Thumbs up for The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison. Fantasy.
Huh. Well. On page one I ran into a “thee” and a “thou” and almost stopped because oh God fantasy with archaic language just no no no. But, I like being an informed (Hugo) voter so I pressed on. Soon enough I kenned the purpose of the thees and the thous and that eventually became a facet I really liked – the fact that the characters speak in multiple registers, and the choice of being familiar or formal informs their relationships. Overall, though, I’m not sure what I think. It’s the story of what happens when half-goblin Maia, a rejected son of the Emperor from one of his lesser wives, becomes Emperor when all of his senior male relatives are wiped out in an airship crash. And it is very much a “what happens” book – it’s Maia trying to gain his footing in a strange world. There isn’t much of a strong plot or character arc on which I can hang my hat, and as a reader that doesn’t suit me terribly well. Don’t get me wrong, I did like this book, and I would recommend it if you like novels of court intrigue. But it really is entirely court intrigue – very little action, no appreciable romance, and the mystery aspect (who killed Maia’s relatives) is handled from afar.
“Veklevezhek,” Min Vechin said. “It is a goblin word, and it means to decide what to do about a prisoner by staking him below the tideline while you argue.”
If you enjoyed this post, please share it!