Richly drawn characters and evocative language enhance a novel that's tightly constructed and emotionally resonant. The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
What would have happened if the queen failed to guess Rumpelstiltskin's name and the odd little man had taken her child? Why did he want the young prince? Was his motivation selfish, or could he have been preotecting the child from life-threatening danger? Imaginative answers to these questions skillfully blossom into a fantasy-flavored quest. . . .A good book to recommend to fans of Lloyd Alexander, Diane Wynne Jones and J.R.R. Tolkein.
School Library Journal
In this touching, dark story Schmidt extends the tale of Rumpelstiltskin to explore what might have happened if the queen had not guessed Rumpelstiltskin's name correctly. "What fills a hand fuller than a skein of gold?" So begins a suspenseful quest that adds surprising twists and turns to the traditional fairy tale. Booklist, ALA
What if Rumpelstiltskin's motives were noble?
Answering that question, this novel spins the story of a blind boy who unexpectedly inherits a kingdom, a weakling who becomes strong, a common queen who becomes regal, and a kind orphan who tells their tale. Evil lords and peasants abound, with enough magic to glue together these scattered pieces.
Horn Book Guide
Schmidt does a fine job of weaving the classic tale of Rumpelstiltskin into something fresh, diverse, and lovely.
VOYA (Voice of Youth Advocates)