The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison

Rating 9.3/10
You must read this book

Book of the Month

This is less a review and more an affirmation of why you should read this book, so I’ll start with a simple statement: READ THIS BOOK.

OK, now that’s out of the way, the reason for my bold declaration.

The writing style in the Goblin Emperor is near faultless and the story is engaging from the moment you turn the first page. There is a soft, subtle texture to the narrative that pulls you along slowly and gently like Charon carrying you along the river Styx. Maia’s story is a sad, tumbling tale of an ill-used and discarded heir to the Throne, thrust from obscurity and neglect to the vaulted position of Emperor. There is a real personality and depth to this book and you cannot help but empathise with the character as he develops and comes to terms with his new lot in life.

Bit of a lead in now, but bear with me. Controversially, I am not a fan of Game of Throne, crazy I know. (That one other person and I do like to meet regularly at our GoT Anonymous and commiserate and make fun of everyone else if that makes it any easier to take). The reason I mention this is I am not a lover, for the main, of political or royal court dramas, all high pomp and backstabbing, but The Goblin Emperor is set for the majority in the confides on the Royal Palace, specific to a handful of rooms, and deals with the politics and the emotional rise of a new Emperor.

Sticking with this theme, it’s the fact there are no brutal sexual themes, no graphic splashes of decapitations or amputations and no glorifying the degradation of people for no other reason than to give a shock to the reader. Addison/Monette holds you from the opening chapters as Maia, dismayed and despairing, struggles to come to terms with his cold father’s death and his ascension to a lonely Throne, with the fallout you might expect in a royal court.

The story has its twists and turns, nothing too dramatic or surprising and is told across an expansive kingdom and diversity of people, but there are no flashy fight scenes, dragons or mighty heroes, just a fragile king looking for friendship and guidance, with a desire to make the life of the people he rules better. It’s this theme that resonates and makes you love the book even more.

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