Happy Thursday and welcome to my stop on the blog tour for GOBLIN MARKET by Diane Zahler! I’m so excited because today I have an excerpt of the book to share with you! This book is truly amazing and I’m so excited to for you to find out more about it, PLUS enter for a chance to win a print copy!
Published on August 16, 2022 by Holiday House
Genres: Fantasy, Middle Grade, Retellings
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Author Links: Website, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, Amazon, Instagram
One sister must save the other from the goblin prince in this rich, spooky, and delightfully dark fantasy!
Lizzie and Minka are sisters, but they’re nothing alike: Minka is outgoing and cheerful, while Lizzie is shy and sensitive. But when Minka is charmed and ensnared by a prince of the zduszes—the goblins—and taken to his dark forest home, Lizzie will have to draw on reserves of strength she never knew she had and follow her sister into a world of dreams, danger, and death.
Rich worldbuilding inspired by Polish folklore combines with a tender sister story for an original and compelling fantasy-horror adventure.
Market day was Lizzie’s favorite day of the week.
Not because she loved going to the market—the few times she’d been there, she’d hated it. There were so many people she didn’t know, from villages and farms clear on the other side of Elza. So much noise, such constant comings and goings, so many smells and colors! It was overwhelming, terrifying. Each time she’d ended up hiding in a doorway at the edge of the square, trembling, until Mother and Minka came to find her.
Now Minka went to market on her own.
Mother was delighted that Minka was old enough to go alone: she could stay home and attend to the chores. And Lizzie was delighted that she could steal into the Wood for an hour or two when she was done helping Father in the fields.
In the Wood, Lizzie always went to the same place, a little stand of birch trees beside a trickling stream. If it was warm and the sun shone down onto the circle of grass inside the grove, she would lie and look up at the sky. She could feel the breath of the Wood as the wind rustled the birch leaves. She could hear the Wood’s chuckle in the water running over rocks. Sometimes she felt as if the Wood’s heart thrummed inside her body. Her own pulse matched the Wood’s, beat for beat.
If it was cold, she would wrap up in her shawl and walk to stay warm, just listening—to bird songs, to the creak of branches rubbing together, to the rustle of rabbits and squirrels in the underbrush.
For Lizzie, each sound was a color. When she was younger, seven or eight, she’d sat at the kitchen table and tried to paint what she heard, but Minka laughed and pointed at her painted trees, saying, “Leaves aren’t gray, silly! And those don’t even look like trees. They look like sticks with clouds on top.” Minka loved to paint. She did it whenever she had a few minutes free of chores, and sometimes instead of chores. She mostly used watercolors, but if she had a few extra coppers, she would go into Elza and buy a tube of oil paint—cerulean blue, or chartreuse, or violet—and paint the whitewashed walls of the cottage with flowers and intricate designs, inside and out. Her lips were always tinted blue or green because she chewed on her brushes when she thought about what to paint.
“We don’t have any silver paint,” Lizzie said. “I had to use gray.”
“Leaves aren’t silver, either,” Minka pointed out. “They’re green. Or red and orange in the autumn.” She took the paintbrush, dipped it, and in a few moments there was a tree on the paper, brown and green and almost as real as life.
“But the sound the leaves make is silver,” Lizzie protested. “In springtime, anyway.”
Minka rolled her eyes. “What does that even mean?” she asked. “The sound the leaves make is silver?”
“It’s the color they make when they rustle together,” Lizzie said. “When the breeze blows. You know, the wavery lines of silver?”
Minka’s face was blank.
“You don’t see that?” Lizzie was confused. The idea that other people didn’t see what she saw was new to her.
“You do see that? Actually see it?”
Excerpt from Goblin Market / Text copyright © 2022 by Diane Zahler. Reproduced by permission from Holiday House Publishing, Inc. All rights reserved.
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What do you think about Goblin Market? Have you added it to your tbr yet? Let me know in the comments and have a splendiferous day!