Hello everybody. Today’s post is a spoiler free review of Annie Sullivan’s YA Fantasy A Curse of Gold, followed by an interview with the author. Since this book is the second installment in a duology, there will be some spoilers in this post for the first book, A Touch of Gold. This post is also part of a book tour organized by TBR And Beyond Tours. You’ll find more information about the tour at the end of this post, as well as links to all of the other blogs that are also participating in it.
Curses and queens. Pirates and kings. Gods and magic. This highly anticipated sequel to Annie Sullivan’s enchanting A Touch of Gold, the story of the daughter King Midas turned to gold, is the gripping crescendo to this sweeping fantasy adventure. The final saga of a cursed queen, a vengeful Greek god, and a dazzling kingdom in the balance.
After barely surviving thieving, bloodthirsty pirates and a harrowing quest at sea to retrieve her stolen treasure, Kora finds readjusting to palace life just as deadly. Kora’s people openly turn against her, threatening her overthrow as heir to the throne—a cursed queen who has angered Dionysus. When Dionysus puts out a challenge to kill the girl with the golden touch and burn down her kingdom, it’s not just her future on the throne in danger. Kora’s life and entire kingdom are now on contract.
As bold and brave as ever, Kora sets out to find Dionysus, the very person who is trying to kill her, on the mysterious disappearing island of Jipper. Kora has no other choice. If she wants to save her kingdom and have any chance at reversing her father’s curse, she will have to enter into a deadly game with Dionysus, the greatest trickster the world, or the underworld, has ever seen.
My review of A Curse of Gold
If you enjoyed the Greek Mythology elements from the first book, then you’re going to love this sequel because this book features even more of those elements, including the introduction of several new mythological beings and gods. Also, the world building is even more intricate in this book. We are introduced to many more fantastical creatures as we follow our characters on their journey to strange and wonderful places. This book is also way more action-packed than the first one, and focuses even more on magic.
With regards to our leading lady Kora, I really enjoyed her character growth in this book. She is much more confident as a leading figure for her people and throughout the book, she strives to become an even better and stronger leader. She is also very confident in the use of her magic now, allowing her to use it in ways we didn’t get to see in the previous book. Also, although the romance isn’t the main focus of the story, I really enjoyed how the relationship between Kora and Royce was written in this book. There is a lot of maturity and mutual respect in their relationship, which I really like.
Overall, this is a very satisfying end to a wonderful duology, filled with magic, mythological elements, action and adventure. Fans of the first book will definitely really enjoy this.
Interview with Annie Sullivan
QaS: When we meet Kora again in A Curse of Gold, she is trying to take more of a leadership role in her kingdom. She has also grown in confidence since A Touch of Gold and is for instance seen as being far more comfortable with her magic than she used to be. What was it like to reconnect with Kora in this book, and what aspects of her character arc did you enjoy exploring the most?
AS: Kora is and always be close to my heart, so to have the chance to explore her story meant so much to me. It gave me a chance to finish her journey as she confronts the curse that has held her hostage for ten years. And throughout the novel, I loved seeing Kora mature and learn what it means to be a ruler—which is so much more than just wearing a crown. Watching her step forward and become the leader her people needed was so satisfying!
QaS: A Curse of Gold is your first published sequel. In terms of your writing process, what was the main difference between returning to an already established story world, as compared to having to create a world from scratch for a new story?
AS: Writing a sequel was an entirely new beast. I went through several rounds of revisions on just an outline with my publisher to make sure the story really hit new heights, brought new challenges, played even more with Greek mythology, and had more adventure—and risk—than ever before. However, I also loved being able to bring back and expand on some things we learn in the first book that now take on new meaning in the second book. They’re almost like little Easter eggs for readers to find, which I love hiding in my books. And in some ways, already knowing the world and the magic system really freed me up to focus on Kora as a character and the physical and emotional journey she goes through in the sequel. So overall, it was one of the hardest books I’ve ever written, but also one of the most heartfelt stories I’ve ever told.
QaS: The duology of A Touch of Gold is a retelling of the Greek myth of King Midas and your previous book, Tiger Queen is a retelling of The Lady, or the Tiger, a short story by Frank Stockton. What other myths or stories would you like to maybe explore in future books?
AS: Ha! All of them! I love writing retellings because I love writing about forgotten characters or characters whose perspective we don’t always get. I’ve got several other retellings written, but I’m also working on some things that aren’t retellings. So hopefully I’ll have some new things out in the world soon!
QaS: Throughout this duology, our characters meet several mythological creatures such as sirens, satyrs and various deities. Of all the mythological beings featured in the series, which one is your favorite?
AS: That’s a tough one! I love the Temptresses of Triton, who are like sirens, because they come with an unexpected backstory. I also love the gorgons we meet in the sequel because I always wanted to look at what would happen if a creature who can turn someone to stone with a look goes up against a princess who can turn things to gold at her touch. Plus, I think I just loved taking the actual Greek mythology surrounding sirens and gorgons and finding a way to pay homage to the original while adding new twists.
QaS: If you could join Royce’s crew and travel the seas on board his ship, what exotic location would love to explore?
AS: Ohhh! I think I would love to go to Jipper, which is a mysterious island that’s said to sink beneath the waves at night. Some people think it’s a myth, but it might not be. But it’s rumored to be full of fantastical things—things I would love to see!
QaS: And finally, for the last question, since becoming a published author, what have been some of your favorite interactions and experiences with fans?
AS: I love this question—probably because I love interacting with fans. So I think one of the best interactions has been with a fan who was so excited to meet me that she cried—and she’d also come all the way from overseas to see me! Plus, I love finally meeting fans I’ve connected with online in person. I have a few hardcore fans whose names I know, and I always love finally getting to meet them. But any fan is welcome to reach out to me via my website contact form, and I’ll do my best to answer them!
About the author
Annie Sullivan is the author of the young adult novels A Touch of Gold, Tiger Queen, and A Curse of Gold. She lives in Indianapolis, Indiana, and she loves fairy tales, everything Jane Austen, and traveling and exploring new cultures. When she’s not off on her own adventures, she’s working as the Senior Copywriter at John Wiley and Sons, Inc. publishing company, having also worked there in Editorial and Publicity roles. She loves to hear from fans, and you can reach her via the contact form on her website or on Twitter and Instagram.
You can follow Annie online at the following: