Hollow Kingdom by Clare Dunkle. This is the first book in a trilogy about goblins, elves and humans.

Kate and her sister Emily, teens living in 19th Century England, were recently orphaned and now live with their aunts.

She and her sister get lost one evening in a rain storm. A man on horseback finds them and offers to guide them home. Kate is suspicious of him because everything he says is cryptic and she can’t see his face because his hood covers him completely.

On the way home, the man named Marak tells them he is their distant cousin. When they reach the gate, Emily goes inside to tell their aunts they are safe. But Kate demands to see Marak’s face. He tells her that she was imaging all kinds of horrors but nothing as bad as this. He uncovers his face and she sees that he has gray skin and weird eyes and too many teeth.

She tells her aunts what she saw. They think she’s been listening to too many fairy stories and being lost in the storm has upset her. They send her to bed. That night, Kate hears someone call her name. She lights a candle and sees Marak in her mirror instead of her own reflection. He tells her that he is a goblin king and he plans to kidnap her soon and take her to live his underground kingdom forever.

The next day, the aunts don’t believe her story and think she needs to see a doctor. Kate has nobody to help her but she’s smart and she sets a trap for the goblin. He gets away but at least he doesn’t take her with him.

She thinks her problems are solved until she learns that her sister is missing instead. Kate knows her only option is to find the kingdom of the goblins and rescue her sister. But what she doesn’t know is that she has worse enemies than Marak. In fact, Marak may be the best friend she has.

I’ve just gotten the next book: Close Kin and I can’t wait to start it.


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