Publication Date: February 7, 2017
Publisher: Thomas Dunne
Goodreads Rating: 3/5 Stars
Cover Thoughts: Oh how I love this cover. There is so much symbolism to this cover once you read the book. oh how I love it.
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.
Yeah….so this is NOT YA and there are very much adult content to this book. I just found out that this was a Labyrinth retelling! I TOTALLY SEE IT NOW!!! And am grateful I didn’t know that before because then I would’ve been picturing David Bowie as the Goblin King…*shudder* nope. nope. nope. SORRY IF I JUST RUINED IT FOR YOU!
I will say that the author is a fantastic storyteller. Her writing was spell-binding. When I was done reading this book I was emotionally exhausted. I immediately tweeted to the author asking for more. Luckily for us there will be more. whew! The idea behind this story was awesome, if you are a fan of a Hades and Persephone then you’ll like this book as well as it totally has that vibe.
“Beware the Goblin men,” Constanze said, “And the wares they sell.”
This story is about a girl name Liesl who desires nothing more than to see her brother succeed where she cannot. She loves her brother and they have a very special and unique bond and with that is another bond they share through music. She is a composer and her brother the instrument in which she gets to hear her music played.
Liesl also has a sister, vain, selfish and shallow and you just feel sorry for her sister. But because of that, this sister gets trapped in the kingdom of the goblins and the only way to set her sister free is to play the game the Goblin King has set for Liesl. She must sacrifice everything she holds dear in order to save those she loves and yet find a way to save herself in the process.
Liesl was an interesting character. She bothered me, quite a few times. I felt sorry for her then just got annoyed. Her character development was perfect as it was a slow process for her to recognize what she need to do and change in order to save those she loved including herself. I found it interesting that the author made Liesl not beautiful. She is considered “small, thin, and sallow.”
“The little hobgoblin, Papa called me. Fey, was Constanze’s pronouncement. Only Joseph ever called me beautiful. Not pretty, my brother would say. Beautiful.”
There came a time and part in the book where I absolutely did not like Liesl and became super annoyed with her. This need to feel beautiful, desired, wanted, and the only way she felt she could get it from her Goblin King really REALLY bothered me…A LOT.
I absolutely loved the Goblin King. There was so much to him, so much depth, pain, sorry, love, joy, ache, yearning, soul to him that I appreciated greatly in a character. So complex, so complicated. I found my heart strings being plucked when it came to him. *sigh*
“I do not offer this gift to you out of the goodness of my heart, but out of a selfish need to see what you might do with it.”
Overall I loved the idea of the story, the writing, world building, story-telling was all so vivid, well thought out.
Sexual Content: heavy
LGBTQ+: yes, a side character is gay
*A HUGE thank you to Thomas Dunne for this ARC which I got in exchange for an honest review*