The Hollow Kingdom is Beauty and the Beast like. No surprise then, that the story is a favorite of mine. I’m currently reading it for a second time, and just about to dive into part three. Unlike Beauty and the Beast, the beast in The Hollow Kingdom story never turns handsome. In a way, I like that better, because it is more realistic.
Our story begins with two sisters. When their father dies, Kate, our heroine, travels with her younger sister “Em” to Hollow Hill. They are entrusted into the care of relatives. We quickly learn that Hollow Hill gets its name because the hill is indeed hollow. A world exists beneath it and beneath the lake beside it. This world is filled with goblins. I enjoyed learning the history about how the goblins were made from the first fathers, their politics with the dwarves and elves, and how their society functioned. It is a fascinating tale—very creative.
Every one hundred years, the goblin king steals away a human bride to continue his line for the throne. The current goblin king, Marak, intends to do the same as his fathers before him. To his people, he is called “elf pretty” because he is more human-like in appearance than many others. However, Kate finds him beyond ugly—frighteningly ugly. Kate is not like the other women who have been taken in the past. She’s fiery and headstrong. Kate fights Marak at every turn, especially when he tells her that he intends to make her his bride. The idea of marrying such an ugly creature is devastating to her morale, giving her even more reason to fight.
The banter between these two is wonderful. I found myself captivated. I enjoyed the romance that developed between them—fueled by need. I don’t want to reveal what that need is, but let’s just say, Em gets into a bit of trouble and Kate must rescue her, requiring Marak’s help.
The third part of the book (which is where I’m at now), turns a little sinister. Kate must save Marak’s life, and the lives of many goblins, when an evil sorcerer begins to interfere with the goblin’s magic. She grows a great deal as a character.
I’m still quite surprised The Hollow Kingdom is considered a “children’s book”. Some of the themes are rather adult in nature. I never once felt that the book was childish in any way (other than the fact that no sex scenes are portrayed though we know that at least one happens). I own both a digital copy and a paperback copy. This story is also part of a trilogy. I have not read the second or third book because I enjoyed the first so much, I fear disappointment. But I’m strongly considering taking up the second sometime in the near future. It covers Em as its main character, rather than Kate, as Hollow Kingdom does.
I highly recommend this book. If I had to name my top five favorite novels, this would be one. It appealed to me so much. If you are interested in reading more about it, I’ll provide the link here on this page.