listening to it.
So parts of both the audio and the text got to me. I just hate people that whine and the audiobook was extremely whiny at times, striking a small nerve.
So on to the positives. I applaud how far and how dark she took this story – even if I felt like the end was a total cop out. I was so devastated by the events leading up to the ending and … I would have just left it.
The lore, stories, action, and characters, were all pretty much on par with the first book. I liked meeting the gods and monsters and generally appreciated the pacing of the book. It wasn’t that I was bored, it’s just that the same type of situation between Serilda, the kids, and the king, repeated itself so much that it became more tiresome than shocking.
Not to say that there were not many good parts though. There’s plenty of fierce magic and snarky banter to keep the pages interesting.
TLDR/Overall: All of that said though, I highly recommend reading Cursed if you liked Gilded. It’s just more of everything and it’s difficult to find YA books that are willing to go quite as dark as this series. With plenty of dark fairytale lore and fantasy imagery, you can’t go too wrong with Meyer.
Thanks for checking out my book and audiobook review for Cursed by Marissa Meyer. I obtained my copy through Libby and as always, all opinions are my own❤️