Book Review: Rump: The True Story of Rumpelstiltskin

Book Review: Rump: The True Story of RumpelstiltskinRump: The True Story of Rumpelstiltskin by Liesl Shurtliff
Published by Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers on April 9th 2013
Pages: 272
Buy on Amazon

This funny fractured fairytale goes behind the scenes of Rumpelstiltskin. "A most magical feat," writes Newbery Honor-winner Kirby Larson, "Liesl Shurtliff spins words into gold."

In a magical kingdom where your name is your destiny, 12-year-old Rump is the butt of everyone's joke. But when he finds an old spinning wheel, his luck seems to change. Rump discovers he has a gift for spinning straw into gold. His best friend, Red Riding Hood, warns him that magic is dangerous, and she’s right. With each thread he spins, he weaves himself deeper into a curse.

To break the spell, Rump must go on a perilous quest, fighting off pixies, trolls, poison apples, and a wickedly foolish queen. The odds are against him, but with courage and friendship—and a cheeky sense of humor—he just might triumph in the end.

"Lighthearted and inventive, Rump amusingly expands a classic tale." —Brandon Mull, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Fablehaven.

Perfect for fans of Ella Enchanted or A Tale Dark and Grimm.

Rump is a novel telling a new story about how Rumpelstiltskin became a part of the fairy tale. As a young boy, his full name was never revealed, just part of it – Rump. Ever since then, he has literally been the butt of every joke and having such a poor name in a place where names are most important, he feels like he is incomplete. Living with his grandmother, his mother dying when giving birth to him, he finds himself at a bit of a standstill until he finds his mother's old spinning wheel and even with a warning from his grandmother, cannot help but use it.

What he finds is he can spin gold, the most important thing, the thing he has to dig for every day in the mines just to get some food. But with this ability, comes a price and when he is found out, the mayor of the town lies and says his daughter is the one spinning gold, for he has sent some to the king. The king takes her away and Rump feels as if he is at fault for her captivity and goes after her to solve the problem.

What follows is a hilarious retelling of a story where the villain turns out to be more than an innocent bystander and the girl a bit of a ditz. I love fractured fairy tales, ones that twist a story we know well into something new, casting characters who were originally the hero into the villain, the villain into the hero and so on.  With the help of his fierce friend named Red, Rump soon turns around his own luck and even searches out his Stiltskin – which should solve his problem with spinning gold.

Final Verdict: Overall, I really enjoyed Rump, the strong underdog characters and reading a new twist on one of my favorite tales. I definitely recommend Rump to other fairy tale lovers.


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