My rating: 3 of 5 stars
A retelling of the Goblin King story, with a few interesting twists, The Goblin Market was not a terrible book. A princess is sent from the Underground to the human world above to escape marriage to the Goblin King. She is born into a human family, with no memory of her former life. The Goblin King tracks her down, and when she refuses him, he kidnaps her poisoned sister, forcing Meredith to seek out his castle to save her. She is joined on her quest by Him, a Hunter.
Overall, the story is good. It twists the basic plot enough to make it interesting. The main characters, while somewhat archetypal, have enough flesh to make them real. The romance between Meredith and Him seems a bit rushed, and the intimate scenes feel as though the author was a bit uncomfortable with them. The writing style seems a bit stiff and forced at times. It felt like the author was trying to mimic a classic fairy tale, and couldn’t quite pull it off. There are awkward and wordy sentences, and the prose is sometimes difficult to read. The journey through the Darknjan Wald to get to the Goblin King’s castle is rather quiet for a place supposedly fraught with danger, and there are really only two instances of real peril. There is a Lovecraftian feel to one that is a nice touch, however.
All of that could be forgiven in a story like this, except…
This is a self-published book. I have no problem with that, and I do think self-publishing is a fine decision for many authors, but there are problems, and this book is no exception. The author could really have used the help of both a good line editor and content editor. There are wrong word choices (a horse’s reigns, rather than reins, as one example), badly edited sentences, and grammatical and punctuation errors throughout. Extra words that obviously should have been deleted when a sentence was changed show up too often. Run on sentences, or ones that simply made no sense, pulled me out of the story far too frequently. I understand the temptation of getting a work out in the world more quickly than a traditional publishing track, but that should not come at the expense of the reader’s experience of the story.