"Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested." (Francis Bacon)

Friday, June 12, 2015

The Goblin Emperor

TITLE: The Goblin Emperor
AUTHOR: Katherine Addison

Katherine Addison is the new pen name for Sarah Monette who wrote the wonderful Labyrinthine series, so I had high hopes for this. It's well written, for starters. Addison's prose is most readable. The story is told from the pov of the title character, a half-breed (elf-goblin) teen whose father, the emperor, and all his half-brothers are killed in a suspicious accident. Maia, living in exile with a guardian after his mother died, as his father's remaining heir, is brought to the capital and elevated to emperor despite having no training in the affairs of court and not knowing who he can trust. Thus begins a fish-out-of-water tale as Maia begins his on-the-job training while also trying to discover who killed his father and brothers and while others are plotting against him. It sounds great. If only more of that got on to the page.

Being all told from Maia's pov, we see only what he sees and does and that's mostly affairs of court, which isn't really my thing despite being competently written. And though there is some mention of tension between elves and goblins, there's not a whole lot of fantasy going on in the book. There is some actual action, which made me wish for more of it, and then it ends rather nicely, setting up the universe for more stories.

The lack of much of anything really going on made this an easy book to put down and I think it took me as long to read it as it took me to read all 5 published Song of Ice and Fire books combined. If this sort of book is your thing, you'll probably enjoy it. Maia is a pleasant, likable character and the prose moves along nicely without a hitch. I just don't think this sort of book is my thing.