October 2, 2017

Book Review: The Goblins of Bellwater by Molly Ringle

Source: Netgalley

A story inspired by Christina Rossetti's eerie, sensual poem, "Goblin Market"...

Most people have no idea goblins live in the woods around the small town of Bellwater, Washington. But some are about to find out.

Skye, a young barista and artist, falls victim to a goblin curse in the forest one winter night, rendering her depressed and silenced, unable to speak of what happened. Her older sister, Livy, is at wit’s end trying to understand what’s wrong with her. Local mechanic Kit would know, but he doesn’t talk of such things: he’s the human liaison for the goblin tribe, a job he keeps secret and never wanted, thrust on him by an ancient family contract.

Unaware of what’s happened to Skye, Kit starts dating Livy, trying to keep it casual to protect her from the attention of the goblins. Meanwhile, unbeknownst to Kit, Skye draws his cousin Grady into the spell through an enchanted kiss in the woods, dooming Grady and Skye both to become goblins and disappear from humankind forever.

It’s a midwinter night’s enchantment as Livy, the only one untainted by a spell, sets out to save them on a dangerous magical path of her own.

Christina Rossetti’s "Goblin Market" has always been one of my favorite dark fairy tale poems and so of course I was drawn to The Goblins of Bellwater. From the first page, its strange world of goblins existing just below the surface of our own modern one fascinated me. I love walking in the woods on my own and in the time I was reading this book and afterwards, my imagination did run a bit wild thinking of its seductive but awful creatures tricking me into becoming their slave. Such is the power of the author’s writing. Like its inspiration, this novel has strong erotic themes. It’s romantic, haunting and dark. Perfect fall and winter reading.

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