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Of Goblins Kings #1

Of Goblins and Gold

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To save her sister, she must beat a goblin at his own game...
Freya knows the sound of goblin bells. She knows to move to the side of the road and let them pass. Never buy any of their wares. And above all else, never make a deal with the monstrous beasts.

But when her sister takes a necklace and is kidnapped, Freya knows there is no other choice. She must journey to the realm of the fae where the Goblin King himself has stolen her sister. Once there, she must perform four tasks to save the only family she has left.

The Goblin King won't make this easy, however. He always seems one step ahead of her. To defeat him, she'll have to put everything on the line.

Even her heart.

Fan of Sarah J. Maas and Ursula K. Le Guin will be left guessing at every turn!

242 pages, Kindle Edition

First published January 5, 2021

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About the author

Emma Hamm

48 books1,971 followers


We all know you don't really care about reading my background. Enjoy Cap instead.

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5 stars
838 (33%)
4 stars
784 (31%)
3 stars
581 (23%)
2 stars
181 (7%)
1 star
85 (3%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 401 reviews
Profile Image for Ashleigh (a frolic through fiction).
441 reviews6,511 followers
February 7, 2021
This was such a fun read!

Following Freya on her persistent endeavour to save her sister from the Goblin King, this turned out to be quite the adventure. Journeying through variations of faerie courts while on a whirlwind of misguided trickery, this book really was an entertaining read with our main character attempting to be one step ahead, while also having no clue what's going on. The determination seen from her as she charges into these worlds headfirst was the sort of headstrong willingness you can't help but get caught up in. It was fast paced, and I turned the pages with no hesitation whatsoever.

I would've loved to have seen this book a little longer, if only to build on some of the smaller details. For instance, at one point a character learns the history of another, but we don't get to read that. Had this been added in, I think there would have been more potential for us to align with the character's perspective, after being presented with the same information and understanding better why they came to these conclusions. Still, I do acknowledge that generally I'm used to reading longer books, so this could just as well be on me and my preferences than the book itself, being only 200 or so pages.

Overall I found it an enchanting read, one of strange magic and luring darkness that I couldn't help falling into. The ending specifically was really strong, and I honestly cannot wait to see where this series goes!
Profile Image for ren ♡ .
289 reviews452 followers
March 29, 2021
“And what a pity that you’re tempted by a monster, my dear. Stories like those never end well.”


Of Goblin and Gold was so much better than I was anticipating. It was a very short read but SO MUCH HAPPENS. I never once felt bored and flew through this book in one sitting! It was such a fun, fast paced and action-packed story with a riveting slow burn romance.

Writing & Worldbuilding

I LOVED Emma Hamm’s style of writing. It was FLAWLESS. Even for such a small book, the worldbuilding was fantastic! The vivid imagery and careful attention to detail made it so easy to imagine what was going on. And while I was reading, it felt like there was a movie playing in my head! Everything flowed seamlessly… Seriously, I wish I could write like her!

Characters

I really liked the heroine, Freya, despite how obviously flawed she was. Her character arc was very obvious but still very enjoyable to follow. I liked that she was tenacious, and persistent on her quest to free her sister. She was quick to learn and not once did I feel like slapping her across the face.

The Goblin King was such a crafty villain! He was so dark and mysterious… His motivations were entirely unclear but I’m kind of already in love...? He was definitely a bit over the top in the beginning but I totally get his allure.

“He will do everything in his power to slow you down. Of course he will. The Goblin King has never lost a deal, not to anyone.”


The secondary characters were all wonderfully crafted! I loved meeting the different characters from the different kingdoms. Arrow was definitely one of my favorite characters – a dog-looking goblin that wore a velvet suit! SO COOL, RIGHT?!

The Romance

I really enjoyed the slow burn romance. The attraction between Freya and The Goblin King was undeniable. I have so many thoughts and questions...??? I can’t wait for the next installment!

Other thoughts / Criticisms

The one thing that (IMHO) really let the story down was the quests that Freya had to go on. They were rather lackluster and waaay too easy for her. In some ways, it just didn’t feel like much of a challenge given how high the stakes were, which was a shame because the quests take center stage in the story. Also, I do not see the cover, don't mention it to me.

Overall, Of Goblin and Gold was a fantastic read! I can't say that it was particularly original or groundbreaking but I was enthralled from beginning to end. I haven’t read anything else from this author, but I will definitely be rectifying that! Warning, this book does end on a cliff-hanger!

Rating: 4.25/5
Profile Image for The Girl with the Sagittarius Tattoo.
2,021 reviews255 followers
April 15, 2021
No, I didn't like this. What a mess. Emma Hamm tried to reimagine the tale of the Goblin King, my favorite fairy tale of all time, but fell short with Of Goblins and Gold (what gold, btw?)

The book was too short, and each objective of her quest felt rushed and too easy. When the too easy thing tried to be explained, it just got even more confusing. The MC Freya was completely frustrating, with her self-centered nature and consistent alienation of her only allies.

Finally, no romance. Unless you count the king's "heated breath upon her neck" or his claws scratching her skin. Blah.

I'll continue searching for retellings of The Erlking, and reading them no matter how bad. Such is my lot in life.
Profile Image for ShannaBanana✨.
479 reviews28 followers
January 29, 2021
This had me from start to finish. I’m almost sad I finished this quickly. The Goblin king was impossible not fall in love with. He’s beautiful, mysterious and charming with a vulnerability you see more of towards the end. Feyre is amazing too. I enjoyed her banter which was humorous half the time and adored her little goblin dog sidekick. I can’t wait until March for the next book and to get our charming Goblin King, Eldridge back!
Profile Image for Crystal Cook.
739 reviews1,203 followers
July 1, 2022
3.5 rounded up

This was a beautifully created fantasy world based on The Goblin Market poem with lots of Labrynth vibes.

I do wish it had been longer because it felt a bit jarring when it abruptly ended on a cliffhanger.
Profile Image for Jackie.
2,294 reviews
May 23, 2022
DNF - quit at 17%
I had a hard time getting into this, the flow is very slow & I thought a few times of quitting. The point that made up my mind, when the FMC suddenly does something she vehemently says she will never do, with no explanation for the change of opinion. She’s so against Goblins or any dealings with them, to suddenly change her tune was wrong for the character. I just couldn’t get past that contradiction. I didn’t realize this was by an author I hadn’t wanted to read more from -until after I was writing the review, which helps explain my feelings for this book that had a similar review to that other book by this author.

At my age (approaching 60), life is way too short & my time is too important to force myself to read a book I'm not enjoying, especially when there are so many other books out there waiting to be read.
Profile Image for Carvanz.
2,023 reviews684 followers
December 21, 2020

This was a journey filled with magic and mysteries! I went into it blind and was wonderfully surprised at the plot as well as the amazing world building. The characters are well developed and while I never had a chance to know the thoughts of the Goblin King, there were so many instances that I could imagine what he might be feeling. With a cliffhanger, I will not know for sure if I was correct or not until the next book.


Fae Aesthetics


This is a fast read that covers a lot of ground even as it leaves so many more questions behind. The romance is not a priority and I would say it’s not even a main plot point. However, I suspect there are emotions and elements working behind the scenes that will lead to this couple’s relationship in the future book. I would make a deal with a goblin that the King is going to fall hard for Freya, if he hasn’t already.

Heroine POV
Safe <.spoiler>no ow/om drama; no relationship history for h/H
Triggers
Profile Image for Gabbibuu.
268 reviews10 followers
March 5, 2021
Am I the only one that didn't get the memo that this was a series? That ending caught me so off guard.
Obviously, I have already preordered the next one; I mean, we are talking about Emma Hamm, and her books are MAGICAL.
Profile Image for Topastro.
450 reviews
January 14, 2021
A fantastic fantasy adventure. Emma Hamm is a new author to me and I was very impressed. Freya is on a mission to rescue her sister from the horrors of the Fairy Realm. Freya strikes a deal with the Goblin King, she has to beat him at his own game.

This was on the short side of the fantasy genre with only 230 some pages but it accomplishes a lot with out sacrificing character development and world building. I find that many fantasy authors get bogged down in world description and it can make it difficult to piece together the setting but Emma Hamm gives the reader a perfect amount of detail for her settings and character. The romance was not center stage but the slow burn aspect of Freya and Eldridge growing attraction was paced perfectly. This was one of most captivating books I have read in a long time. Can't wait for book 2!
Profile Image for Jasmin ✨.
149 reviews9 followers
February 12, 2021
I think this story did have a lot of potential, unfortunately it fell quite flat for me.The characters were superficial and the supposedly impossible quests she had to complete were too easy for her. I really would have loved to learn more about Freya's background and have more character growth/building. I think the story would have benefitted from being longer, as it's only 230 pages.
Profile Image for Monique .
184 reviews9 followers
December 22, 2020
THIS! THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT I HAVE COME TO EXPECT FROM EMMA HAMM! PURE GOLD 👏👏

Of Goblins and Gold had me absolutely hooked from the very beginning. Emma Hamm has demonstrated how lyrical her and captivating her writing is. I was absolutely blown away by the magical construction within Freya's world, the intrigue of the Goblin King, and the emotional ride we take throughout the story.

I think Freya's character growth is the most intriguing piece of the story and her connection to the Goblin King just enthralled me even more. I found my heart swelling, breaking, melting, and I still wanted more 😭🖤

If you loved Heart of the Fae, this is a MUST READ by Emma Hamm!! Total Heart of Fae vibes while still remaining original and beautiful in its own way!

Eagerly awaiting book two 🖤
Profile Image for Rhiannon Chillingworth.
696 reviews149 followers
January 10, 2021
I think I am somewhat cursed to always vaguely disappointed in Labyrinth re-telling. Apart from one book, no matter how much I love the idea of them, I always end feeling like it was somewhat lackluster.

I was highly anticipating reading this, and the reviews were unanimously positive, but I got to around 40% and realised I wasn't really into it at all.

There were various reasons for this. Firstly, I didn't like Freya at all. While I appreciate her character arc was fairly obvious, and that's why she was so small minded, I still didn't like her much even when he views eventually changed. She was rude, arrogant and foolish. I understand why she was presented as being as ignorant as she was, but more nuanced characterisation might have guven some depth to her behaviour. All we got time after time was that her mother told her how evil Goblins and magic were. The fact that she didn't begin to question this sooner didn't paint her in a very good like. She also solved all of the so called challenges far too easily.

My second disappointment was the Goblin King himself. He's just your vaguely stereotypical Fae guy, who just happens to have grey skin. He pops up occasionally in his poet shirt and embroider velvet suit and seems sort of enamoured of Freya, although I couldn't see why, and it wasn't made clear. I didn't feel the chemistry between them, maybe because they are not together on page very much at all, so it felt like nothing really developed.

There were aspects of the world building I liked, but this was quite fragmented in its presentation.

I think the Thief of Autumn, only in it for about 15 pages, was my favourite character, and by far the most interesting.

I am vaguely interested in the second book, mainly because it might be nice to see Freya eat humble pie, but I'm not sure I'll read it.

However, this book could well be for you. If you like Labyrinth retellings then I would urge you to go for it. Maybe what didn't work for me will work for you?
525 reviews2 followers
January 5, 2021
Absolutely love this book! The detailing is out of this world and the characters are so unique and expertly detailed I feel like I’m in that world. I want this made into movie...it would be the best. Freya and Eldridge are a different kind of enemies to lovers but I can’t wait for more of their story. Arrow is by far my favorite and he definitely stole the show.
Profile Image for Carol (StarAngel's Reviews) Allen.
1,681 reviews595 followers
June 26, 2021
4.5 Stars

Here is another book I kept passing over that continued to show up on my recommendations until I finally decided to give it a go today. And once I started, I couldn't put it down.

Yes, I was a bit Leary of the Goblin King and I couldn't figure out what his end game really was so I'm really looking forward to the next book in this series.
January 7, 2021
Overall: 2.5 stars. A fantasy romance, heavily inspired by the Labyrinth film, that suffers from flat characters and is a little too derivative.

I was quite disappointed by this one because I enjoyed the other Emma Hamm book I’ve read, Heart of the Fae, and I LOVE the Labyrinth movie from the 80s. That cemented my love of fae princes from a young age, and I was excited to see Hamm’s take on the story. Sadly, this just didn’t live up to my expectations.

The biggest problem here is that the characters read very flat: Sarah of the film has more depth, even if she spends a lot of screentime whining. Freya here is as generic as a fairy tale heroine can be, and her friendship with one of the goblins, Arrow, is shallow as well (unlike the heroine of Heart of the Fae, who is complex and interesting and has rather touching and complicated friendships with fae creatures). I can’t describe a single of Freya’s personality traits beyond “determined” - which she has to be because she’s going on a quest(tm).

It also disappointed me that the worldbuilding here was very surface-level. The world of Heart of the Fae uses familiar tropes about fae and fairy tales in cool and interesting ways and builds a unique setting. This book has no discernible setting or much lore either: it’s vague, but not in a charming, dreamy way.

The best parts of this book are Freya’s initial meeting with Arrow upon entering the fae lands (it had a very Cheshire Cat vibe to me) and any scene with the Goblin King. He’s no David Bowie as Jareth, but he’s wonderfully snarky and sensual and adds some much-needed zest to this rather dull fairy tale landscape.

Overall, I found this quite disappointing, but I still might give the sequel a try and will definitely read other books by Hamm at some point. I loved Heart of the Fae and am not yet ready to give up on her as an author.
Profile Image for Shoshanna Ford.
339 reviews13 followers
December 10, 2020
Thinking you know where an Emma Hamm book is going is almost certainly a mistake. One I make over and over. I am delighted every single time I pick up one of her books, even though it is not in the way I expected. 

Freya is not your average heroine. She is not a shrinking violet. She is not a spoiled brat. She is not stupid. She recognizes when she is wrong. She is aware of her biases. She works to improve herself and is open to learning while she wrestles with the way she was raised. Freya is the heroine 2020 needed. I love this first part of her journey. I cannot wait for the next book in the series! 

The Goblin King's story is fascinating. I wish I knew more about his history. He allows Freya to learn on her own, while nudging her along in the right direction. I have questions.

This new world is fascinating. The best part of the story is that Freya traipses through the entire world, through all the courts. Emma Hamm is a master world builder. She creates intricate kingdoms and creative characters. Freya meets people of all types, and learns to work with them. She learns to appreciate the types of people she previously feared and hated. 

As ever, I highly recommend this book. Emma Hamm is one of my absolute favorite authors. 

https://ssshwearereading.wordpress.co...
Profile Image for Mummy's Naughty Corner.
1,511 reviews64 followers
April 22, 2021
Well I liked this. I like the idea that she went to find her sister and ended up finding herself. I like the way the story was told and how she went against the Goblin king. I love the quest and how we got to see every court. I also liked how all the courts were different. The Autumn court was my favorite it's one of those stories that grows on you and you are left wanting more.
Profile Image for Andi.
1,127 reviews
March 4, 2021
I love Labyrinth. I think I'm one of the select few that enjoy the plot/themes over the Goblin King. (I mean, I love the Goblin King but I think the heroine should have a worthy foe.) So, when I saw this book was written by Emma Hamm... and I had read a book of hers before, I decided to dive into it.

Okay. This is an issue that I have with people who write ANY Jareth/Sarah/OC fic. ... The attraction cannot be blunt and or obvious. It has to blossom, grow, and or be subtle. In the film Labyrinth we get that opportunity to write Jareth/Sarah paring fic that would make sense because he reveals that everything he was doing was doing for her to live up to her expectations of the book / play 'The Labyrinth'.

In this messy ass kindle unlimited book you get treated to a Goblin King who wears 'suits' but the author cannot describe the suit and how he could be wearing a billowing shirt if it's a suit he is wearing at the same time. You also get some strange half-baked plot about her sister being "kidnapped" by some rat boy. You also get some sort of 'quest' for items that the Goblin King wants, but it isn't really developed why he wants them or what is the point of wanting them. (Where we know in the film Labyrinth the Goblin King takes the children because he turns them into goblin or is kept within the realm forever, because that is what fae do.)

Like, fuck, I could go on how how much this book sucked. How the scenes between the OC/Goblin King were just written for the sake of latching onto the people who want some easy, breezy, sensual moments with them.

Pull back the veil from your eyes or stop eating the rotten peach and you'll find out that this book ain't worth your time. You can fight me by saying this was the author's own story, and if it was, gee, it followed the beats of Labyrinth quite well. So don't give me that. But maybe you're that desperate for Goblin King/OC action. By all means, read it... I am not going to pick up the sequel.
April 3, 2021
3.5 Stars
This was an OK read for me. I'm eager to see what's next for the heroine and the King but I almost wish the heroine did not go to so much trouble over her sister. Her sister was too much and such a brat. To think all of this is to 'save' her and it was not even necessary. Makes me wonder what the King's real motives were and if he really just wanted to add her to his stone collection like some weird Medusa wannabe lol. To save her sister she has to complete some tasks and luckily along the way she made a friend who helped. I was really worried her new friend was also going to trick and trap her but thankfully that did not happen. Now that she knows the truth about her sister and bested the King I'm curious what's next for her or if she'll even want to return home. Plans have certainly changed.
Profile Image for Ashley W.
736 reviews12 followers
April 3, 2021


Characters 4 Stars
Esther comes off a little selfish for me. She doesn't really think about her sister at all or consider how her actions will affect her only living family. If she wanted to go off with Goblin Boy, then fine, but she could have told Freya and they could have avoided so much.
Freya is clever and independent. I enjoyed her character. She didn't really need anyone. Except for Arrow, but he was just giving her half truths throughout, so he doesn't count. And of course, the Goblin King himself, but same as Arrow. He was more harm than help and the one she was trying to beat. So again, doesn't count. Speaking of Arrow, I need to say how much I love talking dogs. I just do. I want one.

Setting 4.5 Stars
So Faery Land is everything that I wanted it to be. It had more Wonderland vibes, and I would go so far as to say that Wonderland influenced the setting here.

Plot 3 Stars
Three stars here because the whole XYZ challenge is a little formulaic for me. It was like a checklist. That said, I really did enjoy each of these challenges set before Freya. My favorite part of the story was when Freya was 'turned into a flower.' I think that was the strongest Alice moment I recognized. I really did like the end, that Esther wanted to stay. I felt like that was actually the biggest conflict in the story. And of course, there was a bit of a cliffhanger at the end that makes me want to read more.

Writing5 Stars
I really wasn't sure how the writing would be in a book this short. Now, there are some great short books. Even short stories. But trying to create a new world in so short a book isn't easy. However, I think Hamm did so very well here. I felt like I was there, could see everything that was happening.

Average Rating: 4 Stars

Quotes:
"I'll eat your hair like spaghetti!"

Random Thoughts:
So goblins can't take you if you don't talk?
Not event he right necklace?? Geez
Faceless elves? Creepy AF
Oh! Sprites!

Hashtags for IG
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Profile Image for Jericho McKraven.
Author 1 book9 followers
June 17, 2021
DNF

I was super excited to see that this was inspired by Labrynth! One of my all time favorite movies! But it let me down, still, if you're a fan of the genre I suggest you give it a try, one man's no thanks pile is another man's favorite read!! 😁😉
Profile Image for Rachel.
1,478 reviews70 followers
December 8, 2020
Note: I received this book via Booksprout and I voluntarily give this review, it is my honest opinion.

The first time I learned about goblins was by watching the movie the Labyrinth staring David Bowe and Jennifer Connelly. I instantly fell in love with the movie and the way David Bowe portrayed the goblin king was epic. I would say it's one of the reasons I love supernatural stories, fast forward to me loving almost all things supernatural but I rarely come across stories with goblins so when the opportunity to read Of Goblins and Gold by Emma Hamm I jumped on it. Dude, it was freaking amazing, the story reminded me of the Labyrinth and gave me the feeling of wonder I had when I first learned about the goblin king.

Of Goblins and Gold is a fantasy paranormal romance that is told from Freya's point of view. Freya lives on the edge of town, near the forest with her sixteen-year-old is Ester. Their parents have disappeared and it's up to Freya to take care of her sister, which she does in many ways including reminding Ester of their mother's teaching about keeping goblins a bay. Ester is a brat, while I know she is sixteen and still has some growing to do but she needs to put herself in Freya's shoes, needs to understand where she is coming from. Freya on the other hand is so determined to live up to her mother's memory, to take care of Ester that she is stuck in her life, that is until her sister is whisked away by goblins. The lengths that Freya goes through to get her sister back shows how not only how much she loves her sister, but how brave, strong, and stubborn she is.

Freya's relationship with the goblins changes on her journey but none more so than with the Goblin King. During her quest, Freya and the Goblin King start to form a bond, although it's a reluctant one. She confuses him, he challenges her, and something sparks there but it's slow-building. There is just something about them, they push each other and they just feel right together.

The story is excellent, a slow-building romance, a dangerous quest through faerie, magic, mystery and so much more. I loved every single second of this book. Freya grows, through the book, she faces some tough realizations and starts to listen to her own heart. Also, the faerie mythology is a little different in this book and the description of each of the courts is everything.

Of Goblins and Gold has everything I could have wanted in a fae story. Scary beautiful fae, portals, magic, courts, fae deals, decadent parties, and deadly fae. The story brought up feelings of nostalgia while being its own thing. The story ended on kind of a cliffhanger and I am already dying for the next book, I am ready for whatever comes next. I highly suggest to anyone and everyone that loves the fae to read this book.
Profile Image for Amber.
869 reviews69 followers
April 1, 2021
Of Goblins and Gold was a fun adventure that never delivered on the romance.

Freya and her sister Esther were all each other had left after their parents disappeared. Living on the edge of town, Freya worked hard to keep Esther away from the goblin market and their temptation. Despite Freya’s efforts, Esther was whisked away to the faerie realm leaving Freya no chance but to follow her. After landing in the realm, the goblin king confronted Freya and sent her on a quest to find her sister.

Of Goblins and Gold was short and entertaining. I enjoyed Freya’s adventure into the different faerie courts and the characters had shown promise of having depth, but Of Goblins and Gold felt more like the first half of a book rather than a complete novel. The synopsis teased a budding romance between Freya and the goblin king but none of that was present. There were instances the two were near each other and I think the author hoped that their interactions sparked sexual tension, but unfortunately that was not executed.

Of Goblins and Gold will keep your attention, but may not satisfy by the end.
Profile Image for jade.
113 reviews2 followers
November 30, 2022
while i did feel like the story dragged on unnecessarily in some parts, it was enjoyable read. there were a few things that bothered me such as she ventured into the world for her sister but her sister was hardly mentioned throughout the story. the whole mention of her parents disappearing and alluding that freya wasnt entirely human only to never be talked about again
Profile Image for Desiree.
73 reviews
October 7, 2022
I couldn't put it down!!!! One of the best books Ive read in a while. I have loved everything Emma has written and rhis book is no exception

I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.
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