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The Goblin Emperor Hardcover – April 1, 2014


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books (April 1, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 076532699X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765326997
  • Product Dimensions: 8.7 x 5.8 x 1.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (131 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #131,579 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Maia, the estranged son of the Emperor of the Elflands, is shocked to learn that his father and three of his siblings have perished in the crash of their airship. Whisked away to court to assume the duties of emperor, young Maia is at first overwhelmed, but he’s a smart fellow and soon learns to distinguish between those who are eager to assist him and those who have their own agendas. When he discovers that his father and half-brothers were apparently murdered, Maia determines to find out who’s responsible, recognizing that the culprit may be someone very close to him. The author combines steampunk and fantasy (this is a world of elves and goblins and the like) to tell an utterly captivating story. Addison has built a completely believable world, with its own language, customs, and history, but there are tantalizingly familiar elements (such as newspapers and pocket watches) that make us wonder from whence this world came and whether it might have sprung from our own, in a distant future. There are lots of unanswered questions here that will likely be addressed in a sequel. --David Pitt

Review

"A spellbinding and genuinely affecting drama. Unreservedly recommended." ---Kirkus Starred Review --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

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Customer Reviews

Great world building.
Debra D. Thompson
The only other suggestion I have is to read the section on how the elven names work in the end of the book before you start.
megazver
Well written a great mix of action and political intrigue and the main character was very sympathetic.
Dane Bailey

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

40 of 41 people found the following review helpful By Liviania VINE VOICE on April 1, 2014
Format: Hardcover
THE GOBLIN EMPEROR grabbed me tight and didn't let me go until it finished. Not an easy feat for a book with approximately one half of an action scene in over four hundred pages. That doesn't mean the scope of the book is small - the health of an entire empire is on the line, as civil war and external war both loom on the horizon.

Maia was the youngest and least favored son of the emperor. He's half goblin and not exactly attractive by court standards, to top it off. When his father and brothers die in an accident shortly before his eighteenth birthday, he his unexpectedly crowned emperor. Given his youth and isolated childhood, he's ill prepared to take the throne. That doesn't mean, however, that Maia is prepared to roll over and be a puppet. He's critical of his father's rule and determined to do better, but he'll need to find allies he can trust if he's going to figure out how to make "better" happen.

Katherine Addison is a new penname of Sarah Monette. I've read her novels as Monette, but I didn't know she had something like THE GOBLIN EMPEROR in her. It has the elegant descriptions I expected, but it works in a way The Doctrine of Labyrinths didn't work for me. Part of that is Maia himself. He's a terrific central character, thoughtful, clever, but perhaps a bit too trusting and with a potential for cruelty. And cruelty is a bad trait to be seeded in an emperor.

I quite liked the other characters too. Maia has bodyguards that must constantly be with him, as well as a secretary who is far below him in class and rank but far above him in interpreting the people of the court. He also has a fiancee, because he must guarantee the succession.
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful By megazver on April 2, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I finished it a few hours ago and I am still giddy with pleasure. Go buy this immediately.

The book is about the unwanted, exiled half-goblin fourth son of an elven emperor who, after his father and first three sons die in a not-Hindenburg airship crash, becomes the emperor and has to deal with court politics, angry relatives, attempts on his life and exhausting fashion. This probably already sounds fun to you, but what's so special about this book, what elevates it above most of the other books I've recently read is how fundamentally positive and full of hope it is. Maia, the protagonist, is at his core a thoughtful, decent human (well, half-elf/half-goblin) being and although he went through a lot of indignity and suffering before the book starts, he responds to every problem with a sense of compassion that I found deeply satisfying and none of it was in the least preachy or cloying.

I am so sick of the grimdark trend and this book was like stumbling upon a water truck in the middle of a desert. There are no mis-steps, no false notes. Everything works. It all comes together gorgeously. With this book Katherine Addison has hit a storytelling hole in one and she is wizard and I would fear her terrible powers if I didn't know she will use them responsibly.

The only other suggestion I have is to read the section on how the elven names work in the end of the book before you start. I didn't and I figured everything out on my own, but I think it would be easier if I read it for.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By M. Maxwell on April 1, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Miss Em is so excited about this book, she needs the objectivity of the third person to contain her excitement lest she put you off like an over-eager host. I loved it, dear reader. And I must ask you not to start the book before an important project, like a cruise, because, dear reader, Miss Em snarled every moment she was forced to put the book down for some foolishness like sail-away parties, balcony dining, stunning ocean views, or any of that rot. Thank God I finished it before the Dom Perignon came along! But Miss Em believes this book is destined to be a classic, too. The publisher’s copy cannot do what Ms. Addison does, drawing you heart and soul into both her world and her characters. Read that excerpt, much more revealing than the plot blurb from the publisher.

Obviously, there’s going to be plenty of plot here, and it is deftly handled. No horribly dangling loose ends, but plenty of room for a sequel (please, please!). Lovely world-building; I would call it somewhat Tolkienesque with an Asian touch, just to help you orient yourself—this is a fully original world. (The pronunciation guide is at the back of the book, btw, and the archaic forms do not grate.)

It’s the story of a poor orphan boy elevated to a king, trying to live his values. Now that Maia is king, will he heap upon his former guardian the abuse he deserves? What or who caused the airship to crash? Can he find love, or at least friendship, in an arranged marriage? Can he ever trust anyone, or will he always be as alone as he has been since his mother died? Can and should the artificers build a bridge across the great river? Will anyone at court ever appreciate him like we, the readers, do?

Why does Miss Em think this book deserves “classic” status? The book satisfies on all levels.
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