Book Review: My first 5-star retelling goes to The Storyteller's Daughter!

Where to start with such a wonderful retelling of Rumpelstiltskin? It takes me a while to find an engaging retelling, but lately, I’ve been lucky and enjoyed the ones I’ve come across. This one, however, I loved way more than I thought I would! It was such a story of its own that at some point I forgot McCombs inspired it from a classic.

Note: This review may contain spoilers.

His shadowed face lit by flames,

Rumpelstiltskin is my name...

For as long as anyone can remember, every child in Westfallen has been born with a Gift, and these Gifts defined them.

Then Cosette is born, Giftless.

An attempt to hide her misfortune brings her before the King, who entraps her to use her Gift as a pawn in his war.

Caught in a lie, Cosette desperately searches for a power strong enough to free her. Intrigued by whispers of an old king and a dark curse, she calls upon Rumpelstiltskin and finds him trapped in a magic deeper than she bargained for. Now, Cosette must fight to reclaim her freedom from the King and break Rumpel’s curse. When time runs out, she’ll lose more than her heart. She’ll lose her life.

Thank you to The Parliament Press who provided an eARC in an exchange for an honest review. In no way does the process of how I got this book to influence my opinion.


The plot had a unique twist to it where each person was gifted except for our main character, Cosette. Immediately, readers assume she’d have a gift by the end of the book. No sir, this was something else that even caught me off guard. In a magnificent way, where readers get sucked into the story. It’s written well and didn’t drag once. The writing was clear whenever there were time skips. What made this retelling interesting was the gifts. It worked the story along for Cosette to run into Rumpel and find other attachments to the classical story.

Cosette herself was an extravagant character to read. She wasn’t the typical heroine that needed saving—everything that happened fell into her lap and she was in that situation. She loved to read and gained a lot of knowledge of gifts, the kingdom, the past, and attempting to break Rumpel’s curse. I definitely rooted for Cosette most of the time. I loved that the story was told from her perspective.


Since this book is Young Adult, Rumpel is younger and charming. Cosette doesn’t know if she can trust someone who’s done so much for her, but somehow he captivates her in the smallest of ways while she’s at the castle. I loved how to author still gave Rumpel the original traits to cause suspicion yet attract curiosity. At some points, I, too, was waiting for things to fall apart between them.

The antagonist becomes very vague as the story continues. McCombs leaves readers in Cosette’s shoes since she doesn’t know who to trust. Yet the clear villain/s in this was the King who demanded gold from Cosette every night. I’m glad when the resolution came along. She too wished she fought harder to say no to him. Also, there’s Prince Conrad. He’s the smart type of villain, which I love because you never know with them! That’s how and why they’re so evil and kudos to the author who gave him such a believable voice.


I mentioned this earlier, but my favorite thing throughout reading this book was a unique and driven plot. It’s definitely a retelling, but in a way where you remember it on its own. The ending was perfect and not too anticlimactic. I’m not one to get emotional, but I almost cried!

There’s simply nothing I didn’t like about this retelling. Even the cover is gorgeous! Yet these publishers always rack up my favorite dark book covers. I’m honored and content to rate this book five golden stars! Do you like retellings? Have you read any? If so, what’re your faves? Let me know in the comments below!

#bookreview #youngadult #retelling #fantasy #theparliamentpress #earc #ebook #kindle #fiction #review #fivestars

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Perth WA 6000, Australia