A fast-paced story about love and loss, set in a fertile fantasy-land full of amazing characters, Goblin Secrets sparkles brilliantly in the imagination.
Welcome to Zombay, a town full of mystery, magic and make-believe. Once upon a time, Rownie lived there with his mother and his older brother. But his mother drowned in the town's vast River; and then his brother vanished; so now Rownie runs through Zombay's riddlesome streets orphaned and all alone . . . alone except for Graba, the coddle-headed, chicken-legged witch who offers him shelter along with the other stray children she has collected - her Grubs.
Rownie suspects that his brother's love of acting - which is severely outlawed in Zombay - led to his disappearance; so when Rownie encounters a theatrical troupe of goblins daring to perform a play for the townspeople (with masks and stage-tricks and everything!) he wonders whether they might hold the key to discovering what happened to his brother . . . and perhaps even help him find him again.
Thus opens a dazzling heroic adventure - of immense love, loss and all-conquering courage - in which one boy's quest for the truth, leads him to learn his greatest power may lie in his mighty and boundless imagination . . .
It was hard to stop reading Goblin Secrets, and I didn't want the book to end! The author's imagination is both huge and original, taking us to a truly new place, rich with lively, vivid scenes, fascinating people, and marvelous inventions. He doesn't explain things, yet everything is clear. And he tells his fast-paced story in language that's a pleasure in itself -- subtle, tricky, funny, beautiful. More, please, Will Alexander!
Goblin Secrets is a knockout. It's an original.
William Alexander is a wonderful talent whose breadth of vision and sense of theatricality, sly wit, and wicked whimsy have charmed and enthralled me since I first set eyes on his work.
There are books that make you feel good for having read them. Not virtuous or well-behaved, but good. More whole-hearted, more brave, more likely to look at a stranger and see the fine face beneath the mask of their unfamiliarity. Goblin Secrets, William Alexander's debut novel, is just such a book... It is also unusual, unsettling, and written with a very spirited grace. - Fantasy Matters
Alexander has an intriguing central theme, in which masks and theater create actual magic, set in the magical, steampunk-inflected land of Zombay. - Publisher s Weekly
Funny, smart, and gorgeously written. When I grow up, I want to be Will.
William Alexander organizes his atmospheric first novel int