Book Review: NOT GOOD FOR MAIDENS by Tori Bovalino

Title in white on black-blue with a brown moth
Genre: Contemporary Fantasy
Age Range: YA
Star Rating: 4 stars
Series: standalone


Book cover for NOT GOOD FOR MAIDENS: title in white on brown moth on foliage

Louisa doesn’t believe in magic, until her teenage aunt Neela is kidnapped to the goblin market.

The market is a place of magic, where twisting streets, succulent fruits, glimmering jewels, and death are on offer to the unwary human. An enticing place that her mother and aunt barely escaped seventeen years ago, paying a terrible price.

With only three days before the market disappears, Lou must navigate the treacherous market, controlled by bloodthirsty goblins who crave vengeance against her family. She must learn the songs and tricks of the goblins to save Neela, or the market might just end up claiming her too. 

Blurb taken from Goodreads. Add to your shelves here.


NOT GOOD FOR MAIDENS is a brilliant second books from Tori Bovalino, a creepy read about deceptions and cruel goblins, and trying to protect those you love.

The book is split over two timelines, Lou’s (the main one) and then 18 years ago as we follow what happened to her aunt May when she tangled with the market. I really liked that as it helped give an insight into the market long before we find ourselves in York, let alone the market. Plus there’s a mystery in exactly went so horribly wrong that balance out the “save Neela” storyline so well.

A book largely set in York!!! Having ended my time there are few months ago, it was so nice to see it in a book, and by someone clearly very familiar with it. York is a gorgeous old city with so much history and it suited the creepy atmosphere of the visiting market so well.

Also an ace lead? We get it very soon on in the book and then there’s no mention of relationships in the book, which I really liked. We get to see that it’s just a part of the character, not part of the story, not a tension with a partner, just a part of who Lou is. And I really appreciated that. Aceness usually only comes up to create a tension with a partner.

I can’t say I’ve ever read Christina Rosetti’s The Goblin Market, which this book is somewhat based on (I believe.) However the epigraphs at the start of the two halves help at least let someone as unfamiliar as I understand the basic elements being retold.

Read my reviews of other books by Tori Bovalino:


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s