Author: S. Jae-Jones
Series Status: standalone
# of pages: 436
My rating: 4/5 stars
(found on Goodreads)
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.
This novel was incredible. I haven’t heard much about it but I did notice this book was getting some hype in the bookstagram community. So when I got this in this month’s BooklyBox Fantasy box I was so excited.
One of my favorite things from this was the unique storyline. I wasn’t expecting it because I had not read the synopsis and knew nothing about this other than that it was a retelling. The idea of this magical world being spun through music and the world depending on it was so breathtaking. Apparently this is a retelling of an 80’s movie but I haven’t heard about it or seen it so I have no point of reference on how this works as a retelling. But ignoring that this was an insanely great novel.
I really loved the characters and how complex they were. There was nothing one dimensional about them at all. Liesl, Elisabeth, was fantastic and I loved just how deep her emotions ran. She sacrificed a lot for her family and her love for them definitely shined through. She kind of reminded me of Feyreh from A Court of Thorns and Roses, but with a more unique version of it. Then there was The Goblin King who was so mysterious and withdrawn from the story. I really enjoyed him and as the story progressed I found myself enjoying him more.
I think that I may have been at a slight loss while reading this, though because I have no musical inclination and couldn’t understand the level of love and expression that was featured in it. I’d probably be Kathe in this story but that doesn’t mean that I couldn’t see what it meant to Elisabeth and The Goblin King.Probably the main thing that I disliked about this novel was the ending. It disappointed me. I don’t want to go into it without spoiling it but I just wasn’t a fan.
Overall this book was fantastic and I can’t believe how great this was even if I was a little disappointed by the ending.