Goblin Secrets – William Alexander

goblin secretsA curious world where an oppressed people are ruled by a police force that have parts replaced with gears (hearts, legs, eyes, etc.) and the mayor has outlawed acting, except when performed by goblins, is the setting of this 2012 National Book Award winner.  Rownie is an orphan who survives under the precarious care of Graba the witch, who uses street kids to do her bidding.  His older brother went missing so he seeks information from the local acting troupe of goblins.  He joins their wanderings and learns of the magic that keeps the bridge standing and the floods at bay, all the while searching for his brother.  Graba doesn’t release Rownie so easily from her grasp either.  The goblins are a kindly mix that take Rownie under their collective wing and give him a feeling of family.  Rownie has a lot to struggle with and rises to the occasion.  One character that is especially intriguing is Vass, a child being trained in magic by Graba.  She appears briefly in the next book to be released in March 2013.  I hope for more featuring Vass in the third book.

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