Saturday, 23 February 2008

The Hollow Kingdom

In the mood for something completely different I took The Hollow Kingdom, by Clare B. Dunkle, off my tbr mountain. I'm not even sure what it was doing there, where I saw it recced, or why I bought it, but it's new so I must have got it from Amazon - but some time ago now. One of those inspired buys I suspect.



The story concerns two sisters, Kate and Emily. We're not told their precise ages but Kate is around 17 or 18 and Emily, perhaps 12 or 13. They go to live with a reclusive uncle when their father dies. The uncle lives in a forested region beside a lake and the whole place has an enchanted feel to it. Lost, one night, the girls encounter what they think is a band of gypsies, except that they're not. Their leader helps them home but doesn't show his face. He makes it clear though that Kate and he have a future together. When Kate eventually sees his face she is horrified to find that he is in fact a goblin, but not just any goblin, he is the king of the ones who live under the lake. Even worse he makes it clear that he plans to make her his wife and that she will live with him underground and never see the light of day again.

It's rather strange I think how some books completely hit the spot. Was I in the mood for this Beauty and the Beast type of story or does it just happen to be the kind of thing I enjoy - so I was going to like it regardless of when I read the thing? Being a 'Young Adult' fantasy book it's not explicit in any way but it is romantic and sometimes I feel that, for someone who enjoys romantic fiction, I just don't read enough of it. The writing is engaging, pacey and atmospheric. The main characters, Kate and the Goblin king, Marak, are written sympathetically and with humour. The author doesn't try to turn Marak into a pretty boy or handsome hero, he's ugly and she makes no bones about it. But it works! Not only that, it's a delightful read, a page turner in fact; I devoured it in a couple of days. There are two sequels, book 2 is Close Kin and book 3, The Coils of the Snake, referring I think (hope) to the rather humorous charm in the form of a snake that protects all Goblin King wives from danger whilst quoting statistics about the other 167 wives he has protected. I've ordered both books from Amazon and hope they don't take too long to arrive!

8 comments:

DesLily said...

hmmm, this sounds good.. and it sure got you riled up to order the next two books pretty quickly! lol I'll have to check into them at Amazon, not that I NEED more books mind you! lol

Cath said...

I thought about you while I read this, Pat. It seemed to me that it might be your kind of thing too. Sorry about that. ;-)

How are you feeling today? Better, I hope?

DesLily said...

Oh sure, "sorry 'bout that" Uhhuh! hahaha... I think I hear you sobbing all the way across "the pond"!.. wait.. that's... that's not sobbing! you're laughing! (lol lol)

yes, thanks.. beginning to feel like I will live!.. i was beginning to think i'd die of starvation before my stomach would let me eat again hahahaha

Cath said...

Yep, I was laughing so hard I caused an earth quake. Heeheeheeheehee.

Glad you're feeling better, I will write soon! (Free week coming up.)

Darla D said...

I linked here from your review of the second one. This sounds really good - I've just put it on hold at my library. Thanks! :-)

Cath said...

I really hope you enjoy it, Darla. The author has a nice website here:

http://www.claredunkle.com/

Darla D said...

I LOVED this book, Cath! I just finished it today and hope to get a review up soon. Thanks so much for your review and for recommending it! Did you like the others in the series as much? I can see why you went out and ordered them right away.

Cath said...

Well, Blogger didn't send me notification of this so I only found it now after following your link back to my review! *sigh* Anyway, yes I loved book 2 even though it was about Emily and Seylin rather than Kate and Marak, although they are in it. It was every bit as enjoyable and a lot of fun - my short review of it is here:

http://read-warbler.blogspot.com/2008/03/close-kin-clare-b-dunkle.html