The Goblin Emperor
By: Katherine Addison
My Rating: FIVE out of FIVE Stars
Best for: 14 and up
The Goblin Emperor is still in my head!
I was spellbound by this terrifically intricate drama. There’s not a lot of action, but action wasn’t needed to make The Goblin Emperor perfectly unputdownable. (Did you understand that? Then yes, it’s a word.) If courtly intrigue, political machinations, elaborate world building, and brilliant character development is your thing, you’re going to get sucked into this world of goblins, elves, and airships too.
Maia is the forgotten 4th son of the Elvish Emperor, the product of an unfortunate political union between his father the Emperor and the daughter of the Great Goblin King. He’s a half-blood embarrassment, and out of site, out of mind is the preferred way to deal. So Maia is raised far from the Imperial Court by an abusive tutor, and learns nothing about the ways of the royal court…which only becomes an issue when the Emperor and his first three sons are all killed in an airship accident.
And the half-blood embarrassment becomes–Emperor.
Maia is tremendous. You’re going to love him for all that he is, all that he isn’t, and all that you know he can become.
A couple notes for the more casual reader. First, I mentioned there isn’t a lot of action. This story is a drama. The scope is not epic. This is Maia’s story of how he learned to fill the big shoes he was forced to wear. I know some of my most favorite readers who would probably be bored reading this book. Second, Katherine Addison (bless her detailed, nerdy-girl heart) created an entire LOTR-esc world of places, cultures, languages, and naming conventions for this wonderful little story. It’s awesome. But it’s also hard to follow. So if you’re not a patient nerdy reader who wouldn’t enjoy, for example, the nuances of made up Elvish family names and why it’s important, you may end up punting this book across the room. You’ve been warned.
Content appropriate for all ages. Pace and complexity appropriate for advanced 14 and up.