Friday, August 23, 2013
Rump: The True Story Of Rumplestiltskin, by Liesel Shurtliff
Rump lives on the Mountain with his Gran. His mother died when he was born, and Rump just knows there is more to his name, but his Gran does not know what it is. Life in the Mountain is rather bleak. The residents almost all work in the mines looking for the ever elusive gold to trade in to the miller for food. One day Rump notices an old spinning wheel in with the firewood. He asks his Gran about it and it turns out this was his mother's spinning wheel. Even though it is beaten up, Rump polishes it up, thrilled to have something that belonged to her.
On rations day, Rump and his friend Red are on their way home when they see Kessler the peddler. Aside from the regular wares, Kessler also deals in magic. Against Red's advice, Rump trades some grain for a bit of magic. The trick does go a bit wrong, and Red states that there are consequences for *all* magic, no matter how small, but Rump finds himself hungry for more.
Soon enough Rump discovers why the gold loving pixies of the kingdom have always favored him. He finds he is able to spin hay into fine gold thread. He promises himself he will only spin enough to get more food for him and Gran, but promises to oneself often go unfulfilled. Before Rump knows it, he is bargaining away his own magic for a fraction of what it's worth.
This new twist on the Rumplestiltskin story will have readers looking at Rump with fresh eyes. This magical world with its gold hungry pixies, message delivering gnomes, magic hoarding trolls, magical aunties and fierce best-friends pretty much begs for a film treatment. There are pearls of wisdom dropped throughout the text, and readers will likely have many moments of taking pause to ponder over some of the ideas. Happily, I read on twitter that there will be more titles coming from Shurtliff - one featuring Jack and another featuring Red. I for one can't wait!