THE SUMMONS: A GOBLIN KING PREQUEL (Shadowlands #0.5) by Shona Husk
Kindle Edition, 20 pages
(first published August 1st 2011)
This short story was a very nice treat and a great set up for 2 great full length novels to come. As I said in my review of Kiss of the Goblin Prince (Shadowlands #2), each installment of this highly imaginative paranormal romance series by talented author Shona Husk can be read as a stand-alone novel, but it can be fully appreciated if read in order.
In this prequel we get to know how Roan and Eliza, the main characters of The Goblin King ( Shadowlands #1) meet for the first time. Roan is a Celtic king turned into a heartless goblin by a curse that had destroyed his people. He lives in The Shadowlands, a desolated realm populated and ruled by greedy monsters obsessed with gold: the Goblins. Roan visits the Fixed Realm (our world) at will, using people’s dreams and nightmares, but with his ugly goblin looks and an empty and cold spot where his heart used to be, he would rather hide in the darkness and dismiss the summons of those humans. Until Eliza, a 16 years old girl from the XXI century, a girl who grew up believing in fairy tales, summons him when she is in danger, and he just cannot resists her call.
Her mother had said always be careful what you wish for as she’d told stories about a man who’d been cursed for loving gold and had been given a heart of gold as punishment. Damned to be goblin, now he was forced to answer other people’s wishes. She closed her eyes. She had to answer hers. “I wish the Goblin King would take me away from here.”
To save her from an overzealous suitor, Roan answers Eliza’s call and takes her in a place of light and life (the Summerland) where he can show himself in his original human appearance without scaring her. Something about Liza’s strikes some cords in his soul, making him wish to be remembered as a man, not as a greedy monster, rekindling his humanity and his desire to go back to his true kind and honorable self.
“Where I go the Shadowland follows. I bring darkness, death, and despair. I rule land made of dust and famine. My subjects are goblins who’d eat you alive. Do not summon me again for next time I may not return you.”
But when they part their ways to return to their realms, Roan and Eliza will not forget about each other. He saw in Eliza something worthier than gold, and she saw in Roan a man who needed to be saved.
Highly recommended as an introductory read to The Goblin King (Shadowlands #1).