A Curse Dark as Gold

A Curse Dark as Gold❰Read❯ ➯ A Curse Dark as Gold Author Elizabeth C. Bunce – Heartforum.co.uk Charlotte Miller has always scoffed at talk of a curse on her family's woolen mill which holds her beloved small town together But after her father's death the bad luck piles up departing workers impo Charlotte Miller has Dark as eBook ✓ always scoffed at talk of a curse on her family's woolen mill which holds her beloved small town together But after her father's death the bad luck piles up departing workers impossible debts an overbearing uncle Then a stranger named Jack A Curse PDF/EPUB ² Spinner offers a tempting proposition He can turn straw into gold thread for the small price of her mother's ring As Charlotte is drawn deeper into her bargains with Spinner and a romance with the local banker she must unravel the truth of the curse Curse Dark as ePUB ✓ on the mill and save the community she's always called home.

Elizabeth C Bunce Dark as eBook ✓ is the author of the new Myrtle Hardcastle Mystery series beginning with Premeditated MyrtleHer first novel A Curse Dark as Gold won the inaugural William C Morris Award for a young adult debut novel and was named a Smithsonian Notable Book A Curse PDF/EPUB ² Her high fantasy Thief Errant series includes the novels StarCrossed A Chicago Public Library Best of the Best book for and Lia.

A Curse Dark as Gold eBook ã Curse Dark as  ePUB
  • Hardcover
  • 396 pages
  • A Curse Dark as Gold
  • Elizabeth C. Bunce
  • English
  • 16 January 2016
  • 9780439895767

10 thoughts on “A Curse Dark as Gold

  1. Sarah says:

    Let’s just make this perfectly clear I loved this book Fairy tales retold are pretty much a sure thing with me but this one’s a humdinger You think you know Rumplestiltskin? Think againElizabeth Bunce refers to her work as “historical fantasy” and she’s dead on One of the main strengths of A Curse Dark as Gold is the setting The mill stands firmly at the center of the plot and Elizabeth Bunce makes the place feel very real right down to the last creaking board But the setting is than just the place – it’s also the whole community the time and the culture which are cleverly modeled on the years near the beginning of the Industrial Revolution The competition between tradition and technology forms a smart backdrop for the Miller sisters’ struggles The author also knows a thing or two about the woolen industry that much is clear I think it’s a mark of how well done the book is that I didn’t realize how much research went into the story until I’d read the afterword Even though the story doesn’t take place in a firm time or location the author is very clear about what elements of industry and society are factual and what’s been altered and that goes a long way with me – even in a fantasyYes despite the realism of the setting this is unuestionably a fantasy Much to my delight the author goes about introducing the fantasy elements gradually When an author gets me firmly entrenched in a seemingly normal world before unleashing the magic I’m much willing to go along for the ride In the case of Curse it’s hard to tell just when the magic starts and that’s a good thing Strange happenings abound but they’re not blatantly otherworldly at the outset Is it a curse or isn’t it? Are the townsfolk onto something or is it just country superstition? Even the heroine herself shows a good deal of uncertainty and skepticism further helping to suspend my disbeliefBecause let’s face it fairy tales are full of gaps All sorts of improbable things happen with little or no explanation Now I’m not looking for someone to explain every inch of a tale and give me a step by step lesson in spinning straw into gold but a good retelling – like this one – will have you half believing the story is possible Fairy tale characters also seem to get pushed around like chess pieces – especially the girls A good retelling will also put a little muscle on those underdeveloped characters and give them minds of their own True to form Charlotte Miller is no wishy washy helpless heroine This girl’s got some backbone and a head for business That’s not something you find a whole lot of in the Brothers GrimmOf course a good chunk of the fun of retellings is wondering how the author will weave in the familiar elements of the backstory What will change? What stays the same? Sorry I’m not telling Instead I’ll leave you with these uestions which A Curse Dark as Gold will answer for you in MarchWhat did Rumplestiltskin want that baby for?Why did the miller’s daughter agree to Rumplestiltskin’s price?And most importantlyWhat’s in a name?

  2. Allison (The Allure of Books) says:

    I bought this book expecting to fall in love with it and it did not let me down It was an incredible story and my head is spinning with everything I want to say about itFirst of all I was touched before the story even began In Elizabeth Bunce's acknowledgements she says And lastly to my husband Christopher for always being there If I wrote you into a story no one would believe you were real I think that is lovely and I was in love with the author from the get goOn that subject make sure you read the Author's Note at the end I thought it was a fantastic addition to the story in itself She touches on several key points of her story and I thought the notes were fascinatingNow the story I thought it began a tad slow although I was in love with Charlotte Miller from the beginning From the first paragraph she easily takes on the strong female lead role There are so many lovely characters in this storyeveryone from the witchy midwife Biddy Tom to the wool dyer Mr Mordant added such rich life to the storyUsually when a book begins too fairy tale like I get annoyed but Curse has such a great mix of reality and fairy tale that it works The things that would normally seem like uite a stretch just work in this case I love reading a book with a constant cloud of suspense Through this entire book you get the something is just not RIGHT feeling and it intensifies as Charlotte uncovers just exactly what it is that isn't right She falls in love with Randall At first he seems like a knight in shining armor then his character begins to look a bit weak I wonder if that was on purpose? I hope so then at the end he really does help save the dayAnywayI'm rambling Suffice it to say that I LOVED this story and I highly recommend it to anyone that loves YA fantasy or fairy tale retellings

  3. Keertana says:

    If you like me are hard pressed to find truly chilling gothic fiction then A Curse Dark as Gold is not one to pass up As a re telling of “Rumplestiltskin” this novel is haunting poetic and – most importantly – whole Out of all the fairy tales in the world “Rumplestiltskin” is easily my least favorite After all who really wants to read the story of a nameless heroine who later betrays the only character who helps her and winds up marrying the man who threatened to ruin her? It simply doesn’t make for good literature and over there is something grotesue about the dark underbelly of human nature that it manages to expose With A Curse Dark as Gold however Bunce has taken this flawed – and largely unlikable – tale and crafted it into a believable story one full of human flaws but also realistic virtues A Curse Dark as Gold is as many readers will undoubtedly rush to admit slow And yet it is never cumbersome Bunce’s writing is beautiful and as she builds for us the mythical village of Shearing she also slowly writes the creeping tale of ill luck and curses that have followed the Miller family for ages Charlotte and Rosie the two sisters of Stirwaters are orphaned when this novel begins but uickly take up the difficult mantle of running their late father’s business As can be expected a slew of new changes is in store for them from their little seen Uncle Wheeler making an appearance to the discovery of thousands of pounds of debt their father hasn’t paid and – my favorite – the introduction of Randall Woodstone a banker As Bunce throws multiple hurdles at these two sisters she also peels back the layers of rumors and superstitions that surround Stirwaters and the Miller family One of the only reasons this novel excels is because of Charlotte Not only is Charlotte a headstrong self sufficient and reliable heroine – one who doesn’t shirk responsibility and embraces hard work – but she’s also extremely pragmatic Charlotte refuses to believe in the Curse of Stirwaters meeting challenge after challenge with a clear mind And yet as this novel progresses as misfortune presses down upon her Charlotte slowly begins to fall back upon the hidden mysteries of her home that she has refused to acknowledge Where Bunce truly shines in her portrayal of Charlotte is in displaying the dual nature of her personality Every trait of Charlotte’s that is one to be applauded – her stubborn nature her commitment to the mill her loyalty to her family – are all slowly spun in such a way to become her downfall and revealed to truly be flaws A Curse Dark as Gold is as I mentioned earlier a very slow creeping read one that builds its gothic atmosphere as the curse becomes and actualized in our minds As Bunce writes this atmosphere though she perfectly captures its effects upon her protagonist rendering her a far three dimensional character than the nameless heroine she was originally based off of Bunce continues to strengthen the original tale of “Rumplestiltskin” through her interpretation of the dwarf himself Jack Spinner a mysterious man who appears whenever Charlotte and Stirwaters are nearing their ends is one of the best villains I’ve come across I am relieved to announce that Bunce does in fact tie up all loose ends concerning Spinner’s character by the end of the novel and she does so brilliantly instilling a level of history sorrow and depth to a villain we formerly may have thought to be forgettable And yet what makes Spinner such a brilliant character is his ability to bring out the worst in the best people I love that Bunce took an innocuous device from “Rumplestiltskin” – the dwarf’s ability to prey upon helpless individuals gradually increasing his payments and forcing their own hand at evil to stop him – and brought it to life even encompassing than before to drive home the extent of gray matter that exists within everyone’s hearts Nevertheless A Curse Dark as Gold would fall seriously short of its mark of brilliance without its cast of secondary characters First and foremost the village of Shearing is a force to be reckoned with Bunce makes this fictional environment come to life with her accurate descriptions of the Industrial Age – how I love a well written historical fiction novel – in England and her lyrical prose More than that though her vision of Stirwaters – a mill that provides for the livelihood of an entire village – is given breath and air as these workers become just as dear to us as they are to Charlotte Stirwaters not to be outdone by Shearing comes with its own ghostly atmosphere from hexes that refuse to be erased to euipment that won’t work without the presence of a charm to ward off evil nearby Its owners Charlotte and Rosie are family that worm their way into your heart Rosie though lacking the extent of responsibility that Charlotte faces is no less admirable courageous and intelligent I particularly loved watching the relationship arc between these siblings from their arguments to small gestures of love I would do this book an injustice however without mentioned my absolutely favorite character Randall Woodstone Randall arrives in Shearing to collect the many pounds that Charlotte’s father borrowed on loan from the bank Although he is easily dismissible at first glance Randall soon continues to makes re appearances in Charlotte’s life and their romance though brief is fitting for this time period What I truly loved about his character though is that he embodies the ualities that I seek in a worthy romantic interest – loyal intelligent and respectful Randall allows Charlotte free rein of her business never interfering and only seeking to support her Although my heart broke at the multiple hurdles they faced – not always together – I loved the progression of their relationship from their realistic stumbles to their messy patch ups Bunce never allows us to view this couple through rose tinted glasses showing us the stark reality of their relationship and the strain of both the curse and hidden secrets but our patience and love for these two pays off by the end A Curse Dark as Gold if it isn’t already obvious is simply not one to miss Although this novel firmly remains a re telling of “Rumplestiltskin” – and a brilliant one at that – it goes on to encompass so much than merely that from its history to its characters It reminded me very much of Jennifer Donnelly’s A Northern Light If you’re a fan of strong heroines one who can’t necessarily fight to the death but ones who can stand up for what they believe in and fight – in any way they know how – for their families then this book is for you If you’re a fan of fairy tale re tellings especially re imagined ones that only serve to better the original tale then this book is for you And most importantly if you’re a fan of courage especially found in dark times then this book is most definitely for you Just take my word for it – Stirwaters is worth the visit; very much so

  4. Rose says:

    I LOVED this book Loved the way this retelling of Rumplestilskin was fit into a real setting loved the way even despicable characters had their moments when we felt sorry for them loved the magic and the mystery I loved the words too I'm living in a non English speaking country and sometimes I feel starved for words and by the time I got to page 2 it was all I could do not to stuff the whole book in my mouth and devour it LovelyAND IT JUST WON THE WILLIAM MORRIS AWARD FOR BEST FIRST YA

  5. Angie says:

    I've been savoring this one I mean I read a chunk every day don't get me wrong But if something happened to come up at night during my normal reading time instead of muttering Vital point like I usually do I was up for itWatch a movie? SureClean out a few boxes from the study? Let's do itBecause I just didn't want this book to end It than lived up to the expectations I had having heard such wonderful early reviews And I was so pleased that it did because the initial prospect of a Rumpelstiltskin retelling was not all that attractiveLet's face it in its original form it's an awful fairy tale Awful Dad sells his nameless daughter to Awful King in exchange for money Awful King threatens nameless daughter with death unless she is able to spin straw into gold Otherwise he'll marry her Then to top it all off creepily Awful Dwarf appears and saves nameless daughter's baconin exchange for her potential first born child And she's willing to make this Awful Bargain because she really doesn't want to die and can see no other way out So she marries Awful King makes a baby with him shocker and when Awful Dwarf comes to claim his due is only able to save her baby by guessing his Awful Name Yeah Not my favorite fairy taleTurns out it wasn't Elizabeth C Bunce's favorite either I love that she rewrote it because it bothered her And she did such a splendid job filling in the cracks reworking the plot carefully shaping it into a lovely tale of courage and ill luck curses and redemption The setting was a perfect choice eighteenth century England just on the cusp of the Industrial Revolution And the beautiful names Charlotte Miller Randall Woodstone Shearing Stirwaters Jack Spinner The names truly belong to their characters and places I could tell each one was carefully chosen for effect like a Dickens cast And I was drawn to them the animate and inanimate alike For the mill the mansion and the curse itself are characters in their own right Bunce's beautiful unselfconscious writing propels the story forward to its climactic conclusion This is a dark drafty remarkably real tale and like Jack Spinner it will spin its golden thread around you

  6. Betsy says:

    Every possible fairytale is eventually hunted down and stripped of its elements for middle grade and YA novel reinterpretation This is not an unusual thing For centuries humans have been fascinated with such tales telling them retelling them and changing them to suit current needs Nowandays when contemporary authors take a tale it becomes the skeleton for a larger story to come Cinderella becomes Donna Jo Napoli’s Bound East of the Sun West of the Moon becomes Sun and Moon Ice and Snow by Jessica Day George or East by Edith Pattou Nothing against the titles I’ve already mentioned but my favorite reinterpretations are always the ones that aren’t considered princess tales The Magic Circle which took the Hansel and Gretel tale and turned it into a story of mental illness Or this book A Curse Dark as Gold which reimagines the Rumpelstiltskin story with cleverness and style Though I feel some judicious pruning was probably in order Bunce’s debut binds together a strong story with characters that make you believe Few books are lucky enough to do so much It’s so much simpler to live your life when you know what you want When Charlotte Miller’s father dies and leaves his mill Stirwaters to his daughters Charlotte knows that all she wants is keep the place running Tragedy after bad luck however sees to it that unless Charlotte wants very much to see Stirwaters survive she must seek the help of a stranger Named Jack Spinner the man promises to give Charlotte the things she wants the most But at what price? There is much to be said for a story that knows what it’s about from page one onward Sometimes you’ll read a novel and as the plot progresses it feels as if the author is realizing where the story goes alongside their reader Such books tend to be disappointing Curse however has no such internal weaknesses No gaps in the narrative or flaws in the work I can see some young readers becoming confused with Bunce’s mechanical take on the old Rumpelstiltskin tale They might wonder for some time where the spinning comes in Of course all is cleared up when Charlotte mentions to a visitor “Spinning is at the heart of our operation here” It is the machines that spin of a fashion And like Paul Zelinsky’s version of Rumpelstiltskin Bunce understands the technical aspects of this fairy tale When the gold is created it doesn’t lie in bushels but rather as “Gleaming reels of thread stacked chest high all along one wall like rows of corncobs” Sometimes the technical the text the better the read The romantic element I must admit is fairly forgettable Having read this book about a year ago I’d entirely forgotten that Charlotte even had a beau until I reread it again recently What sticks far clearly in the mind is Charlotte’s personality her love of her sister her uncle’s attempts to become World’s Greatest Cad and Jack Spinner I even remembered the reason why Spinner does the things he does but I could not remember Charlotte's beau Randall to save my soul He’s a steady fellow but not at the heart of the piece As such I wouldn’t sell this book to kids with the lure of romance Rather I’d fashion it as a gripping mystery and a book where magic is at its most duplicitous This is a book too slippery to slot in the standard lovey dovey romance aisle Give it a little respect The KLIATT review of this book said that it takes place in “the nonspecific past of the Industrial Revolution” That’s fair Bunce basically says as much at the beginning of her Author’s Note The School Library Journal review said “A rich opening to Jane Austen's world for teens” That’s bizarre Surely if you had to compare this book to something then it would be far of a George Eliot piece yes? Bunce’s talent at putting a smart sentence together is commendable as well One such example might be when Charlotte is compelled to tell the truth against her instincts “I sat in stony silence – a crack in my foundations growing wider and wider by the moment” I love that kind of stuff The slow and steady tone of the piece is not in and of itself a problem Not every novel has to interrupt itself with car chases and fight scenes after all Magic isn’t even hinted at in fact until page 100 or so More difficult is the sheer length of the novel At 400 pages there are times when the reader wonders if every scene here is absolutely necessary Working at of a clip the length of the book would be less noticeable As it stands the weight sometimes drags the reader down Kirkus suggested in their review that Charlotte was possessed of an “infuriating secretiveness” which normally drives me bonkers in books There is no type of story that disturbs me than one where the protagonist constantly goes against the will of the reader But Bunce’s tale didn’t have that affect on me Maybe it was because she put us so effectively into the head of her heroine Maybe it had to do with the fact that we understood her motivations And maybe it also had something to do with the fact that when Charlotte is surprised by something we the readers are surprised as well Bunce does us the honor of not pulling her punches and we respect her in turnAll first time novelists are usually marketed as that; first time novelists This is both a blessing and a curse If they do supremely well then people will marvel over their so called “luck” Inevitably they will then write their second novel and no matter how good it is someone somewhere will be disappointed in it However if the first novel is well done but has a few areas that deserved tightening up critics will smile patronizingly and murmur “That’s all right She’s clearly a debut novelist Give her a few books and I’m sure she’ll straighten right up” I don’t particularly want to say that about this book but I do honestly believe that this is a strong start straight out of the gate with a few areas that could have been helped Do not let this put you off however Bunce has clearly defined herself as “one to watch” and I’ll be first in line to see whatever it may be that she has hidden up her sleeve next A good start to an authorial careerAges 10 and up

  7. Grace says:

    Not a bad book really justa book that had some aspects to it that kept me from enjoying it enough to give it stars A pet peeve of mine in fiction is when a protagonist constantly makes the wrong decision in situations that might have brought about a sooner resolution Specifically when other characters who want to and can help ask her what's wrong and she keeps her secret bottled up dealing with the problems on her own This especially seems ridiculous when the character keeps her secret from characters she should trust The whole idea of Charlotte marrying a man and then refusing to let him help her one ounceuntil he is so frustrated he leaves herjustseemed rather frustrating and far fetched One thing I did notice and appreciate however was that the author put the emphasis on the emotions and the plot and not on the descriptions of the two girls In fact I ended the story not uite clear whether the girls were blonde brunette or redhead actually pretty or plain In an age of storytelling where the female protagonist is usually described within the first few pages as uniuely pretty or plain compared to her sisters with long red hair etc it was actually refreshing to have an author focus on substance rather than physiue although I'll admit I do love a story with a pretty protagonist too

  8. Kara says:

    This is a good book but I didn't enjoy reading itGood writing good dialogue tightly woven plot good research BUT for 90% of the book neither the reader nor the narrator know what's going on which is 1 incredibly frustrating and 2 leads to a big info dump at the endThe time and place is unspecified which being a fairy tale should be ok but here I was slightly maddened that the writer tried to put such a real world context to it especially all the information about the early Industrial Revolution yet refused to give so much as the current monarch's nameWhat I did like was here the Rumpelstiltskin character was both menacing and sympathetic I've seen versions where he is one or the other but the combination here was a new twist although it took forever and a day to clarify who he was and how he got all his powers in the first place was too vagueIt was pretty horrifying to learn that generations of the Miller family had been willing to choose a pile of timber over their own sons and considering how dangerously schizophrenic the mill itself was I was cheering on for its demise the whole book despite the supposedly positive role model of the main character being a girl in man's world proving she could too run a business I didn't like the main character she really failed to elicit my sympathy especially her tendency to be so practical as to ignore all evidence pointing towards the supernatural and then AND THEN when she jumps on board the SS Witchcraft full steam ahead damn the torpedoes she promises without being tricked into saying it Anything as the payment Never promise anything next thing you known John the Baptist's head is on a sliver plate the sun chariot gets crashed and surprise surprise you're asked to hand over your own baby What rock was she living under?

  9. Cara says:

    If there is one word that I would use to sum up this book it's intricate I was floored to find out that this was the author's debut novel Ms Bunce is up there with the best veterans of the fantasy genreCharlotte Miller knows her share of hardships Her mother and baby brother died and the book starts with the reader witnessing Charlotte and her sister burying their father Too bad for Charlotte that this is not the last she is going to see of bad luck With her father gone she has to shoulder the responsibility of being in charge of the mill Stirwaters is everything to their town and she can not and will not let it fall She literally will do anything to keep the mill going When things start to get rough a mysterious man who calls himself Jack Spinner comes in to save the day Charlotte being the level headed young woman she is doesn't buy it at first but Jack Spinner proves himself to be reliable Of course everything always comes at a price Will Charlotte be willing to pay the highest price of all?In the beginning of the book you feel like Charlotte that everything is rooted in reality As the story progresses though you can feel that the lines of reality begin to blur into this magical world around them Not even once did I think this world was not real The historical background of the story gives the reader a sense of realness and helps to make the magic believable Charlotte at times could be stubborn beyond comprehension but I understood her even though I didn't always agree with her She always did everything to protect the people she cared about and you really can't be mad at someone who has that uality The plot is done superbly Every character and every bit of info comes back around to show what had been hiding in plain sight all along The right person just had to be willing to look Characters are always the heart of the story and this particular cast of characters were true to form and kept the book pulsating Randall was my favorite but I'd say the most interesting was Uncle Wheeler Uncle Wheeler I'd say is the one who really hits the theme of what a name truly means and what it doesn't A brilliantly crafted story of love mystery and magic

  10. Rachel E. Carter says:

    I was hoping for a bit romance The first half 5 amazing stars view spoilerthrough the proposal hide spoiler

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