The Goblins of Bellwater
By Molly Ringle
“Afterward she still remembered what she had saw and what they did before releasing her. Even though she couldn’t speak of it”
*A copy of this book was provided to me by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*
In the small town of Bellwater, it feels like there is something lurking in the forest. Some call them fae, or as sister Skye and Livy refer to them, “teenie tinies”. And though you can’t see them, they are always there. Kit has always been able to see them, in fact, he acts as a liaison to them, bringing them gold every month to satiate their appetites. Who are they? Goblins. Unlike the picturesque pixies found in some folklore, the Golblins are ruthless, cunning, and horrifying beings that have been plaguing Kit’s family for generations. When Skye is taken by the Goblins and forever changed, she and Livy, along with Kit and his cousin Grady have to figure out how to reverse the curse upon her before it’s too late.
This book hooked me almost instantly, the creepiness of the lurking Goblins ensnared me much like Skye was. Unlike many portrayals of fae in modern folklore, these Goblins were truly terrifying. I believed in their ruthlessness and trickery and their abilities as an antagonist. It was fascinating how Ringle used “The Goblin Market” by Christina Rossetti as a basis for the novel and it was interesting to see how the poem weaved its way into the novel. For those who enjoyed that poem, this novel is just as eerie and whimsical. The setting and story were very atmospheric and even found a way to bring in a moral about the environment. I thought it was an entertaining and thrilling piece of work that had me frightened at some points and laughing at others.
I loved the characters and the relationships between them all. It all felt very “Midsummer Nights Eve” to me, which added to the whimsy of the story and the character connections. The ties between family were nice to see, as familial bonds were the focus of the original poem and it gave the plot more depth. I enjoyed that the romances between both pairings were complicated. Each person was worried about the feelings of the other, insecure about their own feelings and actions. With many short novels, the romance can seem like “insta-love”, but with this novel, the bonds that formed were justified by the trauma, the small-town feel, and the characters personalities. I thought their relationships were very realistic and enjoyed reading about them immensely.
Overall, the story had elements of everything I loved and it was a nice, quick read that will have me rushing to draw my own pictures of disturbing Goblins and off to read Rossetti’s poem again.
(p.s. Is this not the most beautiful cover you’ve ever seen in your whole entire time on the planet earth because holy moly I could stare at that thing all day)