The youngest, half-goblin son 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 the 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 his throne-or his life.
©2014 Katherine Addison (P)2014 Tantor
"A spellbinding and genuinely affecting drama. Unreservedly recommended." (Kirkus Starred Review)
Maya is the half-goblin son of the Emperor. He was exiled since birth but has now been recalled because he must become the new Emperor after the death of his father and brothers. I loved this political fantasy when I read it, and worried about the narration because of all the difficult Elvish and Goblin terms. The narrator does a FANTASTIC job of making the words sound totally natural, and also provides great voices for the characters. (His female voices are weaker but in this book, most of the speaking characters are males.)
Maia is the disregarded half-goblin son of the Elvin emperor. The emperor and his three eldest sons die in an accident, leaving the unprepared Maia to assume the throne. He faces many challenges in court-whom to trust, the resentment of his father and brother's widows, learning court politics, choosing a bride, and making the right choices for himself and his empire. This is a wonderful story filled with intrigue and politics with a hint of romance. The protagonist Maia is very well developed and he makes mistakes without appearing stupid. The supporting characters are three dimensional and have interesting personalities and back stories. Kyle McCarley makes each person come alive with his or her own voice. Even without the explanatory text, the listener knows who is speaking based upon McCarley's narration alone. Though the synopsis places this book in the young adult category, the writing, character development, and story are very mature and adult. Maia is young and naïve and new to court but he faces his situation with remarkable courage and self awareness.
The setting is highly developed and the dialogue realistic and engaging. Addison's world contains some magic, some of which is spiritual. The goblins aren't the typical short treasure-hoarding little monsters usually found in fantasy. They are more civilized and have their own culture. Though the goblins and elves are separate species, Addison depicts them more as different ethnicities. I can't compliment this book enough. I've been recommending it to everyone I know who has even the slightest interest in fantasy. My only complaint is that The Goblin Emperor is a stand-alone title. At this time, Addison doesn't plan to write a sequel. The story ends very neatly; however, I am disappointed no further adventures are forthcoming.
Enjoy the adventure
An Emperor and his sons die a fiery death which leaves the least likely member of the royal family to assume the throne. This is a coming of age story of a newly crowned Emperor as he confronts political intrigue, racism, class status and women’s rights. The narrator is excellent and works hard to keep the listener’s attention.
But “The Goblin Emperor” includes long stretches of boring and should not be listen to while driving.
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