All her life, Liesl has heard tales of the beautiful, dangerous Goblin King. They've enraptured her mind and spirit and inspired her musical compositions. Now eighteen and helping to run her family's inn, Liesl can't help but feel that her musical dreams and childhood fantasies are slipping away.
But when her own sister is taken by the Goblin King, Liesl has no choice but to journey to the Underground to save her. Drawn to the strange, captivating world she finds—and the mysterious ma who rules it—she soon faces an impossible decision. With time and the old laws working against her, Liesl must discover who she truly is before her fate is sealed.
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
3 out of 5 Stars
Just in case I haven't yet mentioned it on this site, I am a huge fan of Labyrinth. David Bowie as Jareth the Goblin King is perfection! So as soon as I heard about this novel I knew I absolutely had to read it.
I can't stress enough how very different this book is from the Jim Henson movie. It takes the initial concept: a girl on the cusp of adulthood, whose sibling is stolen by a fascinating, enigmatic figure from the Underground. From there, however, we find ourselves in a much darker, more adult story.
This is one of those books that started off good, I was quite liking it. However, it goes down hill fast and even though I appreciate what I think the author was trying to do, the final product left much to be desired. That being said, every reference to Labyrinth had me fangirling like mad.
Our main character Elisabeth is set up as a typical fairy tale heroine, the hard working, plain, dutiful sibling to a beaufitul sister and an accompolished brother.
I think this novel will resonant more with musicians, I don't play an inststrument, therefore the many (seemingly endless) scenes of Liesl playing her instrument, of her talking about music and thinking about music were... boring to me. I understand that part of her connection with the Goblin King is through music but personally I don't think it helped their lack of chemistry at all.
The love scenes (and I'll add here that I'm still unsure how I feel about love scenes in YA books) in this story are awkward and painfully cringe-worthy, think Bella and Edward. Personally I don't think Liesl and the Goblin King have any chemistry so the drawn out love scenes were uncomfortable and unnecessary. Also can we just stop with the teen books where the girl wakes up with bruises, can we stop, please?
There was a strange religious aspect to the novel, the author and MC seemed quite unconcerned and unimpressed with religion, yet a significant amount of the novel is spent engaging with the Goblin Kings as he goes through "rituals" typical of the Christian faith. So the king of the underground prays... I don't really know where to go with that. And neither does this book.