I don't know where I first heard about this book but it was probably from BookTok or BookTube since I get most of my book recommendations from social media. I didn't have many expectations when I first jumped into this book apart from the fact that I had heard the main character loves stories, which I am always up for!
In regards to the duology, I think that Cursed matched the energy of Gilded really well. Cursed picked up the storyline very smoothly and the writing from start to end was especially effortless and straightforward, particularly when you consider the complicated storyline. I really enjoyed the first book and I think the second book was equally as enjoyable.
Following the final scenes of Gilded (the first book in the duology) Serilda (our heroine) is distraught, she has been trapped and caught like a wounded animal. The Alder King (our antagonist) remains victorious in his achievements and yet Serilda has a feeling that the Erkling has more evil schemes up his sleeve. In a classic power move, the Erkling forces Serilda to marry him so he can use her supposed gold-spinning powers for himself (*shudder* we love a casual misogyny move from an asshole).
Serila is determined to play along with the Alder King's twisted game so she can find her mum, free the spirits of the children Erkling killed to spite her, save her unborn child, save gild (her secret crushh oOoOoOo) AND kill the Erkling, that's a long to-do list for a girl who's trapped in the castle with no fricking body! Not to mention the stakes are high as she has until the endless moon which is getting closer by the day. Can she do all that? Well, you'll have to read the book then won't you?
I think Malissa Meyer did a wonderful job with the world-building, the character development was magnificent and so was the action! All of these are a must-have for me as I am quite an impatient reader This book is so satisfying to read because the plot unfurls so perfectly, there are twists and turns that made me literally yell 'OH MY GOD NOOOOOO' at midnight (so much for sleep!)
Welp, we are coming to the end of the review which means I get to suggest other books yayyy! (disclaimer: as this is a 13+ book I will be recommending similar 13+ books) if you liked Gilded and Cursed then I recommend Piranesi! Piranesi connects with the Gilded Duology because of the way both authors utilize folklore in both of the books, Piranesi also has such visual descriptions so check that book out if you are interested!
All in all, I love this book and I will definitely reread it in the future (I am someone who will reread EVERYTHING so this isn't much of a surprise) I personally just love how the book carried cozy-fairytales-next-to-the-fireplace vibes! Thanks to the sun bookshop for giving me the opportunity to make this review, I can't wait to do more in the future!