By Clare B. Dunkle. New York: Henry
Holt, 2003. Edited by Reka Simonsen.
Book One of The Hollow Kingdom Trilogy. A folklore-based fantasy novel for young adults.
She had never screamed before, not even when she overturned
the rowboat and almost drowned. But now she screamed, long and
loud, with all her breath.
"Oh, I know what's bothering you," Marak teased before
Kate could turn away in disgust. "The cloak and hood. It's
been on your nerves all evening. You've been imagining all sorts
of horrors, I'd guess."
This is just another way to goad me, Kate
thought grimly, but he was absolutely right.
Marak tugged back his hood and examined
her stunned expression. He watched her cheeks grow pale, her lips bloodless.
He grinned in delighted amusement.
"You imagined all sorts of horrors.
But maybe not this one."
Hallow Hill has a strange and tragic history. For thousands of
years, young women have been vanishing from the estate, never to be seen
again. Now Kate and Emily have come to live at Hallow Hill. Brought up
in a civilized age, they have no idea of the land's dreadful heritage.
Until, that is, Marak decides to tell them himself.
pleasant, and completely pitiless, Marak is a powerful magician who claims
to be a King—and he has very specific plans for the two new girls
who have trespassed into his kingdom.
"... First novelist Dunkle turns out a luminously
polished fantasy that starts off strong and just gets better.
... A keen romantic tension builds between Marak and Kate,
who move, credibly and engrossingly, from the roles of predator
and prey to inhabiting positions of peers. ... A masterly
debut, it will almost certainly leave audiences hoping for
more." —Publishers Weekly (Starred review)
"Calling to mind
aspects of Persephone as well as Beauty and the Beast, Dunkle
develops her characters in such a way that readers sympathize
not only with the sisters but also with the Goblin King and
his subjects. ... Once fantasy fans begin this story, they
will be unable to put it down." —VOYA (5Q: Hard to imagine it being better written)
Jacket art for second and subsequent printings, copyright 2004 by Matt
Manley. Jacket design by Amy Manzo Toth. Book excerpt may or may not
appear on printed book jackets. Excerpt copyright 2003 by Clare B. Dunkle.
Text and image courtesy of Henry Holt & Co.