Author: S. Jae-Jones
Genre: Young Adult
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Release Date: February 7, 2017
Beware the goblin men and the wares they sell.
All her life, nineteen-year-old Liesl has heard tales of the beautiful, mysterious Goblin King. He is the Lord of Mischief, the Ruler Underground, and the muse around which her music is composed. Yet, as Liesl helps shoulder the burden of running her family’s inn, her dreams of composition and childish fancies about the Goblin King must be set aside in favor of more practical concerns.
But when her sister Käthe is taken by the goblins, Liesl journeys to their realm to rescue her sister and return her to the world above. The Goblin King agrees to let Käthe go—for a price. The life of a maiden must be given to the land, in accordance with the old laws. A life for a life, he says. Without sacrifice, nothing good can grow. Without death, there can be no rebirth. In exchange for her sister’s freedom, Liesl offers her hand in marriage to the Goblin King. He accepts.
Down in the Underground, Liesl discovers that the Goblin King still inspires her—musically, physically, emotionally. Yet even as her talent blossoms, Liesl’s life is slowly fading away, the price she paid for becoming the Goblin King’s bride. As the two of them grow closer, they must learn just what it is they are each willing to sacrifice: her life, her music, or the end of the world.
I liked this story. I’m so glad the sequel is out, so I can read it right away.
I liked the references to Christina Rossetti’s poetry throughout the book. The story is based on her poem “The Goblin Market.” But it also has a lot of the themes from Beauty and the Beast as well.
Liesl’s music was a great backdrop to the story. It was realistic that she was a great composer but her brother was the one to get the credit, just because he was a boy. I loved that music was able to unite people of all different backgrounds.
One thing that frustrated me was Liesl’s relationship with the Goblin King. They did a lot of pointless bickering. They had the same arguments over and over. It was annoying because I was rooting for Liesl to be happy, either with him or without him.
I liked this story, and I recommend it for YA fantasy fans.