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A curse. A hidden identity. A dangerous love. Ten year old Persinette Basile was forced to flee the palace of Gaule for her life. Now at eighteen, she must find a way to return in order to obey a curse on her family line. The prince won’t know who she is. Not anymore. But she knows him and what he will do if he discovers her true name. Made to fight for her life to earn her pl A curse. A hidden identity. A dangerous love. Ten year old Persinette Basile was forced to flee the palace of Gaule for her life. Now at eighteen, she must find a way to return in order to obey a curse on her family line. The prince won’t know who she is. Not anymore. But she knows him and what he will do if he discovers her true name. Made to fight for her life to earn her place, she vows to find a way to break the curse no matter the cost. ------- To. The. Death. The words describing the tournament turn Prince Alexandre Durand’s blood to ice. The last warrior standing will win a spot at his side. As he's thrust onto the throne, forbidden magic, dangerous betrayals, and a complicated love could tear his reign apart. When the secrets begin to unravel, will Alex stay true to the laws and traditions of Gaule or will he give it all up for a woman who deceived him? Inspired by the Rapunzel story, this is the golden-haired princess as you’ve never seen her before.


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A curse. A hidden identity. A dangerous love. Ten year old Persinette Basile was forced to flee the palace of Gaule for her life. Now at eighteen, she must find a way to return in order to obey a curse on her family line. The prince won’t know who she is. Not anymore. But she knows him and what he will do if he discovers her true name. Made to fight for her life to earn her pl A curse. A hidden identity. A dangerous love. Ten year old Persinette Basile was forced to flee the palace of Gaule for her life. Now at eighteen, she must find a way to return in order to obey a curse on her family line. The prince won’t know who she is. Not anymore. But she knows him and what he will do if he discovers her true name. Made to fight for her life to earn her place, she vows to find a way to break the curse no matter the cost. ------- To. The. Death. The words describing the tournament turn Prince Alexandre Durand’s blood to ice. The last warrior standing will win a spot at his side. As he's thrust onto the throne, forbidden magic, dangerous betrayals, and a complicated love could tear his reign apart. When the secrets begin to unravel, will Alex stay true to the laws and traditions of Gaule or will he give it all up for a woman who deceived him? Inspired by the Rapunzel story, this is the golden-haired princess as you’ve never seen her before.

30 review for Golden Curse

  1. 4 out of 5

    Mandie

    This was an amazing retelling of Rapunzel!! I’m such a sucker for fairy tales, even retellings!! The author did a a wonderful job writing this story! It is action packed and full of suspense. I’m looking forward to reading more of this series as it comes out. I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own

  2. 5 out of 5

    Debbie Turk

    My First Alt - Fairy Tale!! ✨😍💕 I was an alternative fairy tale virgin before this book. If this one is anything to go by, I've been converted to another sub genre!!🎉🎉 Persinette 'Etta' Basile is the first born child of Victor Basile. He was once the Protector & friend to the King of Gaule. The first born children in their Basile bloodline were cursed long ago by an ancient & powerful Sorceress. Their curse kicks in on their 18th Birthday & is to protect their enemy, the rulers of Geu My First Alt - Fairy Tale!! ✨😍💕 I was an alternative fairy tale virgin before this book. If this one is anything to go by, I've been converted to another sub genre!!🎉🎉 Persinette 'Etta' Basile is the first born child of Victor Basile. He was once the Protector & friend to the King of Gaule. The first born children in their Basile bloodline were cursed long ago by an ancient & powerful Sorceress. Their curse kicks in on their 18th Birthday & is to protect their enemy, the rulers of Geule!! Etta's father was betrayed by the King when he suddenly ordered a purge of all people with magic from his land - by purge he meant slaughter!! Victor was able to escape with his daughter, Etta's mother was slain 😢 The betrayal was so deep for many reasons but one of the biggest was that it was Victor's magic that the King had used to ward his land so that the ancient Sorceress, La Dame, couldn't attack his kingdom!! His fear of her had twisted his mind against ALL magic!!😡 Etta needs to return to the place she left at 10 years old, the place her Mother was murdered, her Father was betrayed & she lost her best friend and crush ... Prince Alexandre!! She must return to the Palace, even though she was born with magic, because her curse is about to kick in & if she can't find a way to serve Alex they'll both suffer the consequences!!😳💥 Alex is going to be King one day, he knows this. He hates swords, doesn't like fighting - not because he's a wimp but because he prefers to draw & use a bow and arrow!! Close combat is gruesome so when his Father announces a Tournament to find his new Protector then adds it will be 'To the Death' he's horrified. Even more so when he meets a beautiful girl beforehand then discovers she's is fighting in it because so is his best friend, Edmund, and there can be only one winner!!!😳😳 His sister, Princess Camille, will revel in the bloodthirsty displays they'll witness, she's so like their cruel Father!! He'll do his best to keep his face blank as befits his role as Heir but his poor little Brother, Prince Tyson, who will be so excited to see some real fighting, will have a rude awakening, he fears! Tyson is strong at 15 years but he cares deeply for people and these Deaths will be brutal 😢⚔ Etta has Royal blood. Her kingdom no longer exists but if it did she would be Princess of the kingdom of Bela and Heir to the thrown!! It was a magical kingdom that stood against La Dame, she defeated them by enacting the curse 😡😡 Etta is determined to break the curse once and for all!!💥 I found this tale well written & engrossing. The Author chose where to take me & transported me there easily with her descriptive style & cast of characters that grabbed me and didn't let go - in fact they still haven't, I want book 2 and 3 asap please 🙏😀 I marked it down because of the cliffhanger, I hate the darn things plus other than Etta having long blond hair & a vague reference to a plant nicknamed 'Rapunzel' - I genuinely don't see the connection?? 😂 Having said that I just want to add I think Etta was fantastic, badass & stoic in the face of SO much 😭💖 A highly recommended 4 stars 🌟 from this Fairy Tale virgin 😂😎✨ Debbie, 1970, UK

  3. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

    “Magic was evil. That’s what they’d been told when it was scrubbed clean from the face of Gaule. Alexandre Durand’s father-the king-made sure it couldn’t hurt them any longer.” This is a quick, refreshing take on the tale of Rapunzel, centered around Etta, descended from a family with magic, and Alex, her childhood friend and the future king - two people tied together by a generations-old curse. I am a huge fan of fairy tales, but find many YA adaptations I’ve read to be lack-luster in recent yea “Magic was evil. That’s what they’d been told when it was scrubbed clean from the face of Gaule. Alexandre Durand’s father-the king-made sure it couldn’t hurt them any longer.” This is a quick, refreshing take on the tale of Rapunzel, centered around Etta, descended from a family with magic, and Alex, her childhood friend and the future king - two people tied together by a generations-old curse. I am a huge fan of fairy tales, but find many YA adaptations I’ve read to be lack-luster in recent years. I’m delighted to say that wasn’t the case with Golden Curse. Not only is the cover lovely, the story itself was interesting and the characters engrossing. While there *is* a smidge of insta-love (which I’m not a fan of 99% of the time), Lynn does a phenomenal job of keeping the story fairly fast-paced and intriguing, and has a refreshing take on the “chosen one” trope. The characters themselves are kept few, distinct, and fleshed out in a way that draws you in and makes it easy for the reader to get past those tropes (if they bother you, like they sometimes do me). If you’re looking for a fresh take on a classic tale, with a delightful set of characters, I definitely recommend! *this is my honest opinion of an ARC copy*

  4. 4 out of 5

    Carly

    I cant wait to see where this series goes.

  5. 5 out of 5

    G.K. DeRosa

    Loved, loved, loved this Rapunzel retelling! This was actually my first fairy tale retelling so I wasn't sure what to expect, but having read many of this author's books before, I knew I wouldn't be disappointed. On a side note, M. Lynn is possibly the most underrated author out there. Her characters are so phenomenally written with so much heart that it's practically impossible not to fall in love with them. Etta is strong, brave and willful and the perfect match to the charming prince, Alex. T Loved, loved, loved this Rapunzel retelling! This was actually my first fairy tale retelling so I wasn't sure what to expect, but having read many of this author's books before, I knew I wouldn't be disappointed. On a side note, M. Lynn is possibly the most underrated author out there. Her characters are so phenomenally written with so much heart that it's practically impossible not to fall in love with them. Etta is strong, brave and willful and the perfect match to the charming prince, Alex. The chemistry between these two is swoon worthy and kept me turning the pages till the wee hours of the night. If you love strong heroines, handsome princes and dastardly royals, you're going to love this book. Just one question - when is book two coming out?!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Tiera McMillian

    I think this book was really good. It was a little slow on the up in up starting out but what an interesting reinvention of Rapunzel! I mean I did not even kind of recognize it. The world was a little slow unfolding but I was easily invested shortly in. I think the characters are pretty well fleshed out even though I was not a fan of Alex our MMC. He was just so indecisive and wishy washy through a lot of the story and it irritated me. Etta our FMC, loved her. She was strong and did not take any I think this book was really good. It was a little slow on the up in up starting out but what an interesting reinvention of Rapunzel! I mean I did not even kind of recognize it. The world was a little slow unfolding but I was easily invested shortly in. I think the characters are pretty well fleshed out even though I was not a fan of Alex our MMC. He was just so indecisive and wishy washy through a lot of the story and it irritated me. Etta our FMC, loved her. She was strong and did not take any crap from anyone. Etta has lived her life on the edge of the kingdom trapped by a magical boarder and unable to escape a cruel king who hunts her people for their magic. As if that weren't enough she is also cursed by a mad queen La Dame. The eldest from her generation must serve the kings family or be trapped in endless agony and then die. How is she to do this...when she and her entire people are hunted and murdered for their magic? Hiding her magic she enters a tournament to the death to become the heir's protector. Trapped in this cruel curse they feel each others pain, if one dies so does the other, and even though she hates him and the kingdom and what they stand for she cannot leave. She is cursed to serve. I was really wrapped up in this! Even with Alex being such a disappointment and too concerned with what everyone else is thinking. All is not what it seems in the kingdom however. When the old king dies the wards trapping the magic people in and out fail. Now La Dame waits on the other side. The reveals came pretty steadily but there still is a lot we don't know like the reason for the curse at all, though stories have been passed down I really feel like there is a lot more in store for our characters. I really hope Alex mans up soon.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Lene Blackthorn

    Epic battle between good and evil, from a perspective of choice, decision, and love from a fairy tale. The curse was always Persinette's fate. Tied to serve and protect the royal family she hates, Etta has no other choice than to step into a palace full of enemies - a palace that was once her home. Her anger and fury are tried by the king, though - for the hate changes to love, albeit unwillingly. However, magic and secrets are deadly, and betrayal lurks in every shadow. A sad tale when one real Epic battle between good and evil, from a perspective of choice, decision, and love from a fairy tale. The curse was always Persinette's fate. Tied to serve and protect the royal family she hates, Etta has no other choice than to step into a palace full of enemies - a palace that was once her home. Her anger and fury are tried by the king, though - for the hate changes to love, albeit unwillingly. However, magic and secrets are deadly, and betrayal lurks in every shadow. A sad tale when one realizes the depth of the hate plaguing the imaginative world, but still full of hope for HEA. There are so many obstacles between Etta and Alex that I am surprises they even found a way to each other - maybe the curse can be a blessing from this perspective. I felt immediately connected to Etta's character, the bold warrior with potent magic at her fingertips, hiding her true self for protection of herself an the others. I do not agree with all her choices, but that only makes her human, not some kind of flawless noble hero. I am conflicted about Alex, about his anger outbursts, blindness to understanding and forgiveness, aching for his hard life as too young ruler in a bloodthirsty land, in a broken family; but I also see the light in him. And I ultimately loved Tyson. That boy is a sunshine in the darkness. I loved this story, and want to know more about how (and if) Etta and Alex find their way back to each other.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Ruth Miranda

    I really liked this book. Had been warned this was an alternate tale to Rapunzel, and that had me a bit on tenterhooks - not a fan of traditional/classic fairytales and their re-writes - but the truth is... I only remembered this detail close to the end of the book when the word Rapunzel does creep up (most of the time I was actually convinced I was reading a sort of spin off on Sleeping Beauty, go figure!). The characters were really well done, Etta is very vivid, Alex is very anooying, Camille I really liked this book. Had been warned this was an alternate tale to Rapunzel, and that had me a bit on tenterhooks - not a fan of traditional/classic fairytales and their re-writes - but the truth is... I only remembered this detail close to the end of the book when the word Rapunzel does creep up (most of the time I was actually convinced I was reading a sort of spin off on Sleeping Beauty, go figure!). The characters were really well done, Etta is very vivid, Alex is very anooying, Camille is... well, I wish we had a bit more inkling into Camille, because so far she sounds like the irritating mean girl with not much use in the story but to be a bit of a hassle for the protagonist, and I'm not keen on that as it comes out a bit lazy. As for Edmund and Tyson, those were my fave. The finale was very well done, it's a cliffhanger but at the same, it's not. I reccomend this book if you're into fantasy and magic, it was a thouroughly entertaining read.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Jesi

    3.5 pretty intriguing premise and I really want to see what happens to Etta from this point forward. Some subplots (romance) moved too fast for my taste.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth Kiefer

    I think I skimmed from halfway on. This book strived for fast paced, but instead I ended up with whiplash and too many grimaces. The main characters were hard to stomach. Mainly the heroine. Etta changes her mind so quickly on a variety of things, but we are told she struggled with each one. From her hatred of the Durands to her feelings for Alex, Etta completely reverses her opinions. And then! You find out she has always loved Alex. What?? After hating him for so long, she has always loved him I think I skimmed from halfway on. This book strived for fast paced, but instead I ended up with whiplash and too many grimaces. The main characters were hard to stomach. Mainly the heroine. Etta changes her mind so quickly on a variety of things, but we are told she struggled with each one. From her hatred of the Durands to her feelings for Alex, Etta completely reverses her opinions. And then! You find out she has always loved Alex. What?? After hating him for so long, she has always loved him? Really, it was hard to believe and I found myself so uninterested in finding out where the story goes and how everything resolved.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Cassie

    Disclaimer: I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review. Summary: Persinette ‘Etta’ Basile is cursed, bound to her enemy (and childhood friend) Prince Alexandre Durand; a cruel magic set into motion generations earlier by the ancient sorceress La Dame. A kingdom divided by magic. A tournament to the death. A forbidden love. Golden Curse is an enchanting twist on the well-worn tale of Rapunzel, with a little ‘star-crossed lovers’ debacle thrown into the mix for good measure. Damsel in distres Disclaimer: I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review. Summary: Persinette ‘Etta’ Basile is cursed, bound to her enemy (and childhood friend) Prince Alexandre Durand; a cruel magic set into motion generations earlier by the ancient sorceress La Dame. A kingdom divided by magic. A tournament to the death. A forbidden love. Golden Curse is an enchanting twist on the well-worn tale of Rapunzel, with a little ‘star-crossed lovers’ debacle thrown into the mix for good measure. Damsel in distress becomes kick-ass heroine in this fairy-tale retelling where the golden-haired princess does all the saving. The good: The book opens strong as the reader is thrust into life in Gaule. We are given crucial world information that’s carefully interwoven between plot and dialogue, avoiding any clunky exposition. Each chapter ends equally strong, balancing intrigue and action, and keeps you turning the pages. I finished this in one day easy. M. Lynn knows how to write some damn good characters. I consider it a miracle that Persinette didn’t annoy me at all throughout the story. Normally, I struggle to like ‘chosen one’ heroine’s (and end up rooting for the villain, oops). More often than not their tragic backstories become a 300-page pity party, and their ‘I’m-gorgeous-but-I-don’t-know-it’ attitude just gets on my nerves. But Etta was easy to sympathise with, and her decisions, while sometimes not the best, are also understandable. Alex was compelling also. From the very beginning you feel the push and pull of Alex’s emotions and perceptions, swayed by love, betrayal and his conflicting morals. It’s his conflicted character that roots the story and packs a punch with the ultimate betrayal at the end. But my favourites were actually the side characters! Too often I see side characters getting lost in the plot, especially in fantasy. But not in Golden Curse. Edmund and Tyson were my favourites by far. They were easy to like, charming, well-rounded characters that you couldn’t help but fall in love with! (view spoiler)[ And best of all is: Edmund is GAAAY! Called it from the beginning. My gaydar was piiiinging! (As a member of the LGBT+ community I LIVE for queer representation!) (hide spoiler)] Even very minor characters such as Duchess Moreau and Maiya were interesting to read. And Verite! Ahh, Verite, my wild friend. I think I might love you most. The story keeps good pacing for the most part. My heart was actually thumping as the tournament was about to begin! M. Lynn did her research on fighting and armour and it shows. Nothing is worse than reading a fight scene, only to realise the author has no concept of fighting…or basic physics. As a lover of fairy-tales it was incredibly fun reconciling what I know of the original tale with how it was retold in Golden Curse. The not so good: There were some minor typos and grammatical errors (at least in my copy, but it is an ARC and there is time for them to be fixed). Small things, like: ‘a’ instead of ‘an’ before a vowel; accidental words that should have been deleted like, “her eyes were so focused on her his blazing stare”; and tensing issues like, ‘hasn’t’ instead of ‘hadn’t’. Unfortunately, they happened with enough frequency for it to be a bit of an issue. The above were all found within the first three chapters. There were a couple scenes between Alex and Etta that felt a bit out of character and out of place. (view spoiler)[ Alex and Etta’s first kiss and love scene felt somewhat disjointed and out of character. I understood why those scenes were included in those instances. But they way they were done was jarring and didn’t resonate with the characters as the rest of the story did. (hide spoiler)] Favourite quotes: “I will serve you. I’ll give you my soul. But if you ever again ask me if I’m okay, I’ll break that pretty face of yours.” ‘"You say you wish to know me, yet you do not listen. From your seat of privilege, you're incapable of seeing what's truly in front of you. When I say I have no people, I am not lying." She turned her back on him and walked to the door. As her hand grasped the metal knob, she spoke once more. "Everyone I've ever loved is dead."’ Overall: 4/5 stars Golden Curse is an intriguing and refreshing take on a classic fairy-tale. The world and cast are small, but well developed – a perfect case of quality over quantity. There are some edit issues, and some scenes could have been done differently, but overall the novel is a definite page-turner. I recommend this book to anyone who loves bad-ass female heroines, a fun cast and twisted fairy-tales. Do I want to read the sequel? Hell yes! Golden Chains, here I come! Theme song recommendation: Fire Meets Fate by Ruelle

  12. 5 out of 5

    Andrea Desposorio

    This story is a different version of the classic story of Rapunzel, centered on Etta, who was descended from a family of magicians in a world of magic, Etta has to go to the destination, not to curse her because she refuses to enjoy and will do anything to break. She follows the rules of her course and becomes the protector of the name of her family that she wants to despise. And Alex, her childhood friend, and future king, the ties that bind the two through the magic of the curse. But still, Et This story is a different version of the classic story of Rapunzel, centered on Etta, who was descended from a family of magicians in a world of magic, Etta has to go to the destination, not to curse her because she refuses to enjoy and will do anything to break. She follows the rules of her course and becomes the protector of the name of her family that she wants to despise. And Alex, her childhood friend, and future king, the ties that bind the two through the magic of the curse. But still, Etta knows that you have a destiny that is beyond that and it is necessary to get there. The first children born in his basil bloodline of Elle's father were cursed long ago by an ancient and powerful sorceress. His curse begins to turn 18 and is to protect his enemy, the rulers of Geule. The king of Etta was betrayed by the king when he suddenly ordered a purge of all the people of his land. Victor was able to escape with his daughter, Etta's mother was killed. The betrayal was so profound for many reasons, but one of the biggest was that it was Victor's magic that the King used to protect his land and the ancient Sorceress. His fear of her had twisted his mind against all the magic. Etta needs to return to the place she left at the age of 10, to the place where her mother was murdered, her father was betrayed and she lost her best friend and fell in love. Etta has real blood. His kingdom no longer exists, but if he did, he would be the princess of the kingdom of Bela and the heir of the thrown. It was a magical kingdom that opposed The Sorceress the Lady, she defeated them by promulgating the course. Etta is determined to break the curse once and for all. I found this story well written and absorbing, the book manages to wrap it, carry it and easily transport it there with its descriptive style and the cast of magic-filled characters that got me and did not let me go, they got me.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Kim Obregon

    /* Received a copy of this book at no cost from the author*/ What drew me in first is the gorgeous cover! Next is the fact that this is a Rapunzel inspired story. I love fairy tale inspired books especially if the princesses are turned into warriors. And that`s what happened here! Persinette, or mostly known as Etta is a royal descendant of a country whose people have magic. However, purging of people with magic or magic folks as they are called have been ordered by the king of Gaule, King Durand. /* Received a copy of this book at no cost from the author*/ What drew me in first is the gorgeous cover! Next is the fact that this is a Rapunzel inspired story. I love fairy tale inspired books especially if the princesses are turned into warriors. And that`s what happened here! Persinette, or mostly known as Etta is a royal descendant of a country whose people have magic. However, purging of people with magic or magic folks as they are called have been ordered by the king of Gaule, King Durand. This caused for Etta and his father to live in hiding. Unfortunately Etta cannot hide forever. Every first born of the royal family is cursed to serve their mortal enemy, the King of Gaule. Etta is trained by her father to become the best warrior she can be, to protect Alex, her childhood friend and soon to be king for her survival. The pacing of the story is good, all the revelation of each character makes me want to turn the page again and again. Etta, the only woman in the contest, is so bad-ass even with the death threat from the King, did not back down and kicked the ass of well trained royal guards and other men. When Alex became the King, his hesitation towards doing what he thinks is good and what he is taught to do made him more realistic. Then there`s Verite the horse only Etta can ride without fear, is as awesome as his rider!! The author did not let the secondary characters become just background. They all have depth and you cannot miss them! The only thing I did not totally love is the sudden romance between Etta and Alex. They did not spend more time together to actually develop their relationship, they just know there is something that pulls them together. If there is romance in the story, I really do want them to have some scenes together to really know each other first. All in all, this is a really good book and I cannot wait to read the next one!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Tiffany Jones

    Ten-year-old Persinette Basile was forced to flee the palace of Gaule for her life. Now, at eighteen, she has to figure out a way to return so that she can obey a curse that plagues her family line. The prince won't recognize her. But, Etta knows him and she has no doubt what he'd do if he discovers her true name. Made to fight for her place as his protector, she vows to find a way to end the curse, no matter what it costs her. To. The. Death. The very words that describe the tournament to find Ten-year-old Persinette Basile was forced to flee the palace of Gaule for her life. Now, at eighteen, she has to figure out a way to return so that she can obey a curse that plagues her family line. The prince won't recognize her. But, Etta knows him and she has no doubt what he'd do if he discovers her true name. Made to fight for her place as his protector, she vows to find a way to end the curse, no matter what it costs her. To. The. Death. The very words that describe the tournament to find his new protector chill Prince Alexandre Durand's blood to ice. The last warrior standing will stand at his side. As he's thrust onto the throne, forbidden magic, dangerous betrayals, and a complicated love could tear his reign apart. When everything begins to fall apart and secrets are revealed, will Alexandre stick to what he's been taught his entire life, staying true to the laws and traditions his father put into place or will he follow his heart and be the leader he knows he can be? Can he put his trust in the woman who deceived him? I've always loved the Rapunzel story. So, when I heard about Golden Curse and The True Story of Rapunzel series, I was intrigued. I wondered if this story could possibly live up to the story I've loved for so long. And the answer is an emphatic YES! M. Lynn has managed to take our beloved fairy tale and make it completely and uniquely her own. It's full of intrigue, drama, conflict, and love of all types. The characters are amazingly well written. They're full of secrets, loyalties, strengths, and flaws. Each one has their own entirely unique personality. And this ending!!! I absolutely can't wait to see what happens next! I am completely hooked on this series and this author. I absolutely need the rest of the series!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Topsues

    What a great start to a new series !! Michelle Lynn is a new author to me and I absolutely loved this retelling of Rapunzel. I was totally engrossed in it from the very start. This author has a brilliant imagination with an ability to make you feel the emotions of her characters, bringing them to life. There was a few moments when I couldn’t stop the tears falling. A lot of people can write a good story but without their feelings becoming your own it’s hard to engage. The same goes for the world What a great start to a new series !! Michelle Lynn is a new author to me and I absolutely loved this retelling of Rapunzel. I was totally engrossed in it from the very start. This author has a brilliant imagination with an ability to make you feel the emotions of her characters, bringing them to life. There was a few moments when I couldn’t stop the tears falling. A lot of people can write a good story but without their feelings becoming your own it’s hard to engage. The same goes for the world building. It felt authentic, even the small details added to the realism of the place the story unfolded in. There was loyalty and betrayal, hate and fear, blood and death, suspense and mystery intertwined with innocence and friendship, love and hope. Magic was the main theme running throughout, it was loved, feared, hunted and murdered for. Etta is loyal, fierce, hard and cold, until she starts to doubt the hate she has channelled her whole life. We see her vulnerability, her ice slowly melting as the hate starts turning to love. Alex starts carefree then everything is ripped away from him. He has to face loss, betrayal and lies which makes him turn to ice & steel. The ending was magnificent, with a cliffhanger that will make you hold every breath in your body. I hope book.2. Isn’t to long, so I can breathe again, however I’m not sure my heart can stand up to the crevices that have been created in it. Thank you Michelle Lynn, you have a talent that should be celebrated, you entertained me, you took me into your imagination and transported me away from reality. Fantasy smorgasbord

  16. 5 out of 5

    Janine

    I love fairytales. Although I have to admit that I am not too familiar with Rapunzel. But I do still know enough to have recognized a few parts where the reference can be seen. I am curious how much else will be included in the following books. I really liked Etta. She is easy to identify with because she is a fighter, loyal to the people she cares about, strong in her beliefs, quick-witted and quite stubborn. As being a woman myself I enjoyed her beating all those men in the tournament that allo I love fairytales. Although I have to admit that I am not too familiar with Rapunzel. But I do still know enough to have recognized a few parts where the reference can be seen. I am curious how much else will be included in the following books. I really liked Etta. She is easy to identify with because she is a fighter, loyal to the people she cares about, strong in her beliefs, quick-witted and quite stubborn. As being a woman myself I enjoyed her beating all those men in the tournament that allowed her to become the prince's protector. Etta does not have it easy being cursed to protect the son of the man who is persecuting magic people like her especially if she is developing feelings for him although she should hate him. The danger of someone detecting who she truly is, what she is able to do, could be constantly felt looming over her. Whom could she trust? Very exciting. Alex has to deal with a similar conflict. Is he going to step into his father's footsteps upholding the laws that are sentencing people born with magic to death even if it means killing those he loves? I certainly would not want to be in his shoes, that is for sure. All this secrecy makes the love story all the more intriguing. At any moment everything could explode around the two. I really want to find out how how they will solve their predicament. And can they break the curse? By the way, I adored Etta's horse. It is just as headstrong as its owner and made me laugh several times. I can wholeheartedly recommend this book to anyone who is as in love with fairytales as I am and likes the bittersweetness of forbidden love.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Anca

    I am a sucker for any sort of fairytale retelling but I am also a sucker for a delicious cover. This didn't disappoint, and it was a wonderful take on the Rapunzel tale unlike one I expected or have read before. I did have a few issues with it, but overall I enjoyed it. I liked how fast paced this was and for the most part action packed. We had a lot of likable characters. Etta was fierce, witty and level headed and Alex, altho sometimes he annoyed me with his narrow mindedness, was a sweet char I am a sucker for any sort of fairytale retelling but I am also a sucker for a delicious cover. This didn't disappoint, and it was a wonderful take on the Rapunzel tale unlike one I expected or have read before. I did have a few issues with it, but overall I enjoyed it. I liked how fast paced this was and for the most part action packed. We had a lot of likable characters. Etta was fierce, witty and level headed and Alex, altho sometimes he annoyed me with his narrow mindedness, was a sweet character. I loved his relationship with his brother, and Ty had to have been one of my favorites. Their family dynamic was adorable to read about. What I think this lacked was more world building. We are thrown into a story but we aren't given enough context to things. I wanted to know more, and I didn't completely understand why magic and magic people were purged out of the land. I mean I got it, but I didn't. I was also really bothered by the almost insta love that happened between Etta and Alex. I saw it coming at the very start, but it just happened soooo fast. There was hardly any tension, they both just gave in so easily, which is somewhat refreshing but I think it could have used a bit more of a dance. It was also pretty predictable, there were no unexpected twists or turns or cliff hangers. I am curious to see where this all leads to and what sort of tale Lynn will evolve this into.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Miss Jenny

    This is an excerpt of a review that was originally published on my website: Miss Jenny's Classroom I’ve never been a huge fan of fairytale retellings. They seem to either be especially good or don’t quite cut it. My last foray into this genre was A Tale Dark As Gold which was great save for the incredibly rushed ending that still annoys me today for ruining the book. This YA novel though is quite different. I found Etta a fantastic character. She is a strong protagonist who is willing to do as she This is an excerpt of a review that was originally published on my website: Miss Jenny's Classroom I’ve never been a huge fan of fairytale retellings. They seem to either be especially good or don’t quite cut it. My last foray into this genre was A Tale Dark As Gold which was great save for the incredibly rushed ending that still annoys me today for ruining the book. This YA novel though is quite different. I found Etta a fantastic character. She is a strong protagonist who is willing to do as she must but in her own way. Despite blood and fighting not normally something I read about I found it refreshing I was cheering Etta from the sidelines all the way. Her relationship with Alexandre – which is slowly revealed in memories throughout the book – is incredibly well balanced. This isn’t an insta-love situation but there is a strong connection that makes it a compelling situation for the reader to be reading – it’s difficult to explain without giving it away so just trust me – it’s awesome. My only issue with the book is this…book 2 isn’t out yet…and then I have to wait for book 3 – How inconsiderate of the author to make her readers sit on the edge of their seats! This is definitely one for the bookshelf at home, for maturing YA readers who want actions, adventure, and characters with depth. Bring on book 2, Golden Chains.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Shannon Qualls

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Solid three and half stars. Things I really liked: I loved how fast paced it was. The story continually moved forward and I didn't find myself getting bogged down and bored at all. The writing was really good. There were a few misspelled words that I found, but that's to be expected in any book. The characters were likable and while I found myself slightly annoyed with Etta at the beginning, she quickly grew on me. I also loved some of the auxiliary characters so YAY! Things I didn't like as much: Solid three and half stars. Things I really liked: I loved how fast paced it was. The story continually moved forward and I didn't find myself getting bogged down and bored at all. The writing was really good. There were a few misspelled words that I found, but that's to be expected in any book. The characters were likable and while I found myself slightly annoyed with Etta at the beginning, she quickly grew on me. I also loved some of the auxiliary characters so YAY! Things I didn't like as much: There wasn't much by way of the world building (I'm a sucker for knowing MORE), but it didn't bother me overly much. A few characters fell flat for me, but overall I did like them. The biggest issue I had that kept the book from moving into the four star category for me was the plot had some gapping holes. That may have been the authors intention, and if so, TOTALLY fine, but I don't feel like I understood what was driving the hate to eradicate the country of magic users. I also didn't understand why the sorcerous created the curse (beyond the one line that tried to quickly explain it). I also had an issue with the seemingly short timeline of everything. While I loved the fast pacing of the book, I had trouble wrapping my head around the timeline and some of the instalove. I know it was supposed to be the curse, but I would have loved some more build up to the romance. Overall, a solid start to a new series by an indie author I will be back to read more from.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Brittany

    *Copy of the book provided in exchange for an honest review* I have read quite a few fairy-tale inspired books but I haven't read any that are based off of Rapunzel. It was exciting to get to read this book just for that reason...well and the fact that the main character having to fight for her place. I can't resist a strong female lead. I really enjoyed this first novel of the series from M. Lynn. It was a strong start! I loved the characters. They were each individuals and the author managed to *Copy of the book provided in exchange for an honest review* I have read quite a few fairy-tale inspired books but I haven't read any that are based off of Rapunzel. It was exciting to get to read this book just for that reason...well and the fact that the main character having to fight for her place. I can't resist a strong female lead. I really enjoyed this first novel of the series from M. Lynn. It was a strong start! I loved the characters. They were each individuals and the author managed to give each of them some amount of depth. I feel like secondary characters can get lost in the fray but it wasn't the case in this book. I commend the author for this as well as the subtly that she used to accomplish it. I loved the changes to the original story. It made for a more complex and interesting story. Rather than simply having a princess in a tower that is a damsel in distress needing to be saved by a man, M. Lynn takes things a few steps further with a strong female and a more complex curse. I loved all of the action scenes and the secrecy. The secrets kept me questioning everyone's motives and whether or not the main character could trust them. I'm excited to see what happens next especially with where things were left with Etta. What a cliffhanger! https://fictionedtodeath.blogspot.com...

  21. 4 out of 5

    Meredith

    This retelling of Rapunzel was unexpected. Aside from knowing it's a retelling, I wasn't sure which direction it would go, but I'm so glad I picked this up! I found the beginning a bit slow, which isn't uncommon for me, but this was truly a great book! After the tournament and meeting Edmund, I was hooked! Etta is super cool and isn't in it for the glory, even though she totally could be with her skill set. In her world, magic is forbidden and punishable by death. Her curse stems from magic and This retelling of Rapunzel was unexpected. Aside from knowing it's a retelling, I wasn't sure which direction it would go, but I'm so glad I picked this up! I found the beginning a bit slow, which isn't uncommon for me, but this was truly a great book! After the tournament and meeting Edmund, I was hooked! Etta is super cool and isn't in it for the glory, even though she totally could be with her skill set. In her world, magic is forbidden and punishable by death. Her curse stems from magic and puts her directly in the path of those who are most likely to throw her under the bus. The characters are really well written and the story itself is brilliant. I already have book 2 on my kindle ready to go. There's a bit of magic, a lot of lies, and just enough drama, intrigue, and romance to keep you going. I found Etta's personality really interesting. She fights an internal battle due to her family's curse and the situation in which she finds herself following the tournament. I sympathise with her, though. She makes the best of a really tough situation. And that cliffhanger!!! Ugh, so good. I love Etta + Alex. Although, I am disappointed in Alex. I get his position, but he could start making better decisions. Politics suck!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Saundra Wright

    Persinette (Etta), last of a royal line from a vanquished and abandoned land of magic users, must bear the curse of her family. She has trained her whole life for this. Now Etta is about to turn of age. Etta's family was cursed by La Dame, the wicked magical ruler of a rival realm, to be the protectors of their mortal enemies, the rulers of Gaule. When Etta's father held the position to the current king, her family lived in the castle. She grew up for many years as the playmate to the future kin Persinette (Etta), last of a royal line from a vanquished and abandoned land of magic users, must bear the curse of her family. She has trained her whole life for this. Now Etta is about to turn of age. Etta's family was cursed by La Dame, the wicked magical ruler of a rival realm, to be the protectors of their mortal enemies, the rulers of Gaule. When Etta's father held the position to the current king, her family lived in the castle. She grew up for many years as the playmate to the future king, Prince Alex, but that was before magic was outlawed. All magic users had to flee, find places to hide or be killed. There were purges to cleanse the land of the evils of magic! Etta trained in secret until now, hidden away in the Black Forest. It's time for her to take her place as the next protector. Will the prince remember his childhood friend? Will Etta be the one to finally break her family's curse? Will she be able to live in the castle and hide her magic? Read Golden Curse and discover the true story of Rapunzel! I was gifted a copy of this book and am voluntarily leaving a review.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Patrick Hodges

    I'm not that familiar with the story of Rapunzel (I saw Tangled, but ... come on), but if it's as richly woven a tale as Golden Curse, then I've obviously missed out. I've read few characters as deeply layered as Persinettte "Etta" Basile. She possesses magic, but is forbidden from using it because to do so would mean her death at the hands of a tyrant who ordered all magic stamped out. But it's never that simple. Because of a curse, her life is linked to that of Prince Alexandre, the son of the I'm not that familiar with the story of Rapunzel (I saw Tangled, but ... come on), but if it's as richly woven a tale as Golden Curse, then I've obviously missed out. I've read few characters as deeply layered as Persinettte "Etta" Basile. She possesses magic, but is forbidden from using it because to do so would mean her death at the hands of a tyrant who ordered all magic stamped out. But it's never that simple. Because of a curse, her life is linked to that of Prince Alexandre, the son of the man responsible for her mother's murder and her father's betrayal. If he dies, she dies, and vice versa. So she must do the only thing she can - become his protector, a job not normally held by women. Be close to her childhood friend without revealing who she really is. WHAT she really is. And most of all, make sure he doesn't turn into his father. This is no Disney story. Etta doesn't sing to woodland creatures. She's tough as nails and yet possesses a vulnerable side that makes her a great character. If you love fairy tale retellings, action, romance, suspense, and in a masterful hand, read this series.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Teralyn Mitchell

    OMG! This was so good! I love a good Rapunzel retelling and this one falls under that. I loved the new twist on the classic fairytale. Etta is one of my all-time favorite heroines now. I love her fierceness and determination to do what is right. I loved that she recognized that her feelings had to evolve once she met the new king. He wasn't his father and she still had feelings for him from when she was a child. I like Alex too and I can't wait to see how he grows out of the teachings of his fat OMG! This was so good! I love a good Rapunzel retelling and this one falls under that. I loved the new twist on the classic fairytale. Etta is one of my all-time favorite heroines now. I love her fierceness and determination to do what is right. I loved that she recognized that her feelings had to evolve once she met the new king. He wasn't his father and she still had feelings for him from when she was a child. I like Alex too and I can't wait to see how he grows out of the teachings of his father. I can't wait to see what other secrets will be exposed and if the one I think will be true is actually true. This story was fast-paced with a lot of action and romance. I loved everything about it and cannot wait to read the other two books. I have to see what happens with Etta and Alex and if they will be able to get over their differences and work together to defeat an evil greater than both of them.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Sydney

    Great new twist on the story of Rapunzel. But this girl isnt waiting to be saved by a prince but is fighting to protect him. Etta has been trained her whole to be the warrior, show no fear, no hesitation, and bare the family curse. But it seems like everyone and everything is trying to tear down the walls she has built. She will have to decide to fight with her head or her heart. As for Alex he has such a kind soul but a kingdom full of blood thirst people are trying to pull him down. Will he tu Great new twist on the story of Rapunzel. But this girl isnt waiting to be saved by a prince but is fighting to protect him. Etta has been trained her whole to be the warrior, show no fear, no hesitation, and bare the family curse. But it seems like everyone and everything is trying to tear down the walls she has built. She will have to decide to fight with her head or her heart. As for Alex he has such a kind soul but a kingdom full of blood thirst people are trying to pull him down. Will he turn into his father the man who hated magic and brought the purge or will he be something new.I love the contrast of these completely different people being pulled together. Will they love one another or hate each or a bit of both.There are so many secrets to this first book and I feel it's only just scratched the surface. This book will keep you guessing.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Crystal

    Title: Golden Curse Author: M. Lynn **RECEIVED FREE COPY FOR HONEST REVIEW** WOW! WHEN DOES BOOK 2 COME OUT? In the beginning I didn't think I would enjoy this book. It states it is the real story of Rapunzel. Problem was it took some time to answer my world building questions. Who is La Dame? Where did this curse come from? Is Etta Rapunzel? In the end, I COULD NOT PUT THIS BOOK DOWN. This isn't Disney's version. Way more bloody. Etta draws you in. Sure Alex is a king torn but Etta is way more roya Title: Golden Curse Author: M. Lynn **RECEIVED FREE COPY FOR HONEST REVIEW** WOW! WHEN DOES BOOK 2 COME OUT? In the beginning I didn't think I would enjoy this book. It states it is the real story of Rapunzel. Problem was it took some time to answer my world building questions. Who is La Dame? Where did this curse come from? Is Etta Rapunzel? In the end, I COULD NOT PUT THIS BOOK DOWN. This isn't Disney's version. Way more bloody. Etta draws you in. Sure Alex is a king torn but Etta is way more royal and way more torn. To love those who want you dead. There is court intrigue, forbidden love, magic, betrayals, pain, hope. This is the first book I have read by this author and I must say...if she continues to write with all the love, angst, and depth I have read here she will be a new favorite. Starts off slow but in the end you don't want to miss any of it.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Kat

    This is most definitely my favorite book right now! I love-love-loved this book so much! If I could give it 6 stars, I would. I normally don't like to read magic fantasy, but this really was something else. Don't expect this to be even remotely similar to the Disney Rapunzel story. Sure, the main character Etta was kind and fiery and had long golden locks like Rapunzel in Tangled, but that's where it ends. Etta is so much more! The author developed her character so brilliantly! She endured throu This is most definitely my favorite book right now! I love-love-loved this book so much! If I could give it 6 stars, I would. I normally don't like to read magic fantasy, but this really was something else. Don't expect this to be even remotely similar to the Disney Rapunzel story. Sure, the main character Etta was kind and fiery and had long golden locks like Rapunzel in Tangled, but that's where it ends. Etta is so much more! The author developed her character so brilliantly! She endured through deaths, murder, and betrayal but still kept going, even when it seemed that the world was beating her down. She is a fierce protector as well as just a lost girl. The world setting and plot were also very well done. I have absolutely nothing bad to say about this book! I'm so excited to read the next one!

  28. 4 out of 5

    Sunny

    One of the things I dislike about retelling are when the story is so similar to the original that I might as well go read the original. Thankfully, that was not the case with Golden Curse. This is a Rapunzel retelling, but it was unique enough that I was never sure what was going to happen next. There were so many layers and complexities and plenty of plot twists. This is a story of magic and curses, of love and fate, and of the difficult decisions between holding onto tradition and carving a new One of the things I dislike about retelling are when the story is so similar to the original that I might as well go read the original. Thankfully, that was not the case with Golden Curse. This is a Rapunzel retelling, but it was unique enough that I was never sure what was going to happen next. There were so many layers and complexities and plenty of plot twists. This is a story of magic and curses, of love and fate, and of the difficult decisions between holding onto tradition and carving a new path forward. And the heroine is a badass fighter. Which is pretty kick ass. Readers can go into this book without Rapunzel on the mind and enjoy themselves just as much as those who would read it as a retelling. I look forward to what happens next in the rest of the series.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Katie

    Ya telling of the princess aurora curse Well written. Etta is a descendant of princess aurora. She must fight to be by the prince's side as she is cursed to serve him. Alex has been brought up to hate magic and so she can't tell him who she is. My biggest issue is that Alex is supposed to be against the purge but then when he becomes king and realized that his bff has powers he suddenly thinks it's evil. It doesn't quite compute for me. There are 2 love scenes but don't expect them to be sex they' Ya telling of the princess aurora curse Well written. Etta is a descendant of princess aurora. She must fight to be by the prince's side as she is cursed to serve him. Alex has been brought up to hate magic and so she can't tell him who she is. My biggest issue is that Alex is supposed to be against the purge but then when he becomes king and realized that his bff has powers he suddenly thinks it's evil. It doesn't quite compute for me. There are 2 love scenes but don't expect them to be sex they're like 2 sentences and then we are off to another chapter; I was bummed as I do like those scenes but can see why the author chose not to include details as she wants this to be young adult. There is cussing.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Nicole Vanadia Davis

    I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. This book was a pleasure to read. It was less of a retelling and more of a few pieces of “fairytale lore” sprinkled into an original story. The main characters had depth and realistic emotions and reflections. You were also not introduced to too many characters that muddled up the story. I would say this fits the YA paranormal/mystical romance genre well. My only con for this book is I wish it were longer so it coul I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. This book was a pleasure to read. It was less of a retelling and more of a few pieces of “fairytale lore” sprinkled into an original story. The main characters had depth and realistic emotions and reflections. You were also not introduced to too many characters that muddled up the story. I would say this fits the YA paranormal/mystical romance genre well. My only con for this book is I wish it were longer so it could have given even more build up (secrecy and romance), more world building, and more information about magic/curse. With two more books I’m hoping that information will be revealed and continue the build up some more.

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