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Review: The Hollow Kingdom (The Hollow Kingdom Trilogy, Book One) by Clare B Dunkle

in a sentence or so: Kate and Emily Winslow move to Hallow Hill after the death of their father to live with their two great-aunts and one very unhappy (and shady) guardian, Hugh Roberts. within days Kate has attracted the notice of the goblin king Marak, who wants Kate as his bride. and goblin kings always get their bride.

our nineteenth century sisters Kate and Emily aren't crazy about moving out to the remote Hallow Hill, but they do find the woods ripe for exploration and the stars beautiful at nighttime. on one of their first excursions, the girls become lost and stumble upon what they believe to be a band of gypsies late at night in the woods. Emily, the younger of the two sisters, is excited and totally into the mysteriousness of the gypsies. Kate, the beautiful and brainy sister, is instantly wary of these people and feels that something is not quite right. of course, her instincts are spot on. she soon learns of the goblin king Marak's intention to take her away to the kingdom under the hill and make her his bride. Kate does everything she can to stop this from happening...but will it be enough?

the book is broken into 3 parts - starlight, lamplight, and darkness. i can't really review the last two parts without giving away spoilers, but it made sense for them to be separated into parts. while there is clearly a cohesive story, i think this was the author's way of putting a separate focus for each segment and allowing for emphasis on certain characters and motives.

i started off like Kate: appalled, grossed out, and angry at Marak for trying to steal her to take her away to the creepy underworld of goblins and ick. but, much to my own surprise, about halfway through i felt myself warming up to Marak. maybe even starting to root for him! crazy, i know, but true. the author does a wonderful job of creating a complex and sympathetic character in Marak, while still maintaining his freakishness. i loved it. i think what really won me over is that i bought that he genuinely cared for Kate, more than just a "you're pretty, i'll take you away now" care. i didn't expect that turn by the author, but i was pleasantly surprised when it came. this wasn't exactly a romance, but the mystery of what exactly was going on intrigued me greatly.

Kate and Emily's adventure is full of suspicious characters, danger, using their wit, and staying true to who they are. Dunkle creates quite a plethora of creatures and gives each of them due attention by giving them a personal name and detailed portrayal. her elaborate description of the Goblin kingdom compliments her detailed characters and creates a rich fantasy world which i was able to completely immerse. the happy, quirky ending left me wanting more. which is quite something, since there was no cliffhanger. i want to read the next two books in the series out of pure desire in the kingdom and characters Dunkle created, not by a flustered need to quench my curiosity.

fave quote: "There on the roof crouched the squirrel. It sat up, chattering, and waved its tail at her. Kate had a vision of herself chasing it headlong down the gravel track, yelling like a banshee. No, perhaps she'd better not." (53)

fix er up: as this is a children's book, i shouldn't be too harsh on the over-the-top PG feel of the romantic interactions. Dunkle does a solid job of creating "awww" moments without being racy, but the YA lover in me would have appreciated a little kissing scene or something. meh well.

title: The Hollow Kingdom (Book 1 -- The Hollow Kingdom Trilogy)
author: Clare B. Dunkle
genre: Adventure, Fantasy

Lisa is a gamer, crafter, fangirl, mother, wife and unabashed nerd who is pretty ridiculous and it's best you know that up front. When she's not binge watching Netflix or crafting into the wee hours of the night, you can find her spending a lot of her time on Pinterest and Twitter.

1 comment:

  1. i feel that you have been fixated on squirrels lately. that is all.


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