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Close Kin (The Hollow Kingdom Trilogy, #2)
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Close Kin (The Hollow Kingdom Trilogy #2)

3.98  ·  Rating Details ·  3,659 Ratings  ·  218 Reviews
For years, Emily has been living happily in the underground goblin kingdom. Now she is old enough to marry, but when her childhood friend, Seylin, proposes, she doesn't take him seriously.

Devastated, Seylin leaves the kingdom, intent on finding his own people: the elves. Too late, Emily realizes what Seylin means to her and sets out in search of him. But as Emily and Seyli
Paperback, 224 pages
Published December 26th 2006 by Henry Holt and Co. BYR Paperbacks (first published October 1st 2004)
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Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
If you like fantasies that don't pull their punches, this is a good one and it's well-written, but I have some difficulties with recommending Close Kin unless you truly loved the first book, The Hollow Kingdom, and don't have a strong aversion to reading about some really unpleasant events. This sequel is tied very closely to events in The Hollow Kingdom, so you definitely need to have read the first book before this one.

About 6 or 8 years after the end of Kingdom, we meet up again with Seylin,
Nov 03, 2013 Willow rated it really liked it
I’ve really enjoyed Clare Dunkle’s The Hollow Kingdom.
Dunkle has an unpretentious way of writing. Her characters are humorous, direct, and to the point. Her stories are fast-paced and fun. And the best part is there’s no purpley prose cluttering up the sentences or overlong, blown-up descriptions. Yet the world building is still imaginative, different and succinct. I like the characters and I like how Dunkle never strays from her original source which is obviously old-fashioned fairytales.

This sequel to The Hollow Kingdom was entertaining enough, but I found it overall to be rather disappointing. There were definite high points: the fleshing out of the history of the conflict between the elves and the goblins was welcome, and Dunkle's depiction of the dying elf culture was excellent, if harsh.

There were quite a few problems with the book, though. For one, the pacing and plotting was very odd; I felt that Dunkle introduced a lot of plot elements and then didn't give them their due
Feb 08, 2013 Kathleen rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy-scifi, ya
3.5 stars, mainly because I loved seeing so much of Kate and Marak from book one, The Hollow Kingdom. What I loved about book 1 was the singleminded focus on only two main characters, Marak and Kate. Their developing relationship was given the attention it needed, and I enjoyed watching the beautiful Kate bond with her ugly goblin beast, even in the midst of fear, loss, and danger.

However, in this book (Close Kin) we see three relationships develop. Three!!! Seylen and Emily, Tinsel and Sable, T
Mar 03, 2012 Lyssa rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult, fantasy
Although this book was no way near as good as The Hollow Kingdom, I still greatly enjoyed it. The characters are so much fun!!! This tale centers around two people from the first book, but it also introduces intriguing new people. Emily and Seylin must underatake quests in order to grow up and figure out which direction their lives will take. The story takes on a definite dark side when Seylin encounters the ragged elf band. I highly recommend to all my peeps and I am most definetly reading book ...more
I did like this in the end, but it took a while to really capture my attention. It felt like there wasn't much of a plotline, just some people wandering around and . . . really, not even doing all that much.

But I ended up really liking the characters. (view spoiler)
Jul 30, 2014 Maud rated it it was ok
This book was such a disappointment, it lacked all the charm and excitement of book 1!

The one thing that I liked about this book (and is the reason that I gave it two stars) was the whole elf culture and the way that it was dying out. It was interesting to see and it felt realistic.

Sadly, that is the one and only thing that I liked about this book. There are far more things that I disliked which sucks even more because the first book was great.
My first problem was the pacing. It was off, it was
Bella Smart
Feb 20, 2015 Bella Smart rated it liked it
It was good, but not quite as good as the first.
Laura Navello
I have to be honest; I find it kind of disturbing that every bride kidnapped ends up falling in love with her kidnapper. I could make an exception in the first book because she was the main character, and well, that was what the story was about. But in this book we have (view spoiler) ...more
Clare Cannon
Apr 29, 2010 Clare Cannon rated it it was amazing
A wise and entertaining sequel to the Hollow Kingdom. The focus shifts to new main characters, Kate's sister Emily and her best friend Seylin. The variety and realism of characters is Dunkle's special talent, both the good and the bad learn and respond to circumstances, growing better or worse for their own free choices. Emily's initial resistance and later recognition of the need to gain maturity is expertly portrayed, realising that winning others over to her own ends is not as helpful as lear ...more
Feb 11, 2009 Miriam rated it it was ok
Shelves: unfinished, fantasy
This series' continuing emphasis on forcing teenage girls to get married really turns me off. It bothered me in the first book (especially the ease with which the author glossed to "but she loved him") but I was willing to accept it as a traditional trope. There was no need to use the marriage theme again here.
May 23, 2012 Hannah rated it it was amazing
Wow. Just wow! I love this series; it is really amazing! The way Clare Dunkle made a world where societies of elves, dwarves, and goblins can live in secret without any humans knowing is spectacular! I would definately read this series again and again!
The characters have depth and the conflicts are so cool and believable! I definately recommend this to anyone who loves fantasy!!
Feb 26, 2008 Robyn rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: 13 and up (maybe 12)
This is a good book. But, near the end, it gets boring just like the first book in its series.
Jul 17, 2017 Tyler rated it really liked it
It's a fun read. Kind of a more up-to-date fairy tale filled with your goblins, elves, magic, and so on. What this book does really well is world building. Everything that gets mentioned is actually explained in the context of the book and provides a rather broad and detailed picture of the world the book is presenting. The writing from a technical standpoint is also well-done, not bogged down in extraneous words or details. The writing is tight, and the ending is completely wholesome.

It does s
Jun 22, 2017 Maleen rated it really liked it
This second book in the trilogy is fun. Seylin and Emily are some of my favorite characters. Putting aside all kidnapping and Stockholm Syndrome, I feel these books show the false emphasis placed on beauty. The goblins are a cultured race, with kindness and honesty, yet they had abhorred because of their looks. There is certainly more to people than the outward appearance. That said, I would probably still scream if I saw a goblin. I am human, after all.
Jul 06, 2017 Mo rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy, romance
2.5 stars

Not as enjoyable as the first book, this seemed to have too many major characters and not enough time for any of them.

It probably should still be read before book 3 however, due to the amount of world building and back story present.
Mar 16, 2017 Elizabeth rated it liked it
Not as good as the first.
Jun 16, 2017 Marija rated it really liked it
The prologue bought me, it started creepy and so very melancholic which I didn't expect to be... First the story centered around Seylin and M's quests and it's all about their searches of who they are. As the story goes the range of the 'main' characters grows. It was nicely done and it doesn't feel like it lacks something in each story which can be a common problem when the author starts adding more viewpoints. Even if it started creepy the rest had a more or less humorous course. Close Kin is ...more
Kathryn Fulton
Jul 08, 2012 Kathryn Fulton rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
I love the NPR series "My Guilty Pleasure," where authors and book reviewers talk about those books that you are ashamed of reading but love anyway . . . well, this trilogy is my guilty pleasure. For starters, they are paranormal romance (but written long before the Twilight craze, and with paranormal beings that are anything but lovely). Plus, they are about goblins and elves. And the writing isn't that great, with a lot of telling-not-showing, particularly in the first book. But the worst thin ...more
May 13, 2015 Shali rated it it was ok
I was a little disappointed that this wasn't focused on Catspaw, but after I got into the story I was happy enough.

This book's main focus is Seylin and Emily's relationship, but it also follows the life of Sable (one of the last remaining Elf women). It begins right after the end of The Hollow Kingdom, with Sable refusing to marry a fellow Elf, because she knows that women only live a year after marriage, and die during childbirth. To avoid such a fate, she mutilates herself and is successfully
It is hard to find the well-done sequel of a very good book, but this one is close enough to its precedent. I enjoyed it a lot reading it.

We have the same characters than in the first book, plus some new characters. I thought I would not like them that much, but I am happy to say I was wrong. Emily and Seylin are my 2nd best couple after all.

The story begins with the introduction of a beautiful new elf, Sable, who makes herself ugly on purpose to avoid marriage. I thought, "oh no, is this the fu
Dec 08, 2008 Angie rated it liked it
Shelves: good-uns, ya
Close Kin is the second book in Clare B. Dunkle's Hollow Kingdom trilogy. It takes place around five years after The Hollow Kingdom and follows Kate's younger sister Emily. Or at least it seems to. Where The Hollow Kingdom stuck pretty closely to Kate's story, Close Kin jumps around a fair bit, splitting its time three different ways as it traces the paths of Emily, her friend and would-be suitor Seylin, and an extremely unhappy elf named Sable.

When Emily fails to take Seylin's romantic adva
Lisa Schensted
(this is the second book in the hollow kingdom trilogy, so spoilers for the first book - the hollow kingdom - are unavoidable really...)

in a sentence or so: Seylin finally bucks up the courage to awkwardly propose to Emily, only to be inadvertently turned down which triggers the heartbroken Seylin to head out and find his elvish ancestors. when Emily realizes what's happened, she too sets on a quest to find Seylin, and set things right...whatever that may be.

Emily and Seylin's tale begins in the
April Johnson (Patton)
Oct 30, 2012 April Johnson (Patton) rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
1. The writing is humorous, succinct, and fast-paced. The world-building is based in old fashioned fairy tales, with story-telling reminiscent of George MacDonald and Christina Rossetti.

2. Dunkle uses Close Kin as an opportunity to explore the history behind the goblin/elf conflict through character testimony, stolen elf books, and historical records of past goblin kings. Such an eclectic mix of knowledge sources really fits a culture scrambling to keep itself together by any means necessa
Dec 21, 2016 Viccy rated it liked it
Emily and Kate lived in the Goblin Kingdom. Kate is married to Marek, the King of the Goblins. Emily loves all the little goblin children but they keep her so busy, she has little time for Seylin, who loves her from afar. When he tries to ask her to marry him, Emily does not understand what he is asking, so he asks Marek's permission to leave on a quest to find the last elvish women. Emily is horrified when she learns Seylin has left the kingdom and goes in search of him. She ends up in London a ...more
Jan 14, 2016 Kelley rated it really liked it
This is such a cozy trilogy. The goblin kingdom is that eccentric extended extended family that occasionally shows up for holidays. There's seriously no one in the goblin kingdom that can make me mad. It's just relaxing.

This book has romance, but the love stories aren't central like the last book. It's character development focused, exploring the growth of Seylin, Emily, Ruby, Sable, Irina, Richard, hell, even Catspaw a little. It feels squarely like a middle book -- a connector between first an
Jul 16, 2009 Heather rated it really liked it
I think I actually liked this one more than the first one, but not enough to give it five stars. I felt like it fleshed out the human world better and was interested to learn more about the history of the elves.

While I've been enjoying these books on a surface level, I've been pondering what they might be really "about." In this book, there was more choice involved in the romantic relationships than in the goblin kidnapping of the first book. I know a lot of people aren't going to like any book
Jan 12, 2014 Johanna rated it liked it
This was a nice sequel to The Hollow Kingdom. It followed up about 6 years after the first book left off. It starts off with Seylin trying to propose to Emily and failing miserably! Since the first book, I was hoping for this and I was curious to see how this problem would resolve itself. Emily is very self absorbed and Seylin is impatient, and he heads off to find "real" elves. I enjoyed seeing Marak up to his old tricks again as he lets both Seylin out for his quest, and Emily quickly after hi ...more
We met the sisters Kate and Emily in the first book, Hollow Kingdom. Their life since the joining Goblin society has been "uneventful." They both have their jobs to do, although those jobs would seem strange to most humans, and have made a place for themselves in the underground kingdom. However, Emily is getting older, and as a human woman, the Goblin King is not so patiently waiting to see which of his subjects she will choose to marry. Everything goes a little crazy when Seylin, a friend Emil ...more
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What's The Name o...: Forgotten Book. Elves maybe? [s] 3 32 Nov 10, 2014 06:31AM  
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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
More about Clare B. Dunkle...

Other Books in the Series

The Hollow Kingdom Trilogy (3 books)
  • The Hollow Kingdom (The Hollow Kingdom Trilogy, #1)
  • In the Coils of the Snake (The Hollow Kingdom Trilogy, #3)

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“Em, I am trying to have an important conversation!" shouted Seylin. "I will not change into a cat!” 43 likes
“Don't fret. We'll just have to find something else you're good at besides killing people.” 42 likes
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