Friday, January 17, 2014

Review: Goblins, Book One by Melanie Tushmore

Goblins, Book One Title: Goblins, Book One by Melanie Tushmore
Genre: M/M Romance, Paranormal
Published September 25th 2013 by Less Than Three Press LLC
Length: 189 pages

Rating: 3 Stars
Review Copy Provided by Publisher


In the 17th Century, the ancient sprawl of Epping forest is bursting with magic and those who go unseen by human eyes: the elves who rule the summer court, and the goblins who rule the winter court. It is said that if a human catches the eye of one of the fey, they are either doomed or blessed.

Wulfren & the Warlock

When Wulfren wakes from a strange dream of a human captor with long silver hair, and grey eyes, his brothers tell him they rescued him from a warlock, and take Wulfren back home to the goblin king's palace. But Wulfren isn’t so sure the matter is that simple. Why was he missing so long? What are the strange dreams of the beautiful man with the silver hair? Dalliances with humans are severely frowned upon, especially by Wulfren’s father, but Wulfren is willing to risk the scorn of his family to find the human who haunts his dreams.

Quiller & the Runaway Prince

After a hard winter, Quiller is sent deep into the forest on a family errand, and is surprised when a human stumbles into his path. Quiller swoops in to pester him, perhaps even eat him, but there is something special about the human: his scent is royal, though he protests that he is not, and soon Quiller finds himself agreeing to help the human with his troubles—in exchange for a kiss.

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3.5 stars rounded to 3

First story:

This is a really interesting story about a goblin with missing memory about a human warlock. Wulfren's family insist he was kidnapped and enslaved by the evil warlock, Ash, to fuel his magic, but Wulfren is unsure. He desires the truth and risks punishment to visit the warlock and retrieve his lost memories.

I really like the fantasy elements and worldbuilding. The elves control the summer court and the goblins control the winter court. Human play no part in their world. But the goblin king have many sons and there are not enough duties to keep all of them occupied. Wulfren is one of them who travels beyond their territory and meets a human, who he falls in love with.

I'm not totally convinced on Wulfren and Ash's romance and the jury's still out on whether or not Ash did enslave Wulfren. I think Wulfren was enslaved at least to some degree at the beginning of their relationship and then gradually gave up his magic willingly. The story is unclear here and I don't think their relationship is strong enough to become one of love and trust.

The story mainly focuses on Wulfren's struggle to find the truth behind his missing memories. The fantasy is this story's strongest component and what makes this story an engaging read for me.

Second story:

This story is about Wulfren's brother who befriends a human prince and travels to the human lands. The story reads like a fairy tale, except it's told from the fairy's point of view (but goblin in this case).

Quiller meets Cashel, a human, on one of his errands and decides to grant Cashel's wish of saving a duke in return for kisses. Quiller then has to defeat an ex noble and his sons and heal the poisoned duke before the duke dies.

I enjoy reading the story but it leaves me with more questions about how the goblin king will react to Cashel and Quiller's relationship and about Cashel's royal heritage. The goblin king already reacted badly to human relations in the first story, how will he stop Quiller's relationship with Cashel? And Cashel has royal blood but he cannot take on the name for himself because of a human revolution against the monarchy. I don't see how his heritage comes into play.

The most interesting parts of this story are Quiller's culture shock in the human lands and the goblin king's sexual escapades with women of different species (Quiller is half bird, half goblin as a result). He is insecure about this nature and others around him are conscience of his "flighty" behaviors. This greatly affects his personality and disposition.

Overall, this is a great fantasy story. There's not a lot on romance, but it definitely has a lot of fantasy elements, action, and handsome princes.

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