Stalks of Gold: A Rapunzel and Rumpelstiltskin Retelling by Celeste Baxendell (Bewitching Fairy Tales book 1)
With the arrival of a mysterious stranger one evening, Aurelia’s normal life falls apart. Her father is killed, a deranged king has imprisoned her, and the one person she thought she could trust has abandoned her.
Now she must either spin a room full of straw into gold or be killed too. When the mysterious stranger offers help, she can’t refuse. But as the situation gets worse, Aurelia faces an impossible choice: marry the cruel king and spin straw into gold forever or agree to a deal without knowing the terms.
Sandor knows he failed Aurelia, but he’s never been brave in the face of his half-brother’s cruelty. And every time he tries to help, something goes horribly wrong. But when Aurelia vanishes with the mysterious stranger, he can no longer stay silent. He will do whatever it takes to rescue her, no matter the cost.
The easy choice would have been leaving. The hardest thing I’ve ever done was choose to stay.
This was a really fun mashup of Rapunzel and Rumpelstiltskin. It featured hidden royals, unknown magic, and friends to enemies to lovers. There were a few times where I felt the story dragged a little bit, but not a lot and there were plenty of twists and turns to keep the story going.
No swearing – “bastard” is used in the literal definition
Mention of blood and wounds