Thursday, September 29, 2011

Review: Straw Into Gold - Gary D. Schmidt

Synopsis: Tousle's life depends on the answer to a riddle. He must solve it in seven days or be killed. With no one to ease his way in this challenging quest but the cruelly blinded Innes, Tousle sets off to find the banished queen. She alone possesses the answer that can save them.

Running for their lives - pursued through dark woods and across the raging rivers by the king's men - the boys soon find themselves challenged by another, even more mystifying, riddle: What happened to the young prince, who was taken away so long ago by a magical little man who could spin straw into gold? Is the royal heir hidden in plain sight? Could the queen, after so many years, even recognize him?

Review: I have read a lot of re-tellings of Rumpelstiltskin, and I have liked all of them, but not as much as this particular version. From the very beginning, the Author had me convinced about the direction of an certain element, and then completely surprised me by revealing that I was wrong. I was never completely sure how things were going to turn out, and I was eager to find out how he would wrap things up. He doesn't disappoint.

The writing itself I found a little confusing at times. It's like the Author forgot to include some words in a sentence, so I had to pause a couple of times and re-read the phrase. But the characters and their interactions made up for this almost entirely. Innes is not what I was expecting; his sense of humor is surprising and adds a lot to his personality. The banter between him and Tousle is very brotherly and believable from the start, and I found myself caring for both of them very much. I even liked Rumpelstiltskin!

Gary D. Schmidt did an excellent job in making sense of the muddle of the original and classic fairy-tale.

Overall Rating: 

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