Title: The Goblin King
Author: Shona Husk
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Release Date: October 2011
How I Read It: Mass Market Arc
Rating: 4 Crowns
ONCE UPON A TIME…
A man who had been cursed to the Shadowlands,
his heart replaced with a cold lump of gold.
In legends, he has become known as
THE GOBLIN KING.
For a favored few he will grant a wish.
Yet, desperately clinging to his waning human soul,
His one own desire remains unfulfilled:
A WILLING QUEEN.
But who would consent to move from
the modern-day world into the realm of nightmares?
No matter how intoxicating his touch, no matter
how deep his valor, loving him is dangerous.
And the one woman who might dare to try
could also destroy forever his chance at a
HAPPILY EVER AFTER.
First thoughts after reading the blurb:
This reminds me of the Legend of Shift Jack. This has potential be to a grand read.
A Celtic King cursed for all eternity for a betrayal he did not commit. Cursed to live life as a goblin. A piece of cold gold where his once beating heart had resided. A never-ending desire for gold running through his veins.
In the Shadowlands, he can live as the man he once was. In the Fixed Realm, he is the monster he was cursed to be. For some, he is the harbinger of their worst nightmares. For others, he is their protector.
For Eliza, he was the warning her mother had given her about becoming greedy. Then he was the warrior she had summoned when she was in need of protection. He had taken her to the Summerland, the place where dreams began and leaving her with an amber bead to remember him by and the warning that if she ever wished for him again he would not let her go.
Nine years had passed. Eliza once again found herself in need of him. Answering her summons to “take her away”. Roan did her bidding, this time taking her to his home in the Shadowlands. Now, the teenager he once saved is a woman that he does not want to release.
Will Eliza be able to make Roan realize that he is still the man he once was…or will his lust for gold be his destruction?
When I first started reading this book, I was a bit disappointed. I thought that it would have more of a Celtic-vibe to it than it actually did. Although it wasn’t too long before I got over my disappointment and devoured the book.
The Hero and Heroine:
I loved the way that author allowed the reader to connect with Roan by using his back-story as a Celtic king and showing what led to him becoming a goblin. It added a sense of depth to his story, which I loved. I found that I could not get enough of Roan. You could sense his desire to hold on to his humanity for his brother’s sake as well as his own. You could also feel the toll the loss of the other’s who were cursed along with him had taken on him. I found myself wanting him to be free of the curse.
Eliza was enjoyable as well, but to tell the truth, I was more interested in Roan than I was in her. I felt that she was expecting too much. She wanted to be with Roan in the Shadowlands, yet she wanted to live in the Fixed Realm (the real world) as well. It was kind of like she wanted to have her cake and eat it too. I also felt that she was seeking solace in the Shadowlands when life in the real world become too much for her.
I loved the way Shona Husk was able to create three believable worlds. .
1. The Fixed Realm, which is the real world Eliza lives in.
2. The Shadowlands, which is the land of nightmares, the place where the Roan resides.
3. The Summerland, the place where dreams start.
Each of the three worlds was very well crafted and believable which shows strength in the authors writing.
What Would I Change?
I would have added what happened nine years ago when Eliza first summoned the Goblin King. It was mentioned briefly, but I wanted more. I think that some readers may be put off by the fact that they have to download “A Summons, A Goblin King Prequel”.
It can be downloaded free from:
Did it live up to its potential?
I think it did and that is why I gave it a 4 Crown review. I said that it didn’t have the Celtic-vibe I was expecting. Don’t get me wrong, it has Celtic undertones (the druid turning into a rave, Roan being a Celtic king and such), I just wanted to see more.
The concept of the book was interesting. Like I said before, it bares a resemblance to the Irish legend of Shifty Jack and that had me intrigued. While it was not what I was expecting to read, I found that it was surprisingly good.
Would I read it again?
I would read it again. The writing was well paced; the characters were well fleshed out. I liked the fact that Roan was not a brooding mess, like most tragic heroes.
This is the first book in a series, and so far, Shona Husk is off to a good start.
The cover is very appealing; it draws your eye to it. However, does the model match up with the books description of Roan? Possibly, but there was a difference you will notice once you have read the book.
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