cover image The Goblins of Bellwater

The Goblins of Bellwater

Molly Ringle. Central Avenue (IPG, dist.), $13.95 trade paper (320p) ISBN 978-1-77168-117-9

Ringle (Immortal’s Spring) ventures into folkloric fiction and gives readers a rich, modern fairy tale, complete with goblins, fairies, curses, enchantments, and romance. Set in the atmospheric fictional town of Bellwater, Wash., a tranquil place surrounded by thick, mossy woods and misty lakes, the story follows Skye Darwen, a barista and artist, after she is cursed by forest-dwelling goblins on an evening walk that ventures too far into their territory. Her older sister, Livy, can’t make sense of Skye’s sudden and uncharacteristic depression, and, increasingly powerless to communicate, Skye can’t ask for help. Enter Livy’s love interest, Kit Sylvain, a dreamy local who knows all about the forest’s occupants thanks to an old family secret, and his cousin Grady, who gets swept up in Skye’s troubles via an enchanted kiss. Amid steamy scenes, the couples work to break the curses shackling Skye, Grady, and Kit to the goblins, with Livy, the only one untouched by magic, compelled to lead the charge. The main characters are real, flawed, and relatable. Forget true love’s kiss to break a spell, or slaying a dragon to rescue the princess; Ringle employs familiar fairy tale tropes but turns them on their heads to deliver something wholly unexpected and fresh. (Oct.)