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Golden (Once Upon a Time series), by Cameron Dokey

Updated on February 2, 2016

When I saw what "Golden" was about, I was intrigued. After all, a version of "Rapunzel" in which Rapunzel is bald and will never, ever grow hair? Where would one even go with that?

Dokey did an amazing job with it, even if it didn't work out quite like I expected.

The story starts out in the usual way. Rapunzel's mom is pregnant and has cravings for, well, rapunzel (which is a green leafy vegetable also known, among other names, as lamb's lettuce). Rapunzel's father climbs the wall and steals the rapunzel for his wife and the sorceress catches him and says that if his wife can love the baby that she is pregnant with, they can keep the baby, but if she cannot, he will have to give the baby to the sorceress.

Wait -- Rapunzel's parents have a choice in this? It's not just a punishment for the theft?

Not this time. And, as I said before, Rapunzel is born without hair, which causes her mother to reject her. So, reluctantly, her father relinquishes her to the sorceress.

We learn that the sorceress's name is Melisande, and her only magical ability lies in reading the hearts of others.

Melisande is a loving mother to Rapunzel. Until Rapunzel turns 16, they live together in a small cottage near a small village where they have a small farm. They have two friends, a tinker named Mr. Jones and his assistant, Harry. Mr. Jones took Harry in years earlier when Harry's own parents died. Mr. Jones and Harry travel a lot, but they visit Melisande and Rapunzel whenever they are in the area. And wherever they go, Harry keeps his eyes open for interesting kerchiefs for Rapunzel's head. One of Rapunzel's favorites is covered with the images of Black-Eyed Susans, her favorite flower.

When Rapunzel is 16, a disease breaks out in the village, and the villagers blame it on Melisande. She and Rapunzel end up having to leave the area. While they are traveling, Melisande tells Rapunzel that she took her in because she knew that Rapunzel's biological mother would never be able to love her, and that Rapunzel needed a mother's love. And, not coincidentally, Melisande needed access to someone able to love. You see, Melisande has a daughter who has been locked in a waking sleep in a tower for the last 20 years. The spell can only be broken and the daughter, Rue, released, by someone who loves her, other than her mother.

After getting over her feelings of betrayal, Rapunzel solves the conundrum -- I won't say how -- and everyone gets their happy ending.


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    • Olivia-O profile image

      Olivia-O 5 years ago

      Thank you both so much for the comments!

    • profile image

      rcfields 5 years ago from Muncie, Indiana

      I haven't read the story of Rapunzel in years but I always liked it. I never knew there was another version to the story. Thanks for sharing this review and for using such good descriptions! I love to read stories that are retold.

    • cmumm86 profile image

      cmumm86 5 years ago from San Diego

      This is a pretty good hub, very interesting review of this book. Enough to make me want to read it, anyway!