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THE GOBLIN WOOD by Hilari Bell Kirkus Star

THE GOBLIN WOOD

By Hilari Bell

Age Range: 14 & up

Pub Date: April 1st, 2003
ISBN: 0-06-051371-3
Publisher: Eos/HarperCollins

In an exciting fantasy, the author of Songs of Power (2000) and Matter of Profit (2001), creates a world at war, one in which the rulers of a theocracy attempt to exterminate a non-human race as well as those humans with magical powers who aren’t priests. That’s why 12-year-old Makenna watches her sorcerer mother’s drowning on the order of the village priest. Filled with hatred, she escapes into the forest and organizes the goblins into a guerilla force, orchestrating their withdrawal behind a wall that separates the country’s south from north. Meanwhile, Tobin, a young aristocrat from the south, is manipulated by the religious authorities and sent to trap Makenna and allow the priests’ leaders to break the power of the goblins. As usual, Bell’s story is complex, with several subplots, and a surprising, satisfying ending; likewise, the character development is exceptional: the humans are very real and understandable, while the goblins are convincing and sympathetic. This raises questions about the ethics of war, justifications for revenge, and motivations of human conduct. Strong, likable characters and the involving plot make this a surefire winner. (Fiction. YA)