Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books
My rating: 3 stars
As a child, Liesl used to pretend to play with the Goblin King. Now she's grown and trying to give her brother the chance she will never have and those games have become hazy memories. Then Liesl's sister, Kathe, is taken Underground and Liesl must save her. The Goblin King, Der Erlkonig, is real, just as their play was. Now, Liesl must play his game to save Kathe, and in the process, accept something in herself she had kept hidden.
This book has a hints of The Goblin Market by Christina Rossetti, Labyrinth, and Red Riding Hood. It starts out strong, with interesting characters and dilemmas. Liesl is complex, striving for her family and her brother, but dismissing her sister as safe.
Then about half way through, the story started to drag a little. I felt that the same scene seemed to happen about three times, with Liesl expressing the same thoughts and feelings as she had before. The relationship was hot and cold, more complicated than I think it needed to be. Also, there were a couple of times when the tense changed from past to present, and I couldn't make sense why.
The ending, however, was strong, with a bittersweet feel that was a perfect end.
There was some sex, including one scene that was fairly graphic, and some mild language.
*I do not receive compensation from Amazon.