Published: February 7th 2017 by Thomas Dunne Books
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 just want to start off by saying that I absolutely LOVE this cover! It is so amazingly pretty! Ok, now that’s out of my system, there were a lot of mixed review going around for this book. A lot of people were disappointed with this book because it wasn’t what they thought it was going to be etc. However, I am not one of these people! I actually really really enjoyed this book and I am really looking forward to the next instalment!
I think my favourite aspect of this book was the mystery behind the Goblin King (which, by the way, was repeated WAY too many times in this book! I thought I would just throw that out there). I found myself wanting to get to know him and what made him tick and how he became Der Erlkönig! I loved getting to know him as Elisabeth got to know him – especially because it was done in detail. I liked him from the very beginning, even though he was shown to be the Lord of Mischief, there was always that draw toward him and, as I got to know him better as a character, I began to empathise with him a lot more. I loved watching his vulnerable side come out and the way that the mystery of who he was slowly being shown to us. I would love to get to know more about him and I cannot wait to see more from him in the next instalment!
I also really liked Elisabeth. I did struggle with her right at the beginning because I felt like she whined and moaned a lot and I really just wanted to slap her really really hard. However, as her memories began to come back to her of her childhood and what was done to her and the way she was treated, it was easy to see why she had become the way that she was and how she became to be the protector of her siblings. I felt really sorry for her and I really enjoyed watching her grow as a character, alongside the Goblin King. I felt like they grew as characters together and they began to learn together, which made this story extra special for me.
Whilst I don’t feel like there was much going on plot wise, I never felt like the book got slow in any way. There was a form of plot there in the sense of why she went to the Goblin King etc, but it wasn’t particularly well developed because it focused a lot more on character development, rather than what was going on. In its own way, the character development actually gave hand to the plot because it helped to shape the plot and what was going on in both the world underground and the normal world that we live in.
I would have loved to have a double POV between Käthe and Elisabeth because I think showing what was going on both underground and in the world would have given an extra something something to the story and maybe the plot itself. I think a second POV would have been a good counterpart to know how the events of the book were affecting various characters.
I would have also loved to have seen more of Josef! After the crazy revelation about him, I wished that we could have seen more from his perspective and how he would’ve reacted if he had ever found out what he was!
All in all, I really loved this story and I absolutely cannot wit for the next instalment. I found the book intriguing and I was always looking forward to picking the book back up after putting it down again. I gave this book 4/5 stars.