The Goblin Wood (Goblin Wood, 1) by Hilari Bell, 2004 (originally published in 2003). 384 pages. Published by HarperTeen. Source: Won.First Sentence:
Makenna is a young hedgewitch, forced to flee her village the day her mother is murdered for practicing magic. In the wilds of the forest, she forms an unexpected alliance with the mysterious goblins, and together they resolve to fight back against the humans and the cruel Decree of Bright Magic.
But as Makenna grows more successful and her goblin army becomes stronger, her existence threatens the ruling Hierarchy's plans for the country. She evades every trap they set, until a young knight named Tobin comes to the Goblin Wood hoping to regain his lost honor. And each of them finds something else instead ...
Makenna had to stretch onto her toes to reach the small stone lamp, for the shelf that held it was higher than a grown woman's head, and she was only eleven.
I'm wishing that I had not put off reading it for as long as I did because this book was amazing.
I love fantasy books, yet sometimes they have a tendency to run together and get a little old. That is not the case at all with The Goblin Wood because the plot is chock-full of twists and turns and that characters are brilliantly different and not what you would typically see in a fantasy book.
One of the things I loved the most about The Goblin Wood was how it was told from alternating view points, that of Makenna and Tobin. I thought that it brought an interesting perspective to the story because they both stood on complete opposite sides when it came to their views on the Goblins and rules of the realm.
I thought one of the most interesting points of the plot was why the Decree of Bright Magic in that it was to protect the citizens and help to push forward the movement to get the inhabitants of the realm to move into the Goblin Woods. I’m definitely looking forward to seeing more about the political aspect of the story in the next book.
Makenna has to be one of the oddest main female characters that I have ever read in a fantasy book. Why, because she has an overwhelming thirst for vengeance against the humans that murdered her mother and forced her to flee from the life she knew; and that the further along you get into The Goblin Wood you see how she has basically divorced herself from the human race. She was definitely one interesting character to read about.
Tobin (weird name), has to be one of my favorite characters that's a knight. I absolutely loved how he was willing to do anything to protect his willful younger brother Jeriah.
You would have to read The Goblin Wood to fully understand why I liked both Makenna and Tobin so much, because I cannot properly put into words why I think they are both such great characters.
The Goblin Wood just blew me away, so asking me to pick my favorite thing is just plain cruel. I will say this however, Ms. Bell's writing was phenomenal and pulled me right into the story and her characters were some of the best I've read about. Love this book so much.
Final Verdict: The Goblin Wood was one of the best fantasy books I've read this year.
The Goblin Wood earns 5 of 5 pineapples.
Goblin Wood (trilogy):
The Goblin Wood
The Goblin Gate
The Goblin War