This retelling of Rumpelstiltskin fills in the story, providing the background and motivations for the legend of spinning straw into gold. The novel portrays a complex multi-generational voyage of jealousy and desire and greed that provides us with sympathy for the villian and hatred for the heroine.
I would not rate this as higher as I did Daughter of Venice but probably better than Zel or her book on Mary Magdalene. And I suppose I should explain why I keep reading Napoli's books, since I don't seem to care for them very much. Napoli has some outstanding story ideas and when I read the synopses for her books, I get very excited, but the actual product in the end seems to disappoint more often than not. Possibly it is the terribly dark quality she puts into her books. they are all about suffering. Possibly it is because her characters are so greedy and mean. But there are also issues of style and her inability to end her books. The ending to this one is particularly odd and strange.