The Book: A Touch of Gold by Annie Sullivan
The Rating: 3 ⭐️⭐️⭐️
Gold is wealth.
Wealth is power.
Power is a curse.
When I first heard that someone had written a retelling of the King Midas myth, I was so excited! I adore Greek myths and had always enjoyed this story as a child, so I was really looking forward to reading A Touch of Gold. I had high hopes for this story, because as far as I know, no one has done a retelling of this particular myth, but I have to admit to being quite let down by this book. Without spoiling it for anyone, here’s why…
One of the most important things about any story, in my opinion, is having an interesting leading character. It doesn’t matter who that character is, they need to be someone you want to read about. In A Touch of Gold, that character was supposed to be Princess Kora. Afflicted by the same curse as her father, Kora has spent most of her life hidden away in the palace. To begin with, she comes across as quite shy and reserved, which is understandable – she’s spent years trying not to interact with other people! But as the book progresses, this doesn’t really change. She doesn’t grow much during the story, which is a shame as she has the potential to be pretty badass. Instead, she’s quite a dull character and is pushed along by the story, rather than shaping it herself.
This is the same with all of the main characters in the story – they all remain quite two dimensional. Kora’s cousin, Hettie (not sure that’s a Greek-esque name, but oh well!) has the potential to break out of her comfort zone and become a real hero of the story, but this isn’t developed very well and she ends up falling a bit flat.
Another of my big problems with this story was the two (yes, two) love interests for Kora. Instead of there being a love triangle, which I actually would have enjoyed as it’s one of my favourite tropes, Kora’s emotions simply switch from liking one boy to the other faster than you can say “Rich as Croesus”. It’s completely unbelievable – read it, and you’ll see what I mean! Both Aris and Royce have the potential to be interesting characters and create some amazingly tense moments… but they just don’t get there!
I think the main problem I have with this book as a whole, is that it has so much potential! Yes, I’ve used that word a lot in this review – with good reason. The story is there. The characters are there. But they don’t connect! They need to be fleshed out and deepened, and the pacing needs work. All in all, this book could have been amazing and I think that’s what is most disappointing.
I’ve seen on Goodreads that there’s going to be a sequel, and I’m honestly not sure how I feel about that or if I’ll end up reading it. I might, to see if the characters get the story they deserve.
Have you ever read a story that you wanted to love, but ended up feeling ambivalent about? Let me know in the comments!