Cinders and Sparks 3: Goblins and Gold by Lindsey Kelk – Book Review

Blurb from Goodreads

Cinders, her talking-dog, Sparks, a horse called Mouse, and Hansel (who accidentally – on purpose – ate some of a witch’s gingerbread house) continue their quest to find Fairyland. But even the bravest questers get hungry, and when the quartet stop at a market for lunch, calamity and chaos ensue.

Cinders is kidnapped by a greedy goblin, Mouse is turned back into a mouse, and Cinders’s fairy godmother, Brian, pairs up with Prince Joderick to rescue her.

Will Cinders escape the evil goblin? Will Sparks sing karaoke? Will the Huntsman find and capture them?

The answers are: yes, not really and kind of.

My Review

‘Cinders and Sparks: Goblins and Gold’ is the third instalment in author Lindsey Kelk’s children’s stories loosely based on well known fairytales. All of the quirky characters from books 1 and 2 are back to continue Cinder’s journey to Fairyland to find out the truth about her mother and why everyone in her kingdom thinks fairies are bad news.

In this instalment Cinders manages to get herself kidnapped by a goblin in an ode to the well known Rumplestiltskin fairytale, and we see more of Cinders’ stepmother and her evil plotting.

The best thing about this series is how Kelk is consciously using the variety of characters that pop up in the novel to teach children about inclusivity, diversity and self acceptance in beautifully simplistic and fun ways. There really is a lot to admire with the aims of these books.

The following is taken from Lindsey Kelk’s website and I have to agree with it: ”(the books) don’t patronise or condescend, they don’t reinforce stereotypes and I hope that they explain to children that they can be just about anything they put their mind to as long as they’re strong enough to stand up for their hopes and dreams and the hopes and dreams of others. There’s also the idea that ‘other’ isn’t wrong and we shouldn’t automatically be afraid of what we don’t understand just because the generation before us told us that we should be – but honest, it’s all dealt with in a very humorous and light fashion. I think? I mean, you’ll have to let me know.”

However, the constant open ended nature of each of the endings of each of the books in the Cinders and Sparks series is getting tiresome. I believe that each book in a series should have some semblance of closure, and therefore, that it’s the enjoyment of each individual book that should make the reader want to continue the overarching journey that Cinders is embarking on throughout the series as a whole. Instead these books just feel deeply unsatisfying as there is no clear ending in sight.

While I love the essence of these books, in particular the sense of humour running through each really appeals to me, I would find it difficult at this stage to recommend them to a child because of the nature of the cliffhanger style endings and how none of the books can truly be enjoyed on their own. At this stage I have been unable to find any information confirming if there will be a fourth and/or concluding Cinders and Sparks book (I did see a comment from Lindsey back in May 2019 that states the aim is to make this a six book series) so for now until the concluding books are confirmed I would encourage prospective readers to hold off on this series lest they feel as browned off as I do now.

9 thoughts on “Cinders and Sparks 3: Goblins and Gold by Lindsey Kelk – Book Review

  1. That’s lame that they don’t really have any closure for the endings. I do like the covers and they sound interesting!

    Liked by 1 person

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