A young prince crippled by a witch—
When Fredrico watches his cruel family mourn his false death and announce to the kingdom their cursed prince has died, is the day he truly embraces his new life and new name Rumplestiltskin. How could he be known by anything else? —His skin is completely rumpled and stilted now. He hides away from the king and queen and grows up as a crippled servant in the castle.
Years later, his younger brother, Marcus, becomes king and humors Aubrynn’s father when he boasts that his daughter can turn straw into gold. Intrigued Marcus locks the distraught maiden in a tower and declares to the kingdom that if she can transform the straw, he will marry her, but if she cannot he will kill her father.
Rumplestiltskin is determined to help Aubrynn save her father and marry the king. Now, if only he can remember to keep his real identity a secret and not fall in love with her himself…
Rumplestiltskin by Jenni James is the third in her Faerie Tale Collection. In her version, Rumplestiltskin is not the villain; in fact, he’s the hero of this tale. Shunned by his family and believed dead by the kingdom, Prince Fredrico Baldrich Layton roams the hidden castle corridor, hiding from everyone’s sight. However, when a girl is unjustly forced to “turn straw into gold” or face the death penalty, Rumple knows that he must step in and save her from his cruel brother’s wrath.
Jenni James artfully introduces the reader into her world of Rumplestiltskin while still being respectful towards the original version. Her new interpretation paints him as merely misunderstood, which endears audiences to a previously one-dimensional villain. In addition, she turns a moral tale about greed into a captivating romance. An interesting twist is that Rumplestiltskin himself isn’t magic, which adds another layer of suspense during multiple tight situations. I recommend this book for fairytale lovers, fans of romance, and readers who like hearing new and sometimes unconventional retellings of a classic story.
The flowing writing and emotionally charged narrative will make you tear through these pages as quickly as it takes to say “Rumplestiltskin.” Okay, maybe a bit longer, but you will so enraptured with this story that time will fly.
Jenni James has been reimagining many other fairytales and Jane Austen stories in her Faerie Tale Collection and Jane Austen Diaries series. If you love sweet YA romances based on literary classics while simultaneously giving them new life, you’ll love Ms. James’ ever-growing list of books.