Book Review: The Gold-Son by Carrie Anne Noble

When he was born, Tommin was cursed to become a leprechaun, and now he feels a constant compulsion to steal gold and silver. When his thieving gets him in trouble, he makes a deal with a stranger named Lorcan, not realizing until it's too late that he's been taken to an underground city, along with Eve, to become a full-blow leprechaun. But Tommin and Eve don't want to lose their humanity or be unwilling pawns in Lorcan's plans and are determined to find a cure for the curse and a way to escape.

Book Review: The Gold-Son by Carrie Anne Noble | reading, books, paranormal/urban fantasy, historical fantasy, young adult, leprechauns
Title: The Gold-Son
Pages: 306
My Rating: 4 Stars
More Info: Goodreads, Amazon


I wasn’t sure this would be my kind of book, but it’s about leprechauns, and I love reading about uncommon paranormal creatures/beings, so of course I wanted to read it. And I’m so glad I did because I really liked it!

For starters, I was delightfully swept away by the 1800s Ireland setting where most of the book took place and the atmospheric, fairytale-esque feel of the writing and the story.

Even better was the amazing creativity of the leprechaun aspect! I really want to read more books about leprechauns now, except I feel like all other versions of them would pale in comparison to the version this author has created. The curse on Tommin that compelled him to steal gold was so unique and well-written, and I felt so bad for him. He was ashamed of his stealing, but if a leprechaun went too long without stealing, they’d get itchy hands, then they’d get seriously ill. They could also smell gold, and whenever they stole some, they would get basically drunk on the good feeling it gave them. There were also mentions about things like burying their treasure and creating rainbows. And I loved the way gold and silver and shiny things were described from Tommin’s POV, how they called to him. It was such good writing. Then there was the underground city and the whole leprechaun society, the way they cursed babies and then took them once they got older to teach them and transform them into full-blown leprechauns.

Shame made his face hot as a demon’s cook fire. Yet as much as he regretted stealing the coin, he loved the thing. It sparkled at him, wooing him, stirring his heart more than any girl ever had.

I also loved seeing our modern times through the eyes of a leprechaun when the story jumped forward. Tommin was horrified that people used paper money and credit cards, and online banking was the absolute worst!

And speaking of the jump forward in time, the author did a great job of showing that through Tommin’s perspective. *SPOILER* I’m not really sure why he thought it was the apocalypse and/or that he was in Hell when he woke from the gold-deficiency coma? But the way he was confused by the people in Halloween costumes, terrified of cars because he thought they were giant beasts, confused by all the people talking to themselves while holding metal rectangles to their ears, etc. was fun to read. I felt bad for the guy since skipping forward so far in time would definitely be scary and confusing, but I also couldn’t help but laugh. *END SPOILER*

I had a few small issues with the plot though. It was a bit slow, and it seemed like Eve was the one moving it forward and doing things to reach their goal more than Tommin was. I also think there were a few things that could’ve been explained better. *SPOILER* Why did Lorcan make a female leprechaun if all he needed to be king was seven gold-sons? Seems like it would’ve made more sense to go the safe route of choosing seven boys rather than risk getting caught with a girl. And how exactly did having seven gold-sons suddenly make one king? And why weren’t more leprechauns cursing children more often if that’s all it took to become king? I might’ve misunderstood something there. And if both Tommin and Eve were wanted by the Faerie Council, how were they able to just go about their lives at the end? Was it because they were human that they weren’t in trouble anymore? Because that doesn’t really make sense to me. *END SPOILER*

It also made me uncomfortable that Tommin tried to use charm on “Penny” in order to make her like him more and not turn him down when he asked her on a date or put his arm around her. He didn’t use it for anything more serious than that, and it’s believable that someone would do that, but I still felt uncomfortable because if it had worked on her, it might’ve given her more feelings for him than she would’ve had naturally, and then consent would’ve become a blurred line.

As for the characters themselves, Tommin was a good guy (despite what I just said above). He loved his granny, he cared for the shoemaker he apprenticed under when he was ill, he risked his life for Copper, and he tried to do good things to counteract the thieving. Even when he started turning into a leprechaun, he tried to hold onto his humanity and fought a constant inner battle. Eve was tough as nails. The poor girl had an awful life, being kidnapped, raised, and abused by Lorcan. I didn’t blame her one bit for wanting freedom or revenge. She was also smart and clever and fiercely determined. And I felt terrible for Copper as well. He was also kidnapped and abused, plus forced to be Lorcan’s slave. But Copper was a sweetheart to Tommin and Eve, and he never let Lorcan crush his bright, feisty personality.

Overall, I adored the creativity in this book, I loved this author’s portrayal of leprechauns, and the atmospheric writing and setting really pulled me into the story!


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  1. Lynn

    Fantastic review! I have never read a book about leprechauns and I am going to add this to my TBR immediately! Have a wonderful week!

  2. Barb (boxermommyreads)

    Okay so your review was awesome and you totally got me wanting to read about leprechauns. I don’t think I’ve really read a book with them as characters before. I must remedy that.

    On a side note, I finished Smoke City last night and my review will be up Thursday for a blog tour, but know that I was really surprised by how much I really liked it. Definitely a 4/5 read for me. I’ve not met such a band of likable unlikable characters in a long time.

    1. Kristen Burns

      You should remedy that, the leps were so unique!

      I’m glad you liked it! I’ll def check out your review 🙂 Right? Mike was so unlikeable lol, yet I was totally rooting for him.

  3. Dena @ Batch of Books

    This sounds like a really interesting story. I haven’t read a book about leprechauns in a long time. I’m totally with you on the “charms” though. Never a good idea to try and override someone’s free will!

    1. Kristen Burns

      It was! I’m curious what other leprechaun book you’ve read? Yeah, I could deal with using the charm in his business to make money since he was a leprechaun and that was their thing, but not for romantic things! Luckily it was a minor issue.

      1. Dena @ Batch of Books

        I read The Moorchild by Eloise Jarvis McGraw several times when I was a kid and then a few times as an adult. I loved every page of it. Technically, it’s about the “Folk” and their changelings (half-folk babies they swapped for human babies). But the Folk in the book are very similar to leprechauns (they might even be the same thing?).

        1. Kristen Burns

          It’s my understanding that leprechauns are part of the fae (which I know are also called Fair Folk and other things), so it very well could be leps in the book. It sounds interesting!

  4. AngelErin

    You had me at Leprechaun! I have NEVER read a book with a leprechaun in it. I think I would enjoy it even if there is a bit of slowness. Funny story… my fiance calls me a leprechaun (the one from the movie specifically) because I’m short and overly feisty. LOL! Anyway, great review and I’m going to add this one to my Goodreads right now. 🙂

  5. Greg

    Ooh this is a pretty original premise! Haven’t read leprechauns before, I don’t think. Drunk on gold? Love it lol. And an underground city of leprechauns? Nice.

    That first spoiler sounds fun. 🙂

    1. Kristen Burns

      It was so unique! I absolutely loved all the lep stuff. And the underground city was a neat aspect. The thing in the first spoiler was so fun to read about lol.

  6. Aimee (Aimee, Always)

    I CAN’T believe I haven’t heard of this before! I’ve never read a leprechaun book before, and I totally want to now. Plus a gorgeous historical setting and creativity!? YES PLEASE. Awesome review, Kristen!!

  7. Daniela Ark

    g;ad t hear now you want to read more about leprechauns! I think I saw this ARC and didn’t requested it because.. leprechauns! 🙂 That’s a stretch for little me trying to find my way back to fantasy! I think I’ll stick with fangers and shifters for a while 🙂 leprechauns + slow pace [she shudders] 🙂

    1. Kristen Burns

      I think I saw the ARC too and also didn’t request simply cuz I was worried it wouldn’t be my kinda book. But in the end it worked out since maybe it wouldn’t have been right for me at that time. The leps were so interesting though!

  8. Danya @ Fine Print

    Whooooaaa, leprechaun book alert! I know you’ve been trying to read about lots of different creatures over the past few years, but I honestly had no idea that there were leprechaun books floating around out there. Tommin sounds like a very compelling MC, so I’m glad to hear that this creature worked well for you. ?

  9. Sarah J.

    I love the cover for this one. It sounds very interesting. I haven’t read many books set in Ireland. For some reason, it is one of those least visited places in my reading habits.

  10. Becky @ A Fool's Ingenuity

    Book about leprechauns? This is a new one and I am glad you enjoyed it. It certainly sounds well done and so I’m adding it onto my radar. I think it sounds really interesting and although I’m not totally sure how it goes from the 1800s to modern times but regardless I want to read.

  11. Olivia Roach

    I was smiling as soon as I finished the synopsis. I don’t think I’ve ever read a book where the paranormal creature focus was leprechauns and then the fact that they don’t even want to give up their humanity and become leprechauns sounds entertaining to me. I love creative representations of paranormal creatures… I haven’t read a paranormal book in a while now DD: I always thought Stephanie Meyer’s vampires were creative but a lot of people hate them so 😛

    1. Kristen Burns

      It’s not a creature you see often! Or ever lol. That’s why I had to read it! Actually, some of them didn’t mind giving up their humanity, but the MCs definitely did. I love creative takes on creatures too. I do think what Meyer did was creative, and it bothers me that it gets so much hate. I actually have a post about author’s takes on paranormal creatures written up that touches on that, I’ll look forward to your thoughts whenever I get around to posting it lol.

  12. imyril

    I’ve been uncertain about picking this one up – I really enjoyed The Mermaid’s Sister by the same author (which I’d heartily recommend), but the description for The Gold-Son didn’t quite grab me in the same way… and your review is making me think that’s the right choice for now at least.

    [dropping by via ReadWriteLove28’s Commenting 365 list – loving the chance to find new blogs to follow!]

    1. Kristen Burns

      I was never really interested in The Mermaid’s Sister, so I know what you mean. Sometimes one book calls to us but another doesn’t! However I did think this one was really unique! I hope you enjoy it if you give a chance 🙂