Feiwel & Friends. (Gilded Duology: Bk. 2). Nov. 2022. 496p. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9781250618917.
Gr 9 Up–Desperate to buy time to hatch a plan to free Gild and release the spirits of the five children the Erlking stole, Serilda has agreed to marry the Erlking and allow him to claim the child she carries as his own. The Erlking and his terrifying Wild Hunt have captured many rare and dangerous creatures, and Serilda is in a race against time as her spelled and sleeping body and the baby within it grow by the day. She must find out not only what the Erlking plans to do, but also decide how much she’s willing to sacrifice to save her five ghost children, Gild, her unborn child, and herself. Though the Erlking as a character persists in being difficult to grasp (Perchta did not seem to be enough motivation for his decisions at some points), the ambiguous, not-always-evil villain of the story adds an intriguing complication to Serilda’s emotional turmoil. It takes a skilled storyteller to write convincingly in the voice of another storyteller, and Meyer is one of the best at this. Serilda’s Grimm-flavored tales are woven through the narrative as the threads of the story come together for an immersive, satisfying conclusion.
VERDICT Those waiting with bated breath for the sequel to Gilded will be pleased with this well-spun finale.

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