“Golden” by Cameron Dokey
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Fantasy, Fairy Tale Re-telling
Summary from Goodreads:
Before Rapunzel’s birth, her mother made a dangerous deal with the sorceress Melisande: If she could not love newborn Rapunzel just as she appeared, she would surrender the child to Melisande. When Rapunzel was born completely bald and without hope of ever growing hair, her horrified mother sent her away with the sorceress to an uncertain future.
After sixteen years of raising Rapunzel as her own child, Melisande reveals that she has another daughter, Rue, who was cursed by a wizard years ago and needs Rapunzel’s help. Rue and Rapunzel have precisely “two nights and the day that falls between” to break the enchantment. But bitterness and envy come between the girls, and if they fail to work together, Rue will remain cursed…forever.
I’ve been intrigued by Golden‘s premise long before Project: Fairy Tale came to be. A Rapunzel re-telling where Rapunzel is bald? It’s definitely an interesting idea. At the same time, I was very worried. Everyone knows that Rapunzel’s trademark feature is her incredibly long hair. How can she be Rapunzel without it?!
In the end, it turns out I was worried for no reason because Dokey’s re-telling truly worked. She didn’t just expand on the Grimm brother’s fairy tale and flesh it out. She truly reworked it into her own story. She did keep some of the elements of the real story (Rapunzel’s mom craving rapunzel, her father giving her to the witch). She also added new elements (Rapunzel’s baldness, the tinker, the witch’s daughter) which made you think maybe you didn’t know the whole story to begin with.
Rapunzel is still fairly sheltered in this re-telling but she definitely had some spunk to her. She wasn’t weak willed. I appreciated that she doesn’t turn to mush about boys or for love. The whole Rapunzel/Prince Alexander/Rue love situation was nicely handled and a good explanation about love at first sight. Harry was a good match Rapunzel because everything felt very natural.
The bottom line? Very cool retelling. I’ll definitely have to check out more books from the series in the future.
Check out more fairy tale reviews by clicking the button below: