Usually, the high fantasy genre is not really my thing. But the author managed to give me with this book quite some reading pleasure. Don´t know exactly how she did it if it was the language, the scenery, or how she created her figures, but despite the sometimes very detailed scenes, I actually enjoyed this novel. Discovering new authors is always very exciting. To get to know their writing style, how they describe scenes, landscapes, and their characters – it can be a real pleasure or real torture. In this case, it was, despite the sometimes a bit too much detailed things, a pleasure. Yes, I can say without a doubt, I enjoyed it.

The Goblin Emperor*
by Katherine Addison
Publisher Tor Books on April 1, 2014
Genre Fantasy
Pages 448
Format Hardcover
Source Publisher

The youngest, half-goblin of the Emperor has lived his entire life in exile, distant from the Imperial Court and the deadly intrigue that suffuses it. But when his father and three sons in line for the throne are killed in an “accident,” he has no choice but to take his place as the only surviving rightful heir. Entirely unschooled in the art of court politics, he has no friends, no advisors, and the sure knowledge that whoever assassinated his father and brothers could make an attempt on his life at any moment. Surrounded by sycophants eager to curry favor with naïve new emperor, and overwhelmed by the burdens of his new life, he can trust nobody. Amid the swirl of plots to depose him, offers of arranged marriages, and the specter of the unknown conspirators who lurk in the shadows, he must quickly adjust to life as the Goblin Emperor. All the while, he is alone, and trying to find even a single friend … and hoping for the possibility of romance, yet also vigilant against the unseen enemies that threaten him, lest he lose this throne – or his life. 
Maia becomes out of the blue the new emperor. With the sudden death of this father and three brothers, he is the only one left to inherit the legacy of the late emperor. Not what he ever intended to do or to become. But he has no choice he needs to be as fast as possible at the Imperial Court to claim what is rightfully his. And with his arrival he finds himself in a world of hate, passion, intrigue, and rules he isn´t very familiar with.

Katherine Addison uses a kind of ancient language to tell the story of The Goblin Emperor. An invisible narrator brings the reader into a world far, far away from our present one, where strange rules and traditions are carefully kept alive and where every word needs to be carefully measured before spoken. Her writing style is decent she likes to give you a lot of details and shows you scenes that are so beautiful and brutal at the same time, you inevitably hold your breath. All the trouble Maia has to face and to deal with, she presents with sensitiveness. And yet this book is a great read for children and young people since the author never goes below a certain level.

The little folk is in this book not like that what you are probably used to in other books. Oh yes, they are still arrogant and seem to be cold-hearted and they are as pale as wax, but in this book, they seem to disprize any other folk that lives in the world beside them. So you can imagine what it feels like for Maia, who looks every inch of his small body like his kobold mother when he is surrounded by a huge bunch of courtier – all taller than he, more elegant and every fiber another species. 

One figure is, besides Maia, one I liked very much: His secretary. He is always eager to help, very modest and the only support Maia can really count on. He knows where the snares are, how to answer all those letters the best way, and his lesson on how to use a lot of words but frankly saying nothing at all – great. Just great!

The Goblin Emperor is a wonderful novel, with a really lovely main figure. If you are a fan of the high fantasy genre, this is definitely your book. For me, it was a pleasant read, though I am not really a fan of this genre.

Happy reading

*I read the German edition new release October 13, 2016, by Fischer Tor

Katherine Addison
Katherine Addison  ©Beth Gwinn

Katherine Addison is the pseudonym of Sarah Monette. She writes under her real name since some time successful in the Fantasy and Science fiction genre. The Goblin Emperor is one of the most significant novels of 2015 and was rewarded with the Locus Award in 2015 as “best fantasy novel of the year”. She lives near Madison, Wisconsin. 


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