Kate and her younger sister Emily come to Hallow Hill after their father dies. But the two orphans can find no peace in the country of England, for Hallow Hill lies right in the middle of the goblin kingdom, and the goblin king is determined to have Kate as his bride. Duh duh duh.
This story kind of seems like two separate stories in one. You have Marak (the goblin king) trying to successfully kidnap Kate (who of course puts up quite a fight), and then you have the story about what happens after. So in way, it seems like nothing much happened, or that nothing very detailed happened, which isn't true at all. The book isn't boring. It's just weird to describe.
The writing was beautiful, but the narration...was not. Clare B. Dunkle used the omniscient third person to tell her story, and though at times I enjoyed the insights such a narrator allowed, I thought the story would have been much better had it been told in the limited third person from Kate's point of view or the first person from Kate's point of view. But I loved the characters. (Okay. I admit it, I have a slight crush on Marak, though my heart will always belong to Finn from Books of Bayern.) I loved the settings. I loved just about everything about this book other than the narrative.
Definitely it's a very worthwhile book to read, though I shall always prefer The Perilous Gard by Elizabeth Marie Pope, if only because Elizabeth Tudor is a minor character. ;)
The Hollow Kingdom is the first in The Hollow Kingdom Trilogy followed by Close Kin and In the Coils of the Snake which I do plan on reading.