Author: S. Jae-Jones
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance
Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books
Publication 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.
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I liked the concept for this book more than I liked the execution. Maybe it was because I felt like the summary promised things that that actual story didn't deliver, particularly romance wise. I had quite a few things I wasn't thrilled with throughout this novel but the romance was definitely the biggest thing.
So, I'm a huge fan of dark, mysterious, mischievous men in my stories. The Goblin King sounded right up my alley and I was so excited to read about him and see how he and Liesl interacted. Unfortunately, the darkness and mischievousness were left out of his character. He was a bit mysterious but that's about it. He didn't seem powerful to me or wild or any of the things he was described as in the summary. He seemed like a nervous and shy boy. I didn't feel like we got a single solid example of this supposed power he has. To say I was let down by him is an understatement. I honestly just didn't care about him much. I mean, I still shipped him with Liesl but I wish he would have lived up more to what we were told to expect.
I also had a problem with all the other characters basically. Yeah, I know. But I just couldn't stand Liesl or Kathe. Kathe was incredibly spoiled and selfish (at least, we're led to believe that for the majority of the novel). I couldn't stand her and just found it annoying to read about her on the page. Liesl . . . well, she was actually pretty similar. She spent the majority of her time whining and complaining and just talking about her music and how life was unfair. I didn't feel particularly fond of her.
Honestly, the only parts I really liked in this novel were the concept and the writing style. The concept is engaging and interesting and it what made me want to read it. And the writing style is gorgeous. This author is definitely talented with words. Her writing was lyrical and lovely. It's what made me want to continue reading.
I don't know if I'd recommend this book. I need to like the characters to really enjoy a book and, obviously, I was not a fan of these characters. I want to read another book from this author. She's a talented writer but didn't deliver on the promises she made about the romance. Still, I'll be giving her another chance!
“If I were a burning smolder, he was the poker, stirring
me into flames.”