“The Hollow Kingdom” – An Eerie Telling Of An Old Theme

Book Review : The Hollow Kingdom by Clare B. Dunkle

Spoiler Alert!

Kate and Emily have been orphaned and sent to live with their aunts at the property that they are to inherit. The girls seem to be accepting their new surroundings when on a walk from a elf circle Kate feels that she is being watched. On a stormy night the girls get turned about and find a strange old gypsy woman who reads their palms, telling Kate that she will have a long life. A tall cloaked man offers to give the girls a ride home on his horse, but Kate instinctively refuses insisting that they will walk. Upon arriving at their cottage the stranger, Marak, tells Kate that she is correct that he would have stolen her away. Marak also visits Kate through her mirror in her bedroom. After these unnerving events Kate is frightened and loses weight which begins to alarm her caretakers. She is fed stories of goblins and elves and her greedy uncle feeds this frenzy of the supernatural to try to take away her inheritance by showing her to be insane. After Emily is abducted Kate takes herself to the goblin King Marak offering herself in payment for her sister’s safety. Marak finds Emily stolen away in her own home by their evil uncle. Kate must fulfill her promise to Marak, though she dreads never seeing the stars again.

Adult Point of View

The Hollow Kingdom had a strange feeling of anticipation that something bad is going to happen at the turn of each page. My daughter would laugh while saying it was so creepy.

Kate is very resistant to the goblin, but comes to accept and love him as Beauty does with the Beast. Which is a better message for young teen girls, to accept others and love them for who they are OR to listen to your instincts and avoid those who would want to use you for their own purposes? No matter how kind the goblin Marak was, it doesn’t change the fact that he coerced Kate into the marriage for his own benefit. I’ve never been uncomfortable with the story of Beauty and the Beast and find it interesting that this book with the same theme was unnerving.  I’m not fully comfortable with Kate’s love for her husband. Perhaps, it is because Marak will never be human. It was very eerie and uncomfortable, yet, I wanted to finish reading.

I would consider this to be a high/low book, meaning high interest and low vocabulary for teens who are below the standard reading level. I did enjoy The Hollow Kingdom, however, the next two books in the series completely missed the mark.

3 out of 5 stars

– the Mother

Teen Point of View

I thought this book was wonderful! Sometimes Marak and Kate’s relationship was very awkward, but it added to the story line well. It was somewhat of an easy read, but still very enjoyable. This book is literally one of my favorite books ever. It is thrilling in an amusing way.

4 out of 5 stars

-the Daughter

About Tales Untangled

I am a mother of four children and have a passion for reading. I love sharing my treasury of books with my kids. I also do experiments in cooking which includes such things as Indian Tandoori Chicken slow-cooked in a tagine. I write stories and illustrate in ink.
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