Kiss of the Goblin Prince

Shona Husk. Sourcebooks Casablanca, $6.99 mass market (352p) ISBN 978-1-4022-6206-7

Husk follows The Goblin King with an even more ponderous paranormal. Her premise holds promise: a goblin prince returns to the human Fixed Realm after millennia of banishment and feels a deep connection with a human woman. Unfortunately, Dai’s internal angst-fest over actions he undertook to protect his family, first from the Romans and then in the Tartarus-like Shadowlands, constantly disrupts the narrative flow. Dai kept himself and his brother alive for 2,000 years by becoming a warrior scholar of magic, but in the Fixed Realm his experiments with magic are dangerous to Birch Trustees, a secretive organization that confiscates his books and monitors his activities. His love interest, Amanda, has something like agency, but the emphasis on her sad lot in life (widowed while six months pregnant, now mother to a frail and sickly child) is as painfully unsubtle—and uninteresting—as Dai’s self-flagellation. (May)