Great Reads brings you book reviews on teen books that parents will love from such great young adult authors as Garth Nix, Clare Dunkle, DJ Machale, Stephanie Meyer and many more.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

The Hollow Kingdom: Clare B. Dunkle

What would you do if you learned your destiny was to marry the king of the goblins?

After losing their parents, sisters Kate and Emily go to live at the family estate Kate has inherited as the eldest. Hallow Hills is surrounded by stories of young girls disappearing, goblins, elves and other fair folk. After getting lost one night (through magical means), Kate and Emily learn these stories are true and that the goblin king Marak has chosen Kate to be his bride (as this is the way it has always been done). Kate is horrified at the thought, and manages to evade Marak's attempts at kidnapping her to his dismay and delight.

Then, one night, their guardian Hugh Roberts, awakens Kate to tell her Emily has disappeared. Kate immediately goes to Marak, fearing he will try and marry her instead, and agrees to marry him in exchange for her release. Marak agrees, though Kate soon learns it is not Marak who has Emily. What follows is a variant of the "Beauty and the Beast" theme, though the transformations are emotional, not physical. "The Hollow Kingdom" is the first in a trilogy about Kate and Marak's adventures and a truly great read. The main characters are well fleshed out, and the story is not without humor. I would definitely recommend this as a great read for ages 10 and up.

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