NOTE: I am sorry to say that I no longer read this series. I picked them up to read them again, and was extremely sad to find out that I had been letting wizardry and spells get past me simply because I loved the book. I had the same thing happen with the Inheritance Cycle. So, while I LOVED these books, I can’t read them any more because they’re against my principals.
Book Title: The Hollow Kingdom Trilogy Book One: the Hollow Kingdom
Author: Clare B. Dunkle
Back Cover: “Oh, I know what’s bothering you,” Marak teased before Kate could turn away in disgust. “The cloak and hood. It’s been on your nerves all evening. You’ve been imagining all sorts of horrors, I’d guess.”
This is just another way to goad me, Kate thought grimly, but he was absolutely right.
Marak tugged back his hood and examined her stunned expression. He watched her cheeks grow pale, her lips bloodless. He grinned in delighted amusement.
“You imagined all sorts of horrors. But maybe not this one.”
Hallow Hill has a strange and tragic history. For thousands of years, young women have been vanishing from the estate, never to be seen again. Now Kate and Emily have come to live at Hallow Hill. Brought up in a civilized age, they have no idea of the land’s dreadful heritage. Until, that is, Marak decides to tell them himself.
Intelligent, pleasant, and completely pitiless, Marak is a powerful magician who claims to be a King—and he has very specific plans for the two new girls who have trespassed into his kingdom.
My Review: Oh. My. Goodness. This book was AMAZING!!!! I didn’t want to put it down until I finished it!!! This has to be one of the best books I have EVER read. I’m talking IN MY ENTIRE LIFE. It was that good. I identified strongly with the main character, Kate Winslow (always a plus!) and completely loved Marak, the goblin King who really has a heart of goblin gold underneath the hideous exterior. The back cover identifies him as a ‘magician,’ but that’s not quite right. He is skilled at magic (healing, building, seeing-type magic) but he is not a sorcerer, wizard, or any other such thing. Another thing I liked was that God was mentioned several times, such as “Vengeance belongs to God,” etc. Demons were mentioned also, but don’t actually appear. The villain is a sorcerer, who, even though he is only in the book for a very short time, makes an excellent villain because at the point you meet him, the book turns much darker. Then, once he’s dead, it goes back to being as light as it was before (and the amazing thing was, it was only because of the shadow the villain cast on the portion of the book he inhabited! It is by no means a ‘dark book’ even though the premise might seem dark to some.) Marak is a teasing, impossible, but honorable goblin who has chosen Kate to be his bride – and he will have her as his wife, whether she wants to or not (and she most certainly does not!) The main thing I loved about the book was how Kate grows to love Marak even when she thought she never could. This book was extremely well-written, exciting, adventurous, full of self-sacrifice, honor, courage, and high adventure. I recommend it HIGHLY, and was SO excited to find that it was a trilogy, since there was no indication of the fact on the book cover!! I will be reviewing them as soon as they come in from the library.
Age Rating: 15+
TEN out of five stars!! This is a DEFINITE to-buy book.