Thara Celehar—a side character I didn’t remember from The Goblin Emperor—can ask questions of the very recently deceased (most often “who killed you?” but also “where is the secret scone recipe?”). His job is not, per se, detective, but a lot of what he does do would fit fine into a police procedural: he trudges around Amalo asking questions to get justice for the dead, with more than a few stops at the local morgues and cemeteries. Naturally, he has a tortured past, money problems, and hellish politics to navigate, but he is such a stubbornly good person doing his best, that despite the dark subjects, these books are weirdly heartwarming. Celehar is the kind of character about one whom would read a thousand pages in the fervent hope that at the end of it he might be able to get a good night’s sleep and a hug. Now I am in the agonizing situation of desperately needing book 3 although even book 2 (which I got with Magical Bookseller Skills) is not even officially out yet. TORTURE.
Since even my Bookseller Magic is imperfect, after WFTD I had to wait for The Grief of Stones, so I re-read The Goblin Emperor in between to soothe my feelings. My previous opinion of TGE has not changed, which is that it is impossible to put down, but the fourth act makes me sigh (in a bad way) and then the book ends one chapter too early. It is a great, if flawed book which I absolutely recommend if you like political fantasy; but perhaps start with The Witness for the Dead and see if you like Addison’s style.
In the cult in which my Velverdeise grandparents worshiped and into which I was initiated when I turned thirteen, just before I began my novitiate as a prelate of Ulis, we knew that Ulis was not the true name of the god of death, of dreams, of mirrors and the moon. His true name was never spoke aloud, save only for the initiation of each child into the mysteries. We worshiped unspeaking, and for myself, I continued the rituals of silence, kneeling in the light of the seven candles before an altar made out of an old dressing table and a black coat too threadbare to be worn. The only precious thing I owned lay on the old black coat on top of the dressing table, the long silky coil of Evru’s hair, as white as moonstone, which I had shamefully stolen when they cropped his hair for his execution. I had no right to it, but I could not have given it up if the emperor himself had demanded it.
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