Rumpelstiltskin – Would You Give Up Your Firstborn Child To This Mage?

Book Review : Rumpelstiltskin
Timeless Fairy Tales #4


By K. M. Shea

Spoiler Alert!



When 17-year-old Gemma, a seamstress, is ordered by the insane King Torgen to spin straw into gold or be put to death, she knows her life is forfeit. Unwilling to give up, Gemma tries to escape her prison, earning her the respect of the mysterious mage, Stil. Stil offers to complete the impossible task…for a price.

Greedy and unsatisfied, King Torgen demands more and more straw to be spun into gold, and decrees that he will “reward” Gemma by marrying her. With death or marriage to a crazed king clouding her future, Stil offers Gemma a bargain that seems too good to be true.

Will Gemma’s trust in Stil be her downfall, or will he defy the entire country to save her? (Courtesy of

Adult Point of View

Once Upon A Time, a woman got caught in reading a particular author and can’t seem to stop. In this case, I just finished Rumpelstiltskin and like it less than Beauty and the Beast and Cinderella and the Colonel, but more than The Wild Swans.

Rumpelstiltskin is riddled with errors in the text, spelling and word choice. I find these errors to be jarring while reading. One other item on the neutral side would be how similar the tent was to J.K. Rowling’s tents in Harry Potter, The Goblet of Fire. Unfortunately, her work is so well known it makes this idea, of a richly furnished tent disguised with a tatty exterior, feel like it only belongs in Harry Potter even if other authors had previously used the same schtick.

Gemma’s character is fun because she is so focused on sewing clothes that she sees little else, and certainly has no desire for personal wealth. Stil, short for Rumpelstiltskin, was my favorite character in this book. He is whimsical, unpredictable, knows his short comings as a mage and falls in love with Gemma because she is his opposite. In the past, Rumpelstiltskin has seemed a bit creepy asking for the first born child of the woman he is helping; and in this case he has the same deal “your firstborn child will be mine”, which Gemma agrees to since she isn’t even convinced she will ever have children. Later, Gemma truly realizes what she agreed to with Still and I believe her response was to smack him, while my response was to laugh with the author. My favorite secondary character was the young lady Gemma served because she is so interested in becoming a soldier and has to hide her sword practice and heart felt desire. She is bold, unrealistic and loyal to those she loves.

I believe anything by this author is appropriate for any audience and I enjoy that she adds her own twist to famous fairy tales. Next, I’m reading her version of The Little Mermaid.

3.25 out of 5 stars

If you enjoyed this fairy tale try Enchantment by Orson Scott Card or any of the fairy tales by Robin McKinley, Beauty being a favorite as well as Spindle’s End. Though not a fairy tale you may also enjoy Sorcery and Cecelia, or The Enchanted Chocolate Pot by Caroline Stevermer and Patricia Wrede. I believe The Blue Sword by Robin McKinley would be a great selection because it has a lot of girl power in it, and horses! Happy reading.

About Tales Untangled

I am a mother of four children and have a passion for reading. I love sharing my treasury of books with my kids. I also do experiments in cooking which includes such things as Indian Tandoori Chicken slow-cooked in a tagine. I write stories and illustrate in ink.
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