A Curse Dark As Gold, by Elizabeth J. Bunce (Arthur A Levine, 2008)

When her father dies, Charlotte Miller takes on the burden and responsibility of running the family mill. However, in trying to keep the business solvent, she becomes entangled in the machinations of a rival mill and the threads of a centuries-old curse. The appearance of a mysterious man who can solve her problems with magic, for a price, could save or damn her family, if she dares accept his bargains. This dark, richly-textured retelling of Rumpelstiltskin takes full advantage of the old fairy tale’s potential, and produces a fascinating, complex story. An extremely strong debut for Elizabeth Bunce, and I’ll be keeping my eyes open for her future efforts.

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