ARC Review: Gilded #2

This is the second book in a duology. There will be no spoilers for this book, but there may be some for book one. If you would like to read my review of Gilded click here.

Cursed by Marissa Meyer

Narrated by Rebecca Soler

Publication Date: November 8, 2022

Summary from NetGalley:

Be still now, and I will tell you a tale.

#1 New York Times-bestselling author Marissa Meyer brings the haunting fairytale-inspired Gilded duology to a thrilling conclusion that will have fans—old and new—spinning.

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.

ARC provided by Macmillan Audio via NetGalley for an honest review.


What a marvelous ending to this fantastical retelling of the Rumpelstiltskin fairy tale. It is full of adventure, gods, dark creatures and love. I so enjoyed every moment of this duology and even though it took some turns that were unexpected, things worked out well in the end.

This was my first time listening to an audiobook ARC and I was not disappointed. Rebecca Soler does a fantastic job with the narration. She captured Serilda’s personality perfectly and she also does a great job with different voices for each of the many characters. I especially enjoyed some of the voices for the various gods that Serilda encounters. I look forward to listening to Ms. Soler again.

Serilda is just as wonderful in this book as she was in the first. She still occasionally made some rather poor decisions, but they do eventually work out for her. I loved her banter with the Erlking throughout the book. The wedding scene was perfect and quite amusing as well. Gild also continues to entrance and I loved the playfully wicked games that he played on the court and the king. Gild and Serilda also have such a lovely relationship that is supportive and protective of each other. I think they are my favorite couple of the year.

Lots of new characters are introduced as well as many from the first book. We do get to meet some of the gods, which was fun and I loved the back stories for each of them. The Erlking continues to be the villain that you almost have to like. I do think he had some feelings for Serilda in the end, but his love for Perchta was so overwhelming that no one could take her place.

The plot of this story was masterfully done. I had some ideas of where I thought it might go and some of them were spot on, but there were still some twists that I did not see coming. There is a bit more action in this one and Serilda ends up traveling to different places in the kingdom, many of them fantastical and wonderful. The beautiful and detailed descriptions of places, people and things made the story very immersive. The pacing was well done with nice quiet spots followed by exciting action scenes. This book is long, but it certainly didn’t feel long.

Rumplestiltskin is one of my favorite fairy tales and this retelling certainly did it justice. This story goes places that I could never have imagined. I look forward to seeing what fairy tale this master storyteller tackles next.

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