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In the Coils of the Snake (Hollow Kingdom Trilogy) Paperback – 1 Dec 2006

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Frequently Bought Together

In the Coils of the Snake (Hollow Kingdom Trilogy) + Hollow Kingdom Book II Close Kin: 2 (Hollow Kingdom Trilogy) + The Hollow Kingdom (Hollow Kingdom Trilogy)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 242 pages
  • Publisher: Henry Holt & Co; Reprint edition (1 Dec. 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0805081100
  • ISBN-13: 978-0805081107
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 1.4 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,023,438 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Clare Dunkle's acclaimed fantasy trilogy-- now available in paperback For thousands of years, young women have been vanishing from Hallow Hill, never to be seen again. Now Kate and Emily have moved there with no idea of the land's dreadful heritage--until Marak decides to tell them himself. Marak is a powerful magician who claims to be the goblin king, and he has very specific plans for the two new girls who have trespassed into his kingdom . . . So begins the award-winning Hollow Kingdom Trilogy. Now in paperback, these editions welcome a whole new audience to the magical realm that Newbery Award winner Lloyd Alexander calls "as persuasive as it is remarkable."

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Ap Diver on 31 May 2008
Format: Paperback
This book was brilliant! Unlike the previous 2, it didnt suffer from not really having enough plot and i was thoroughly hooked.

Catspaw is happily engaged to miranda, a girl raised by his father specially for the purpose of being a Queens wife when an elf lord, Nir, arrives and offers him a wife in exchange for a peace treaty.he feels obliged to look, for the sake of the kingdom and ends up married to Arriana,an elf of the old families. Miranda runs away and is found by Nir, where he works a strange spell and houses her in the elf camp. Catspaw wants miranda back in the kingdom where he can marry her to a goblin,but this can now only be achieved by Nirs death.....

It took me a while to warm to miranda as a heroine but once I did she was a great character.The ending comes a bit to quickly and I would of liked more but i will say that(for once) I havnt yet found any holes in the plot. It was interesting how the two rulers would just take anything Arrianna or Miranda said and turn it against each other.

Overall, a great read!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 20 reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Redeeming its predecessors 16 Feb. 2006
By H. Keanum - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Book three is likely the best of them all. This draws our adventure of the mysterious Hollow Kingdom to a satisfying close. The author seemed notably more comfortable with herself and the tales and maybe it was that the first two books gave her great practice to make a nearly faultless final adventure.

Following the death of Marak, Catspaw takes his place as king, preparing to marry Miranda, a human girl raised to be Catspaw's wife by Marak himself. But things quickly don't go as planned when elves return to the kingdom and an offer of an elvish bride pushes Catspaw to renig on his promise to Miranda.

Miranda flees the kingdom once she is aware that she's being set aside and all that she was raised to do was for naught. The tales takes a spinning trail through Miranda's plight as she leaves the goblins and finds the elves... or rather the elf lord finds her. Either way, this book certainly redeemed the whole saga with its climatic ending and surprising and pleasant twists.

Had the ending of this book not been so gratifying, it would have suffered a lower score. Readers may find Marak Catspaw and Nir the elf lord too irrational for their own good and that in itself causes much conflict between the two races. What also made this book enjoyable was the underlying hint of racism and prejudices. The elves think the goblins barbaric and vice versa. Both peoples saw themselves as the better race and saw all faults and weaknesses only in their enemy.

Five bright stars for closing the story of the Hollow Kingdom with a bang. Dunkle proved her mettle in this book and she may just find a niche as popular fantasy writer alongside Sharon Shinn and Robin McKinley.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Lacking something... 23 Oct. 2006
By Queen Mango - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I love this series, I really do. But the second and the third books of this series, in my mind, have steadily declined. Maybe I was too much involved with Kate and Marak's story to want anything else. But I feel that the writing is less impacting. I haven't read such a good teen fiction fantasy series in a while. In the first book, the story was captivating and it drew you in, and a major plus, the characters didn't say stupid things, and romance and kissing wasn't a deluge in the book to add something interesting. But I just didn't feel that way with the subsequent books. Mind you, this book can stand on it's own, but I've placed the first book on a pedestal.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
A prime example of why fantasy doesn't always need three books 5 Feb. 2014
By Donald L. Jones - Published on
Format: Paperback
(By Don's daughter)

A lot of things disappointed me about Dunkle's final say on her fantastic Hollow Kingdom, but one of the worst of them was this: the plot of "In the Coils of the Snake" was set up to be completely awesome.

Which didn't help the fact that it turned out to be the worst of the lot.

So King Marak's on his deathbed (sniff), but in true Marak fashion, he's planned decades ahead. Remember Til, from book two? Marak's been raising her oldest daughter, Miranda, to be the King's Wife to his son, Catspaw, after he's gone. Ostracized by her family, Miranda's thrilled to pieces to finally take the place that has always been hers, and Catspaw likes her well enough, too.

But then come the elves. Yep, I guess Sable and Irina weren't the last: there's a band of about 70 that want to make negotiations with the goblins, and in exchange for a life of peace, they're also willing to throw in a super-magical elf bride. So what does Catspaw do? He takes them up on their offer and tells Miranda she's got to marry somebody else. Miranda is understandably upset, enough so to attempt to take her own life- but she's found by the elf lord himself and taken to their camp to live.

And that's where everything goes bad.

Prior to this point, I didn't exactly like Miranda, but I felt bad for her, with her awful childhood and subsequent abandonment by her fiancé. But I lost patience when she got kidnapped by that elf. She's mad at him, and I would be too- but not because he saved me from killing myself (which is her reasoning). I'd be mad because he took me into his camp against my will, put this magical spell on me so I had to live in the dark and could barely breathe without his say-so, and told me that all of my behaviors were uncivilized or vulgar just because he didn't understand them.

And none of that seems to bother Miranda as much as it should. She's a little miffed at first, but once she sees how handsome this guy is (he's an elf! They're all like that!), she forgets all the bad stuff he's done to her. She even develops Stockholm Syndrome for the second time in her short life; where once she was completely pro-goblin, she's now eating up everything the elves tell her and conforming to their way of life without much of a fight. And worst of all, she falls in love with the elf lord for no apparent reason save his good looks. Nir (that's the elf) supposedly loves her in return, but why? Because she's prettier than most of her kind? Because he can't understand her and makes no attempt to do so? These are the reasons he gives, and they aren't good ones. Inanimate objects can be beautiful and puzzling, too, and most people don't fall in love with them (and shouldn't, if they do). Catspaw has a similar relationship with his new elf bride: she's gorgeous and he can't understand her, and somehow that's equivalent to love. No matter that she's a sniveling wreck for most of the book. (Yes, I get that she's just been kidnapped, but her behavior goes beyond reason in my opinion.)

Oh, wait, I just remembered another reason for Nir's attachment to Miranda . . . but I can't tell you because it would spoil one of the few good things about this book: its backstory. It takes a while to kick in, since Seylin, the hero of "Close Kin", just sits around for a while watching the elves and goblins say terrible things about each other that they can't possibly prove (another pet peeve of mine in this novel). However, he finally becomes the voice of reason and investigates the strange properties of Nir's magic everyone else has been glossing over. His declaration of the truth is one of my favorite parts. The other is the unlikely and hilarious friendship between an elf and a goblin, both of which are assigned to guard Miranda. (It involves random generation of eyeballs.) But as fun as this subplot is, it didn't have much relation to the rest of the story.

Shoot, that's longer than I thought it was going to be. Sorry about that, everybody. But if you've gotten this far, I'd just like to say one more thing: I'm glad that the first book of this series is the only one I own. Maybe, with luck, I can forget this one ever happened.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
You Can't Put It Down! 29 Jan. 2006
By Lacey Marie - Published on
Format: Hardcover
If you enjoyed the first two books in this trilogy you will fall in love with this book! In the Coils of the Snake kept me quessing about the ending throughout the whole book! Better than the second book and almost just as good as the first. If you enjoy fantasy, love, and a good story I recommend that you read this book! I promise that you won't be able to put it down!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Yawn (book 1 is much better) 18 Feb. 2013
By Joy-read - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition
Sorry, but only 2.5 stars. Such a disappointment. I LOVED book 1 The Hollow Kingdom: Book I -- The Hollow Kingdom Trilogy. I "liked" book 2 Close Kin: Book II -- The Hollow Kingdom Trilogy: 2. However, despite some interesting and captivating scenes, this is a boring YA fantasy-romance. More romance than fantasy, but not even much romance.

Best were the opening chapters, with a longish yawn in the middle and a wordy info dump about ancient elvish history bogging down what MIGHT have been a much stronger finish. Mind you, some parts were good.

Not enough happens. Little to marvel at and fret over. I wanted some captivating tension. I wanted acts of heroic daring-do.

Instead, it's poor pitiful Miranda, sad and sometimes mad (not mad enough). And poor scared Arianna, hiding, always hiding from her new husband, Catspaw. She can magically feel people's thoughts but not enough to discern an evil intent to mutilate and disfigure from...a harmless intent to cuddle and kiss. (Huh?) Add to these stirring plot lines some immature posturing between the newly crowned Goblin King and the mysterious Elf Lord, and -- hey presto! -- The Coils of the Snake (no coils. No snake, beyond a mini-scene with the adorable Charm, from book 1).

As this story opens, the beloved Goblin King of book 1 is dying (sob). I was intent on that entire scene in the crypt, especially how Marak and his beloved Kate interacted. I also appreciated the notion of measuring out your strength to the last breath, then lying down to peacefully sleep (echoes of Thanatopsis). Well done! A great beginning!

But as the story plays out, Seylen becomes the unsung hero, even though he is a secondary character. I found no primary character to adore. Not even Catspaw. Just not enough time with him, for one, and his characterization was uneven. I liked Nir, but ditto. (Dunkle made the same mistake in book 2, creating two romantic relationships, and dedicating insufficient attention to each one.)

This is primarily Miranda's story. Despite growing up with Marak's fatherly love for her -- or because of it, in some sense -- she is a desperately needy 17-year-old girl. Her childhood was no picnic. Far from it. At 17, just when she thinks life is looking up, she endures two more heartrending losses. Miranda rebounds by falling for a father figure, someone to replace her beloved Marak -- a MUCH older "man" (based on the text, I infer that he is 40-ish).

NOTE!! The needy heroine engaged in self-mutilation (little cuts) to gain a sense of control during her miserable childhood, and thinks about cutting herself (and killing herself) when her world falls apart AGAIN as a young adult. However, she eventually decides to forevermore scorn such cowardly acts.

PROBLEMS with this series as a whole: Kidnapping is an accepted practice; such forced marriages work via Stockholm Syndrome effects. Also, the author created a false dichotomy where beauty is synonymous with weakness and laziness, and ugliness is synonymous with strength and hard work. She needed to iron this out more than she did. 3) Dunkle puts humans in the dark for ever, and yet never addresses the salubrious effects of sunlight (vitamin D, general well-being, sleep-inducer).

THEMES in this book: Destiny, courage, suicide, self-mutilation, self-pity, tolerance for differences -- even appreciation of complementary strengths.
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