Title: The Goblins of Bellwater
Author: Molly Ringle
Published by: Central Avenue Publishing
Publication date: October 1, 2017
Genres: New Adult, Fantasy, Romance
A contemporary romance inspired by Christina Rossetti’s eerie, sensual poem, “Goblin Market.” Four neighbors encounter sinister enchantments and a magical path to love in a small, modern-day Puget Sound town, where a fae realm hides in the woods and waters…
Most people have no idea goblins live in the woods around the small town of Bellwater, Washington. But some are about to find out.
Skye, a young barista and artist, falls victim to a goblin curse in the forest one winter night, rendering her depressed and silenced, unable to speak of what happened. Her older sister, Livy, is at wit’s end trying to understand what’s wrong with her. Local mechanic Kit would know, but he doesn’t talk of such things: he’s the human liaison for the goblin tribe, a job he keeps secret and never wanted, thrust on him by an ancient family contract.
Unaware of what’s happened to Skye, Kit starts dating Livy, trying to keep it casual to protect her from the attention of the goblins. Meanwhile, unbeknownst to Kit, Skye draws his cousin Grady into the spell through an enchanted kiss in the woods, dooming Grady and Skye both to become goblins and disappear from humankind forever.
It’s a midwinter night’s enchantment as Livy, the only one untainted by a spell, sets out to save them on a dangerous magical path of her own.
I love Christina Rossetti’s poem “Goblin Market” and whenever I see a retelling that reflects the original poem and its themes of sisterhood and female empowerment, I want to read it right away. So of course, when I came across The Goblins of Bellwater being a new adult, modern-day retelling of “Goblin Market,” I knew I had to read it. And you guys, this book did not disappoint.
The Goblins of Bellwater has the perfect amount of romance and fantastical elements, with a innovative contemporary storyline that parallels Rossetti’s poem. I love that the author, Molly Ringle, does not romanticize the goblins. Instead, she provides them a heartbreaking backstory, but they are still ruthless creatures with greedy and uncaring intentions.
In The Goblins of Bellwater, the four main characters all have their own well-developed personalities. Each of them are ingrained with aspirations, but these dreams are halted by goblin mayhem. I don’t want to give too much away in regards to the characters and plot, but the goblins are only appeased when they are given gold or other valuable treasures. If this routine of appeasement is stopped then the goblins retaliate in the most bizarre and evil ways. Temptation is tested in this story, but I love that sisterhood and love are the empowering forces that drive these characters to go against the goblins.
Overall, I highly recommend everyone to get tangled in this goblin-infested but love-conquers-all book. The overall story is well paced, I loved the characters, and there is a good mix of sensual romance. If you like your contemporary novels meshed with a fantasy twist, The Goblins of Bellwater is the right book for you.
NOTE: Thank you to Netgalley and Central Avenue Publishing for providing me an e-galley/e-ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. All statements and opinions are my own.