Liesl dreams of becoming a famous composer, but is left to write compositions for her talented younger brother to play instead. Her beautiful younger sister is set to be married to the most eligible young man in the village, while Liesl helps her long-suffering mother and bitter father run their inn, their days of musical success and glory behind them. Jealous of her sister’s beauty and brother’s opportunities, Liesl becomes careless and suddenly, it seems her sister has been enchanted by the goblins, and taken away by the Goblin King. Even worse, no one seems to even remember that her sister has ever existed. Liesl has until the next full moon to figure out a way to retrieve her sister.
Once Liesl joins the kingdom of the goblins underground, she begins to remember more of her past, and her previous encounters with the Goblin King. As a little girl, she used to roam the woods, and play her music for a strange, pale boy, always slightly older than her. He kept asking him to marry her, and she would refuse. Growing up and being burdened with more responsibilities, becoming a supporting character in the lives of her more vivacious siblings, Liesl forgot all about the Goblin King. Tradition demands that he take a bride, however, and if Liesl won’t come to him willingly, he will lure her there by threatening to take her sister instead. The Goblin King requires a mortal bride. Will it be Liesl, or her beautiful younger sister? And if she does decide to give in to the Goblin King, will Liesl really be fine with never seeing her family or the human world ever again?
This book, which is apparently Ms Jae-Jones’ debut novel, was very favourably reviewed on several of the review sites I follow regularly, like Smart Bitches, Trashy Books and Forever Young Adult. This book isn’t a retelling of just one story, but a bit of a mish mash of several familiar tales. As the Smart Bitches review points out, you can find elements of the Hades and Persephone myth in here, some Beauty and the Beast, some Phantom of the Opera and the Goblin King, or Erlkönig, is clearly visually modelled on David Bowie in Labyrinth. Even his eyes are two different colours.
Full review on my blog.