This is a very fun and and thoughtful iteration of the "decent person trying to maintain their integrity in trying circumstances" trope. The world Addison builds is a treat too: dense and tricky court politics, airships, and conspiracies are thick on the ground. You don't need to be wary of the 'beautiful pale elves' cliche (often just a thin, tired veil for prejudice) here. The Goblin Emperor begins with disruption and carries on that way, with a really likable main character emerging out of the dust. — From Christina
A vividly imagined debut fantasy of court intrigue in a steampunk-inflected magical world from Katherine Addison.
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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.
Katherine Addison's The Goblin Emperor is an exciting fantasy novel, set against the pageantry and color of a fascinating, unique world, is a memorable debut for a great new talent.
“Challenging, invigorating, and unique. If courtly intrigue is your wine of choice, The Goblin Emperor is the headiest vintage I've come across in years.” —Scott Lynch, bestselling author of The Lies of Locke Lamora
“I enjoyed The Goblin Emperor a great deal. I was sucked right into her world of goblins, elves, and airships, and was anxious to the very end to find out how Maia, the unwanted halfblood son of the Emperor, who finds himself unexpectedly on the throne, learns to navigate the intrigues and danger of the imperial court. An engrossing read!” —Kristen Britain, New York Times bestselling author of Blackveil
“Impressively elaborate worldbuilding underpins this lovely fantasy novel, but I couldn't put it down because of the heart-grippingly sympathetic main character.” —Kate Elliott, bestselling author of the Crossroads series
“Katherine Addison has written a nuanced and compelling story. Her world is unusual and vivid, her characters affecting, and her storytelling subtle and deft. This is a book I will be thinking about for a long time. Highly recommended!” —D. B. Jackson, author of Thieftaker