by S. Jae-Jones
While I was still looking for some Beauty and the Beast retelling this book pop out. A crossover between a German folk story and the myth of Persephone and Hades, so instead of finding a beast we are rewarded with the beautiful and damn Lord of the Underworld: the Goblin King.
"Beware the goblin men and the wares they sell"
The story is about Liesl, a young woman, who since she was a kid has heard the legends and stories of the mysterious Goblin King, who is also the muse around which her music is composed. While growing up she had to set aside her music in favor of more practical concerns, helping to run the family inn.
But when her sister suddenly disappears taken by the goblins, Liesl journeys to the Underworld and cuts a deal with the Goblin King, to exchange her sister life for hers. She becomes the goblin wife; both physical and emotional passions are revived, she is free to be herself again, goes to write and play music. The goes on and while the world above is moving forward be becomes slowly weaker and longer while the goblins feed on her energy.
As the Goblin king and Liesl become closer, they must learn just what is they are each willing to sacrifice: her life, her music, or the end of the world.
The first half of the book has a nice pace, the story was well presented and the first encounter with the male protagonist is exciting, but once we get to the center of the action nothing is really happening. All the reference about music could easily appeal to anyone interested in classic music and even though I felt like they get kind of repetitive after a while, they were poetic. I wasn't able to enjoy the descriptions and I was constantly craving for more action. To summarize my feeling: I felt bored the whole time.
The Heroine is presented as an uncommon beauty, which did charm the Goblin King with her inner passion rather than her external appearance. I liked this new perspective, where a female heroine doesn't have to be extremely beautiful but rather develop her inner self and intelligence, becoming a more interesting character. What I didn't like was that she constantly reminds the reader that she is ugly, so instead of creating a self-conscious and strong heroine, the author built this insecure girl that need reassurance from her lover about her inner beauty.
The writing is beautiful and crafted but the story doesn't develop well, at times I also found it hard to follow and contradictory.
In short: two many beautiful words and so little action!
I'll keep a watch on this writer I'm sure she can do better than this.