Reviewed by Sharon S.
Kiss of the Goblin Prince is the second book in Husk’s Shadowland series. I reviewed the first book The Goblin King and loved it because the author veered away from the same old PNR formula and gave me something different. I was hoping she would continue this in Kiss of the Goblin Prince. I won’t keep you in suspense though…Husk does it again with Kiss of the Goblin Prince.
In book one we met Roan, the Goblin King, and Eliza, the woman who rescues Roan and his brother Dai from the Goblin curse that imprisoned them in the Shadowlands for 2000 years. This book is about Dai and his struggle to find his place in the fixed realm now that he is truly free to make his own choices for the first time. Dai is scared figuratively and literally. His body is covered in scars from the 4 years he was a slave to the Roman General Claudius. He went from that to being cursed with his fellow soldiers who tried to rescue him. He spent the next 2000 years trying to find a way to break the curse while fighting to keep his humanity and not turn completely goblin. He learned just about everything there is to know, but magic wouldn’t work in the Shadowlands so he didn’t know how to apply all his knowledge. He has lived with so much guilt and vengeance and rage that it actually manifested itself as a claw that grips his heart.
Once in the fixed realm again, he realizes he can use his magic, but it is no longer used or believed making him possibly the last magic user. I loved how Husk explained Dai’s use of magic and the romantic way she used it in the connection between Dai and Amanda. Amanda found the man of her dreams 7 years ago. He died 4 months later and she was left to raise their unborn child. Amanda still wears her wedding band, not willing to let go of what she lost. Her daughter Brigit has chronic asthma that eventually will kill her. Amanda hasn’t felt a longing for another man since her husband and feels guilty when she finds herself attracted to Dai. Their love story is all about forgiving yourself for the past, letting go and moving on. These two don’t go jumping into bed like in most PNR. Their lives are complicated and they are both smart but over cautious. It is a slow and beautiful romance…and yes they do eventually end up in bed.
The beginning was a little slow, but once it picked up I was hooked. The first book divided time between the romance and the world building. This book focuses on Dai and Amanda’s relationship. There is no villain to explore because the conflict comes from within them. Husk brilliantly wove in a secondary storyline about how people will keep coming being reborn and repeating their same mistakes until the soul can finally break the cycle. She also set up the next book in the series with a little twist I didn’t see as a result of the curse being broken.
Husk is a fabulous storyteller and has written a PNR that doesn’t use the same old clichés. You don’t have to read the first one to enjoy the love story, but you will enjoy the world building better if you start with The Goblin King.