Hello, I hope you are having a fabulous summer. It’s time for my third and final post for the Fantastic Flying Book Club BLINK Summer Reading Tour. And you guys, this one might have been my favorite one yet. It’s got Greek mythology elements, royalty, romance, pirates, and adventures on the high seas. I flew through this book, and I think I may need to reread it because it’s a bit of a blur. Whoops! Read on below for a synopsis, my *SPOILER FREE* review + favorite quotes, more info about the authors, and an exciting giveaway!
Title: A Touch of Gold (Amazon, Goodreads)
Author: Annie Sullivan
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Retellings
My Rating: 4 / 5 stars
King Midas once had the ability to turn all he touched into gold. But after his gift—or curse—almost killed his daughter, Midas relinquished The Touch forever. Ten years later, Princess Kora still bears the consequences of her father’s wish: her skin shines golden, rumors follow her everywhere she goes, and she harbors secret powers that are getting harder to hide.
Kora spends her days locked in the palace, concealed behind gloves and veils, trying to ignore the stares and gossip of courtiers. It isn’t until a charming young duke arrives that Kora realizes there may be someone out there who doesn’t fear her or her curse. But their courtship is disrupted when a thief steals precious items from the kingdom, leaving the treasury depleted and King Midas vulnerable. Thanks to her unique ability to sense gold, Kora is the only one who can track the thief down. As she sails off on her quest, Kora learns that not everything is what it seems—not thieves, not pirates, and not even curses. She quickly discovers that gold—and the power it brings—is more dangerous than she’d ever believed.
Midas learned his lesson at a price. What will Kora’s journey cost?
I am totally a sucker for books that take a well-known myth or fairytale and then give them a twist. This one is based on the premise “what if Midas had a daughter who he cursed, but then the curse was reversed, but only partially, and she’s dealing with the consequences?” And seriously, this premise is fantastic, and I really like the story that Sullivan built on top of it. Like many young adult books, sometimes the backstory and world-building was a bit on the skimpy side, but there were also many things that I loved. So without further ado, here are my highs and lows:
- A complex and interesting main character: Kora had such a sad past, and then she goes through so much in this book, but through it all, she gain strength and self-confidence and begins to discover her true self, and I really enjoyed the journey. YA is about self-discovery, and this book has hit a home run in that department!
- The twisty turny adventure-filled plot: Seriously, there was so much more adventure and maneuvering on the high seas than I expected, and that was a really good thing. I loved her descriptions of these scenes, and enjoyed the way the plot twisted and turned. Poor Kora went for quite the ride, and I’ll be amazed if she ever trusts anyone again. But I thought it was well-done and loved this aspect of it.
- The Greek mythology: If anything, I would just complain that there wasn’t more of it brought into play, but what elements were there, I loved!
- Repeated insta-love: I just am never a huge fan of when the main character meets a guy for two seconds and then BAM, she’s in love. And this happened in this book (maybe even multiple times, though I don’t want to spoil anything). That said, Kora is a bit of a special case given her sheltered and neglected upbringing. It kind of does make sense that she would fall for any guy who is even remotely nice to her. Right? Still though, it took away from her overall strength of character and I wish it could have been written in a slightly more complex way.
- Lack of world building: I just wanted to know more more more about the world and where we were in it, and the other people and places. It was there, but it was all very sketchy and light-handed. Of course, this is often how YA fantasy is, so it might be more a problem I have with the overall genre than this book in particular, and it really might not take away from *your* reading of the book. Just one of my weird things. Ha.
Okay, so overall, as you can see from the above, this was a great read with just a few minor issues. I’d recommend it to anyone who likes YA and retellings and can deal with insta-love. If she writes a sequel (I heard rumors of one in 2020?), I would totally read it.
“I’ve only ever turned one person to gold, and that was an accident.”
“The lapping of the water beneath my feet calls to my blod in a way different from the gold. It isn’t the greedy call to come closer. It’s a gentle sigh that fills my body with each breath.”
“Because as it turns out, the rumors are wrong—my heart isn’t made of gold. It’s very soft and very alive. And now it’s shattered.”
“We twirl across the deck like two untouchable stars twinkling as sunlight glints off the sea around us.”
“And as the salty breeze drifts in, calling out to me, I know I’ll answer that call.”
About the Author: Annie Sullivan
Annie Sullivan is a Young Adult author from Indianapolis, Indiana. Her work has been featured in Curly Red Stories and Punchnels. She loves fairytales, everything Jane Austen, and traveling and exploring new cultures. When she’s not off on her own adventures, she’s teaching classes at the Indiana Writers Center and working as the Copy Specialist at John Wiley and Sons, Inc. publishing company, having also worked there in Editorial and Publicity roles. You can follow her adventures on Twitter and Instagram (@annsulliva).
Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/annsulliva/?hl=en
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Prize: Win 1 of 5 BLINK Summer Reading Tour Book Bundles (A Touch of Gold, Meet the Sky, No Place Like Here, Pretty InPunxsutawney, and Swing by Kwame Alexander).
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