Wednesday, April 15, 2015

The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison (Audiobook) - Paul's Review

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Title: The Goblin Emperor
Author: Katherine Addison
Year Published: 2014

Narrator: Kyle McCarley
Audiobook Length: 16 hours 25 minutes

Synopsis: 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.

This exciting fantasy novel, set against the pageantry and color of a fascinating, unique world, is a memorable debut for a great new talent.


Review: I heard of this book from the Sword and Laser book club. I enjoyed listening along with their pick of the month, although it took me longer to finish this audiobook. 

The pacing of this book is very slow. I have no idea how to spell so many things in this book. I could pronounce them as I was listening to the book, but I can't even remember them now. The language in this book is most definitely creative and exotic, but it is difficult to get used to. I used context to remember what most names and things were. 

This is a political story, but from the perspective of someone who isn't familiar with the system. This makes it easy for the reader to understand and learn as the protagonist discovers new things. The protagonist is very likable and his personality helps the book to be digestible. 

There are many interesting topics brought up within this book. Change is the main idea, how different people respond to it. Royalty and family are also at the forefront of this novel. 

I really enjoyed the literary use of bridges and building them. "The Bridge Builder"

The magic in this book is almost nonexistent. It is used in only few dire situations. The people are elves and goblins, but it really only serves as a parallel to race relations. The airships add a steampunky feel to this world. 

Kyle McCarley does an excellent job at reading this audiobook. His performance of so many characters is done so well. I loved his different voices. 

The first few hours of this book went by so slowly, but by the end I had been drawn in. I give this book a 3.5/5. I was entertaining, but heavy. If you enjoy political intrigue that addresses an old system and how to move forward, you'll like this. This is a fantasy novel, but there's hardly anything fantastical in this book. 


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