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 is going to be more like a rant/review than just a review. I am honestly proud that I finished this book, it was so boring and needlessly long. I can sum up the book in one paragraph yet it's 436 pages long. I was so bored. So the book was too long for such a small plot.
Liesl used to play with the Goblin King as a child. She grew up and stopped playing with him. He kidnaps her sister to lure her back to him. She saves her sister by giving herself to him. They fall in love. He lets her go so she doesn't die.
That is the whole plot.
But it gets worse. Liesl is so annoying, always saying she is less than her talented brother and beautiful sister. All she wants is to be good looking, in all honestly it seems to me that all she wants is a man to find her good looking and sleep with her. She wants to be desirable like her younger sister.
She fails to see her own talents, always thinking she's nothing and then yet she tries to push her dreams onto her brother. I just don't like her.
Then there is the problem of the author setting up this huge thing and never giving the payoff. What am I talking about? The sexual tension. The author builds it up and builds it up and we get the smallest amount of payoff. Sometimes it even fades to black. That is not good. If you set something up that far the payoff needs to be worth it or it's a fail.
Also the chemistry between her and the Goblin King was pretty awful. I never really felt the love between them, not once.
This also leads me into another point. How many times he'd told her no when she kept pushing for sex.
"Stop." His voice was firmer now. I ignored him, pulling at hid cloak, his shirt, his breeches. "Stop, Elisabeth. Please." - Page 234 (The Goblin King)
He let out a slight hiss of pain. Moans of pain, moans of pleasure - to my ears they were all sung in the same key. - Page 233 (Liesl's thoughts) - Like this kind of thinking is not normal to me. Moans of pain sound like moans of pleasure? No. That's sick.
"Enough, Elisabeth." He was short of breath."Enough." - Page 236 (The Goblin King)
Yeah so there is that, it bothers me, this double standard. Do you know if this was switched, if it were the girl that was going through this how many people would get pissed? But since it's a guy... nothing. I've seen one other reviewer say something about this. ONE. This kind of thing is never okay, guy, girl, anyone else. No means fucking no. You stop.
After they do finally have sex... suddenly her whole world changes and she feels the desire to write music again and she is now a woman and she is so very different from before. The world now makes sense and blah, blah, blah.
Yeah none of that is true. Do you know what happens after you have sex? The world goes on just as it did before. You do not change into this whole new person. The world does not align and all the secrets of it are reveled. You maybe sore for a day after but that's the only thing that changes. So that whole thing just made me roll my eyes so hard I thought they were going to get stuck.
I just... I don't think I've ever disliked a book so much as this one and I hated that. I wanted to love it so much. I hate saying bad things about books so here are the few things I liked. The cover is stunning, I love how it was marketed as a labyrinth inspired story. I also love how it brought music into the story. I wish more books would do that as music and books are my favorite things so it makes me happy when they collide. I did like the writing style. It was something almost lyrical and that was nice.
So I guess that's all I really have to say about this book. It was boring, eye roll worthy and just plain awful.