RECEIVED FROM: Library Thing Member Giveaway From The Author For Review
***NOTE MY REVIEWS OFTEN CONTAIN SPOILERS***
This book, reminiscent of fairy tales of old, follows the story of Meredith, the human reincarnation of a fairy princess. Meredith was reborn into the human world to protect her from Kothar, the Goblin King, her promised betrothed who was obsessed with possessing her. When the original betrothal was made, Kothar was a different man, a soldier in the fairy kingdom being sent on a mission to discover the secrets of their enemies, the goblins. Kothar was captured and imprisoned, only to conquer the King of the Goblins in a duel and take the position of power himself. Unfortunately, each day he spend in the Goblin kingdom had made him a little darker himself and when he returned to claim his future queen, the Fairy king could not send his niece to such a cruel fate. For her protection and her people, she sacrificed her fairy life to be reborn as a human girl with no memory of her past. For years she was safe, until her younger sister, who she'd cared for most of her human life after her human mother died and human father abandoned them, wandered into the Goblin Market that had been created as a trap for the fairy princess. Christina, her sister, gorged on fairy food for which she could not pay and returned to their little cabin deeply ill after having revealed Meredith's location, not even realizing she'd betrayed her own sister. Meredith watched her sister wasting away as Kothar appeared and offered her a deal, marry him and her sister would be saved. Though she knew she should jump at the deal for some reason unknown to her at the time she couldn't say yes. Kothar steals the dying Christina and challenges Meredith to come into the Goblin Kingdom and find her. He challenges that she will be begging for his help and his hand in less than a day. What follows is an adventure as Meredith returns to the Fairy kingdom and begins to regain her lost memories while she travels through it and into the Goblin Kingdom to save her sister. Along the way she encounters a variety of people and creatures in a story that draws you in and won't let you go until you've reached it's completion.
For the most part this book is a great story that slowly draws you in, turning the pages to discover the secrets of Meredith's past the Underground world she journeys through. Hudock has a strong voice in her writing and creates interesting and intriguing characters. The story is both entrancing and thrilling. However the voice is so distant to create the fairy tale quality of the story that it's difficult to connect to these interesting characters. Personally I feel the story could have been better told if the writer wasn't trying to mix the feel of an absent narrator into the telling of the story. There's not an actual narrator, don't get me wrong on that, but there are parts that feel more like they're being narrated to the reader instead of being experienced by the reader. These sections distance you from the characters and I think negatively effect a reader's view of the story and ability to relate to the characters.
Additionally some of the plot points were a little difficult to believe, for instance during Meredith's journey she meets Him of the Green, a Hunter in the Fairy Kingdom who becomes both her guide and protector. Within the two or three days that she knows him she falls madly in love with him and begins planning their forever. She gladly relinquishes her virtue on the second night she knows him even though in the time period when this takes place no respectable female would have done so before marriage. By the time she journeys into the underground she's considered an old maid in the human world, long past marrying age, though she'd still be thought young by today's standards. If she's gone that long without "soiling" herself, I can't see the character jumping into a moonlight twist with a man she barely knows. Also I don't think there's enough interaction between these two characters in the story to create the kind of heartbreaking love that is described when she loses her consort.
Honestly I think with a lot of the scenes that were hard to believe the writer didn't want to take the extra time needed to make them believable since the story was so long already. With the talent she has for writing, I think she could have easily made each impossibility seem plausible if she'd put a little more time and words into these scenes. My ebook reader charts this as 1082 pages so I can understand why with so much to tell she didn't want to go too far into depth with these scenes, however most fantasy readers are prepared to embark on a longer story than the average reader because of all the pages necessary to create a realistic world so different from their own. The extra length needed to create the believability in those situation I think would have gladly been devoured by any fan of a fantasy story.
On the character of Him, the name really bugged me, I found it really distracting to have a character who's first name was a pronoun. Every other character had an actual name, I feel this particular character should have a real name as well.
Overall this book was a delightful read that I really enjoyed. Hudock has a great talent for world building and creating a very enchanting story. I highly recommend to any reader of fantasy and look forward to the next story in the Into the Green Series.