The Goblin King by Shona Husk
Sourcebooks Casablanca (Oct 2011)
Paperback, 317 pages
Many years ago, Roan and his men were cursed by a Druid and they now live in the Shadowlands. They exist as men in the shadowlands, but goblins in the normal world. They were given hearts of gold and their souls are slowly being eroded away until they become full goblin. Consumed by their need for gold. Roan, The Goblin King can also be summoned to the normal world and can bestow wishes on those who summon him and occasionally be forced to do atrocious acts against his will. He also needs a woman to willingly become his Queen in order to break the curse.
Eliza is trapped. Engaged to an awful man who is blackmailing her into marrying him, she does not know how to escape. After a terrible night she decides to summon the Goblin King to help her.
The Goblin King nearly lost me at the beginning. I thought it was going to go along the predictable lines of man kidnaps woman, they full into bed straight away despite her misgivings and then she happily gives up her life and friends to live in the Shadowlands with him. But then Eliza did not fall immediately into bed with our hunky hero and Roan surprised me by taking Eliza home. Leaving her there as he thought it would be better for her. That was when I started to get really interested in the love story.
I loved Roan far more than Eliza. He had the tortured hero part down perfectly. The scenes from his past were heart wrenching and he is noble and brave and willing to sacrifice all to save others. While I liked Eliza, there were certain parts about her that irritated me. She seemed, until the latter part of the book at least, to lack backbone. She also accepted everything very easily from the shadowlands to Roan’s curse. Then we it came to making the decision to become Roan’s queen, it did not seem very thought out, more like running away from her problems than choosing to be with the man she was hopelessly in love with. I felt myself willing her to stand up for herself on several occasions.
The romance is very fairytale-esque with the cursed hero, needing a queen to sacrifice everything to save him and I really did enjoy that part of the book. But, there are actually lots of threads to the story, Roan’s curse and the inevitable romance, but also Eliza’s horrendous engagement. With the book switching focus intermittently between each until all the ties pull together as you would expect at the end. It gave it more depth than your standard paranormal romance.
I really adored Roan’s brother Dai, there is definitely more to meet the eye and he often stole the show for me during the scenes he was in. I hear he’s getting his own book, so I hope he gets a better lady!
Side note, but a big bug bear of mine (yes, ok I know I have a few!) is covers that do not match the story. If you take a look at the hunky man on the cover, well, Roan looks nothing like him, for a start he has dreads! Every time I picked up the book this would cause me to have a little grumble to myself. Dear publishers, make the illustration match… please.
Maybe not the best romance I have read, but it was still entertaining and well written. I just wanted the heroine to be a little tougher and face up to her problems. But overall a good, solid love story.
BOOKS IN SERIES ORDER
- The Goblin King
- Kiss of the Goblin Prince
- For the Love of a Goblin Warrior
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