Living among the men responsible for her family's murder, forced to act as one of them, an orphaned goblin girl must play her part or risk her life and the existence of her species.
Goblin dames are built to be strong. It is their duty to raise bulls worthy of taking their father's place and dames capable of bearing and raising their own bulls to do the same. Reah has been trained from the moment she fell from her mother's womb in preparation for just that, but no training and no instinct can tell her how to survive after she witnesses the brutal murder of her parents.
Her training contained nothing on human politics or tricks to play from tender human sympathies. She never learned disguises and melting into the fabric of her surroundings. Her father gave her no ancient wisdom on how to live in the same house with a human man without losing her connection to the woodland. Her mother did not teach her how to bear delicate, slow-witted half-human boys and raise them up to be stronger than their father. And no one can tell her the right thing to do when her inexplicable attachment to her human host's son threatens to reveal her for exactly what she is.
The inspiration for this story came from three main sources:
- The Hollow Kingdom Trilogy by Clare B. Dunkle - This incredible folklore-based trilogy of books presents a take on goblins that I had never considered before. Her personal brand of goblin is both fearsome and sympathetic. Her prose is lovely and her characters unique and wonderful. In the middle of the series I began thinking about the possibilities that were opened up when you wrote goblins that way.
- I recently met a little girl whose features totally captured me. I've never had a person's physical appearance strike me the way hers did - it was spooky. I kept trying to fit her in as a character in something. I knew that she had to be a magical creature, probably attached to the woods, but her features were a little too masculine for a fairy or elf. When I stumbled on the thought of making her a goblin character, it just fit.
- I went through a phase of extreme fascination with the Salem Witch Trials. I love the setting provided. It's not just the tiny, provincial town, but also the feeling of standing in the doorway of an all-wood home and feeling like your entire life is burning down and that it's likely to take the very walls down with it.