Salem’s Lot meets The Darkest Part of the Forest in this horror-fantasy retelling of Christina Rossetti’s “Goblin Market.”
Louisa doesn’t believe in magic, until her teenage aunt Neela is kidnapped to the goblin market.
The market is a place of magic, where twisting streets, succulent fruits, glimmering jewels, and death are on offer to the unwary human. An enticing place that her mother and aunt barely escaped seventeen years ago, paying a terrible price.
With only three days before the market disappears, Lou must navigate the treacherous market, controlled by bloodthirsty goblins who crave vengeance against her family. She must learn the songs and tricks of the goblins to save Neela, or the market might just end up claiming her too.
Thank you, Titan Books, for the review copy!
Oh. My. God. I LOVED this. I’ve already practically thrown the book at multiple people, although basically shouting ‘it’s about the goblin markets’ probably isn’t the best approach I could’ve gone for. Not Good for Maidens does contain a fair amount of body horror and is definitely horror rather than a YA horror (although it does have a 17-year-old protagonist). But that being said, if you like your horror gory, and creepy, and heart-pounding, this is the book for you.
Not Good for Maidens continues my love for books based on folklore and boy do they never disappoint. Based on Christina Rossetti’s ‘Goblin Market’ (a poem from the 1800s this book is a deep dive into the market beneath York, and the horrors that await unsuspecting humans. Louisa, our main character, comes from a family of witches, and so they’re entwined with the market in more ways than the average human. It makes everything more tense, and their knowledge of the place makes it so much scarier.
With a whole slew of LGBTQIA+ rep, where a sapphic love-story is one of our central, all-encompassing, plotlines, Not Good for Maidens is truly stunning. This relationship really captured my heart, and I couldn’t help but believe in this forbidden romance, and the truly disastrous consequences it would have.
The Goblin Market itself was a real highlight of the story. Bovalino’s descriptions of the winding streets and labyrinthine depths had me almost believing I was there. Her world-building is so strong that I can still picture the place now. Although there are some images I’d rather forget. You can see the draw of the market to unsuspecting humans, but it’s a dark, dark place in reality.
I could go on and on about how much I loved Not Good for Maidens. Pick it up this autumn, trust me, you won’t be disappointed.
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