Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Rump: The true story of Rumpelstiltskin by Liesl Shurtliff

His whole life Rump has been picked on because of his unusual name and because he doesn't know what his full name in - his mother died before she could speak his full name.  It is a sad tale, but that is only the start, for Rump's young life is full of challenges and trials on a daily basis.  Rump lives with his grandmother on The Mountain, digging and searching for the gold that his King holds so dear.  Everyone on the mountain tries to find enough gold to get their fair share of the provisions that the Miller distributes on behalf of the King.  It is not an easy life, he has to search for gold and avoid the gold obsessed pixies that hover anytime gold is near.

When Rump finds his mothers spinning wheel he has no idea that he is about to embark on a mind boggling adventure that will be told for generations to come - although not in quite the way he experiences it.  When Rump tries to use the spinning wheel he discovers that he has the ability to spin common straw into strands of magical gold, a discovery that soon turns into a nightmare when the greedy Miller finds out his secret.  When the gold loving King discovers that someone in his village can spin gold, Rump's life and the life of everyone in the village will never be the same again.

Rump is a wonderful retelling of the legend of Rumpelstiltskin, not only because Shurtliff has covered a part of the story that has not been covered before, but also because of the warmth and humour the story portrays.  Rump is something of a victim of fate, but the people around him help him to discover who he really is and what his destiny will be.  The characters range from villains to friends, through to family and idiotic kings.  The elements of the traditional telling of Rumpelstiltskin are all there, but not quite as you expect.

This is a fun little story, and Shurtliff has a firm future in writing books for children if she can keep up the world creating and myth busting that she has created here.  Often books like this are too clever for their own good, trying to be something they are not, but I didn't feel that about Rump at all - it is a book that is true to itself, but also manages to be true to the legend as well.  It was a pleasure to read for the fun of it, to discover a world that is just a little different to what you thought it was going to be - a truly fractured fairytale.

If you like this book then try:

Reviewed by Brilla

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