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The Hollow Kingdom

(The Hollow Kingdom Trilogy #1)

4.09  ·  Rating details ·  9,458 ratings  ·  797 reviews
In nineteenth-century England, a powerful sorcerer and King of the Goblins chooses Kate, the elder of two orphan girls recently arrived at their ancestral home, Hallow Hill, to become his bride and queen...
Paperback, 230 pages
Published September 19th 2006 by Henry Holt & Company (first published October 1st 2003)
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Popular Answered Questions
Haley It's a trilogy the series goes:
THE HOLLOW KINGDOM
CLOSE KIN
IN THE COILS OF THE SNAKE
Haley Yes the book is a part of a trilogy the order goes:
THE HOLLOW KINGDOM
CLOSE KIN
IN THE COILS OF THE SNAKE

Community Reviews

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4.09  · 
Rating details
 ·  9,458 ratings  ·  797 reviews


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Catie
May 18, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Catie by: Crowinator
This book is exactly the type of fairy tale that I love the most. Now, I know that I have been outspoken in the past about my dislike of fantasies featuring caveman, bad-boy type hero characters. However, I think that I know and respect dozens of women who melt in the presence of these guys. Do I look down on my friends for their fantasy preferences? Absolutely not, because guess what? We all have a fantasy weakness. We all have that certain fairy tale that bypasses every logical part of our bra ...more
Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
This is a wonderful, different kind of YA fantasy, set in Victorian times in England. It takes the old trope--goblin kings kidnap beautiful girls, marry them and they never see the light of day again--and twists it: Goblins are lovable even if ugly and, um, prone to kidnapping women for their wives. You don't need to marry a handsome prince. And it's done in a way that's honest and appealing (the story has a great sense of humor) but doesn't pull any punches.

Kate, the main character who becomes
...more
Eilonwy

I'll post a fuller review later, but my immediate thoughts are:

I'm honestly not sure how to rate this.

My experience of reading this book would get it five stars. I loved the writing, the setting(s), the characters, and the magic. I loved the words and sentences so much that I couldn't read quickly -- I had to savor everything about how it's put together. It's both charming and clever, and all of the characters show a spunk and ingenuity that just delighted me and constantly surprised me. I wan
...more
Kathleen
Feb 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Bumping it up to 5 stars, because I've read this YA fantasy again and again. Each time I like it more.
"She couldn't move or speak, though she was vaguely aware the ugly creature was watching her with concern."
From page one, I was captivated by this award-winning fantasy, written for adolescents. With only a few hugs and kisses, it is unexceptional, but beware the creepy dark magic in the last chapters, where (view spoiler)
...more
Shawn
May 09, 2011 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Keertana
Feb 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Keertana by: Heidi
If you had asked me just last year, I would have told you I didn't have a favorite fairy tale. I grew up hating "Snow White" and while I adored nearly every "Cinderella" movie re-telling I'd seen, the original story was not among my favorites at all. As a child, I never actually saw "Beauty and the Beast" or read the book, until one fated French class when we saw an old black-and-white version of it in French. Granted, I didn't understand everything that was said as it was only my second year of ...more
Alex
Nov 10, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2011, fantasy, ya
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Julie
I... well. The beginning is creepy in a good way. The end is creepy in a bad way.

The beginning has a sense of danger from a goblin menace. The end is some sort of apologia for rape, abduction, and Stockholm Syndrome.

This book just kinda grosses me out.
Heidi
This book. THIS BOOK. You know those books that come along every once in a while that you utterly fall in love with to the point of hugging them? THIS BOOK. The last occasion I can pinpoint such a reaction was my reading of Howl’s Moving Castle, so yes, this is BIG NEWS. There’s just something about Clare B. Dunkle’s writing that is simultaneously starkly real and utterly charming–it hits the heart in ways that so few books have the power to do, no matter how wonderful their stories may be. In f ...more
Jenna
Jun 11, 2010 rated it did not like it
Although I may have liked this book in my youth, as an adult I found it rather repellent.

A young woman is coerced into marrying the Goblin King, Lord of the Hollow Kingdom.

This book is unfortunately one of those cases where the two main characters start off hating one another (or rather, the young woman starts off hating the male protagonist), but eventually fall in love. What probably incensed me more than anything is that the male character virtually slings the female character over his shoul
...more
AziaMinor
I read this so long ago it thought it give it another go. Just as great as it was in 6th grade. Everyone please read it you'll love everybody in it sure of it😍

This will always be my quickest read because it is so good and so fast. Everything happens all at once and Duncan just writes in a way that keeps you captivated. It's like Beauty and the Beast but without the beast ever changing into a "handsome" man lol.

Humans, Elves, Goblins, Demons, a strong-willed heroine stepping up to the challenge
...more
Anna (Bobs Her Hair)
Jan 03, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Anna (Bobs Her Hair) by: Kathleen
Shelves: fantasy, young-adult
4.5 Stars - Sweet, Grim, and Unique Fantasy

"If you know I hate being teased, she asked, "why do you always do it?"

"Because that's one of the things abut your new life that I love," he chuckled. That made her smile. "And I write about the milestones that the Kings look for their wives to pass. The first time you spoke to me--that was when you met me. The first time you called me by name--that was the day after you came here. The first time you smiled at me--that was a week after you came here, b
...more
Angie
Nov 18, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, ya, good-uns
I have had the entire Hollow Kingdom trilogy sitting in my TBR stack for awhile now and finally settled in with the first one and read it through. The first thing to catch my eye was the dedication. This is often the case with me. I was wandering the bookstore with my cousin just other night, talking about what a sucker I am for a good dedication. I should probably be keeping some sort of top ten list or something. I've fallen in love with many a Lloyd Alexander dedication and that's why this o ...more
Willow
Jun 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fairytale, faeries
This book is about goblins, plain and simple. But don’t be fooled into thinking this is your average goblin story. In fact, what Clare Dunkle does is actually pretty cool. Dunkle doesn’t make her goblins suddenly beautiful creatures with noble intentions. No, she leaves them with all their warts and their monstrous features. Their intentions are questionable, their methods underhanded, and they are thoroughly dangerous. Yet I grew to sympathize with them, because Dunkle gives them a point of vie ...more
Amelia, the pragmatic idealist
I remember liking this. If I read it now, however, I'd probably be way more critical.
Rory Williams
I first read this book when I was younger, and I absolutely loved it. It was one of those books that I enjoyed reading over and over. There are a lot of things I hate about this book now, which really breaks my heart, because I used to love it so much. When I was young, naïve, and blind to—or at the very least ignoring—all of the disturbing elements.

But first to the positives. I absolutely adore the world Dunkle creates. The goblins are really cool, and it’s kind of fun to watch Kate go from re
...more
Linda
Poor Marak. As King of the Goblins, he was not only accepted but revered in his world down-under. His subjects actually thought he was 'elf-pretty': almost too beautiful. But to most humans, he was monstrously ugly. With oddly colored hair similar in coarseness to a horse's tail, sharp teeth, bushy eyebrows and two different colored eyes, a disfigured shoulder and one hand that included six fingers, he looked like a beastly freak.

He knew he was in a difficult situation. As King, he was required
...more
Anne Osterlund
Sep 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing
When Kate arrives at Hallow Hill, she feels a pull to walk the fields and see the stars. And a pull not to trust the man who offers her a ride home on his stallion. But Marak is not easily dissuaded. Nor is he a man.

The goblin king can walk through mirrors and explode windows. But he cannot marry another goblin.

He must kidnap and marry a girl not of his own kind. And he has chosen Kate.

Oh! This was a wonderful story. A perfect read for fans of The Princess and the Goblin & The Princess and C
...more
Tigress (Warrior Elf)
(Note: This isn't my most coherent review, because I was just really pissed off when I wrote it, and I don't really feel like going back and making it more... polite. So, please, enjoy it in all its ragey goodness. Contains cursing, GIFs, a bit of feminist ranting, and expressions of murderous intent towards fictional characters.)

THIS BOOK.


I HATE IT SO MUCH. I hate it so much, I'm not even sure where to begin with this review. I've been putting it off for a few months now. But here it goes... *t
...more
Amy


This is what Stolen Songbird should have been. I'm so glad I chose to read this one. It almost makes the other one more tolerable. This book shares the goblin mythology and kidnapped bride, but there the comparisons end. The Hollow Kingdom is the story of a very beautiful, clever young woman determined to outwit the Goblin King.
I thoroughly enjoyed every moment of it. Kate is witty and strong. She does break down occasionally, but it always feels natural. The Goblin King is properly hideous and
...more
Joy
Sep 29, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: 21c, american, teen, fantasy
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Gergana
This book is truly special! I love reading, but this was the first time I was so excited with a book that I started sharing what I've read with my family. By the time I've reached half of it, my mother was nudging me to read it faster so I could tell her more of Kate and Emily's adventures. Unfortunately, The Hollow Kingdom is not available in Bulgarian and I am surprised that the book hasn't been translated in more languages! A pity, because I am certain that people from all over the world will ...more
Miriam
Feb 02, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya, fantasy
Apparently it is romantic to be imprisoned underground by goblins and forced to bear their children. At least she had her self-centered sister to keep her company till the Stockholm Syndrome kicked in.
Holly
Jan 20, 2009 rated it it was ok
Recommended to Holly by: Michelle Millet
When Victorian teenager Kate and her younger sister Emily are sent to live at their mysterious ancestral estate, Kate is sure she is being watched. It turns out that she is - and not by the native gypsies, but by the old and hideous goblin King Marek, who (following tradition) plans to kidnap and wed her. Will Kate be able to outmaneuver him before she is trapped underground forever?

After coming so highly recommended I had high hopes for this book, but I was disappointed. It's really unfortunat
...more
Stephanie
Apr 13, 2015 rated it it was ok
I really really really wanted to like this book. In fact, there were parts of it that I enjoyed immensely. Kate was my favorite kind of heroine, someone who was clever, determined, and a little fiesty. So what went wrong? Well, the whole captive bride thing. I know they went over it a lot, how important it was for the goblin race and how it was necessary for survival, but the wedding ceremony was honestly the most disturbing thing I'd ever read. They made a big deal of Kate doing it "of her own ...more
Noelle
Oct 17, 2012 rated it really liked it
Kate and Emily have just inherited the estate on Hollow Hill but have no idea of the land's cursed history. Girls have been disappearing off the property for centuries with only crazy legends about magic and goblins for explanations. Kate begins to realize just how true the danger is once Marak the Goblin King begins to woo her. Goblin Kings court by kidnapping and the bride is destined to spend the rest of her life below ground. Kate is desperate to save herself and her sister, but dangers deve ...more
Eliene
2 Stars
In theory, I should have enjoyed The Hollow Kingdom-- it's a Beauty and the Beast retelling with a touch of folklore and a capable female lead. But I just couldn't get past the captured bride situation that played out between Kate and Marek.

The Hollow Kingdom is divided into three parts. I love the first part which focuses on Kate's relationship with her younger sister, the folklore surrounding their new home, and their first encounter with the goblins. The writing is atmospheric and the
...more
Misty
I read this almost 5 years ago, and for some reason, felt let down by it. I remember really liking it in the beginning, and feeling like it steadily lost me.
I can't for the life of me imagine why that is. This book has stuck with me for 5 years - the characters pop into my head; I wonder what became of them (I never finished the series), and I find myself thinking about them, their world, and how they're doing... "Disappointing" books shouldn't stick with you like old friends for five years, so
...more
Hallie
Feb 09, 2015 added it
From my 2007 reading round-up: But the book which would probably put me in my severely out-of-step place if more people had read it is The Hollow Kingdom, by Clare B. Dunkle. Maybe the I-shouldn't-really-mention-this-AGAIN-but-Beauty kind of out-of-step place, at that. I didn't think it was that great - or at least found it quite uneven - but the goblin king's changing from the terrifying figure who'd take a human bride against her will, understanding the horror of being forced to spend the rest ...more
Emily
May 29, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This is the best fantasy-romance I believe I have ever read. The fact the the romantic interest is a goblin shakes things up and the characters are written so well. Kate is not afraid of everything like some of the female characters of such books, she faces the whole thing bravely. This is hard considering a goblin is trying to capture her for his bride. At first it seems like it can only turn out badly but with a few surprising twists it ends up being just fine.
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347 followers
I was born Clare Buckalew in Fort Worth, Texas, and grew up in Denton, Texas, a city north of Dallas. I earned my B.A. in Russian with a minor in Latin from Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas. After graduating from Indiana University with a master's degree in library science, I came back to San Antonio to work when my husband, Joe, joined the engineering staff at Kelly Air Force Base. I earn ...more

Other books in the series

The Hollow Kingdom Trilogy (3 books)
  • Close Kin (The Hollow Kingdom Trilogy, #2)
  • In the Coils of the Snake (The Hollow Kingdom Trilogy, #3)
“Kate had never in her life seen such frightful deformities, and the goblins had never seen such a hideous dress.” 28 likes
“Kate felt very offended. 'I am not an elf,' she insisted. 'I'm an Englishwoman!” 27 likes
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