Thursday, 23 April 2009

Series spotlight - Hollow Kingdom series by Clare B. Dunkle

There are so many good books that have been out in the market for ages. Series Spotlight is to introduce readers to series they may not have heard of before and will be featured every Thursday. Today’s spotlight is the Hollow Kingdom series by Clare B. Dunkle. I haven’t read the third book, and wasn’t too impressed with the second, but the first is well worth your time and can stand alone perfectly.

The Hollow Kingdom
Kate and her sister Em go to stay with their Aunts after the death of their father. Hollow Hill is a place shrouded in mystery and legend. Goblins were said to have stolen girls from their homes, although their cousin assures them, ‘We live in the nineteenth century now. Not even Mrs Bigelow really believes her goblin tales.’ But someone his eye on the girls, and nothing will stop him. Not locked doors, nor the girls’ guardians, for goblins have strong magic. The only thing that seems to cause him trouble is Kate herself, for she is quite determined not to go and very resourceful when she needs to be.
This is a great adventure rich in folklore, history, and excitement. Kate is a strong heroine. I did find the second half of the book peculiar as it took unexpected jumps – chapters would begin ‘six months later,’ which confused me a bit, but in general, a great book.

Close Kin
Em is old enough to marry, but when her best friend Seylin tries to propose, she brushes him off absently. Seylin leaves, intent on searching out the elves and Em, realising, goes after him. Everyone is shocked to discover that a few elves still survive. They accept Seylin, but sooner or later the goblins and elves are going to collide, stirring up ancient grudges.
Not as great as the first book, Close Kin is still interesting. I think the main problem is that Em is not nearly as compelling a main character as Kate was. Sable the elf is much more interesting, but doesn’t get enough time. Close Kin is good, but I didn’t enjoy it as much as it’s predecessor.

In the Coils of the Snake
(from the cover)
Miranda has waited her whole life to come to the goblin kingdom. Now she’s finally underground where she has always wanted to be, but she never imagined she would feel so lost. Her beloved Marak, the center of her world since childhood, has reached the end of his reign. But Marak didn’t raise a coward. He taught Miranda to be brave, intelligent, and proud—the ideal woman to take her place beside Catspaw, the new goblin King.Then a mysterious and highly magical elf lord brings his people back to their homeland, reigniting the age-old battle between goblins and elves. Miranda finds herself a prisoner. Caught between the two hostile rulers, she becomes their greatest reason for war—and possibly their only hope for a future.
I haven’t read this, don’t think I will. Unless someone tells me it’s brilliant (please tell me if it is). I loved the first book, but the second just lacked that sparkle, so I already was unsure about this when I found out that it’s about the next generation. I liked Kate as a heroine so much that I don’t really want to move a whole generation away from her.


  1. Hmm, I might read the series. It seems quite different than the fantasy novels now. Thanks for the intro!

  2. I really liked this series, especially the first one. And while I liked all of them, I think In the Coils of the Snake has it's own originality that makes it not as good as the first but better than the second. Kate still makes an appearance, but when I read it I kept thinking the time was off, like the people from the first generation were either to young or too old (can't remember which) compared to their kid's ages.

  3. I've not heard of this - but I might check it out for "goblin tales" :D It's always an issue with series when they branch into "next generation"...I think I liked Madeleine L'Engle's series how the characters intertwined, but I can't help but like the original characters.

  4. I have The Hollow Kingdom on my wishlist! I really want to read it! It sounds so good!

  5. Thanks for another fascinating series spotlight!