THE GOBLIN EMPEROR
A solid secondary world fantasy, The Goblin Emperor gives us a sympathetic protagonist, naïve enough to think good intentions can push back against centuries of law and tradition, enough of an outcast to have empathy for those who, like Maia, are cast into unrewarding roles for the convenience of those around them and canny enough in his selection of allies to have a hope of surviving the learning experiences to come.
Because he is despised as a goblin half-breed by his father, Emperor Varenechibel the Fourth, Archduke Maia Drazhar is the sole senior heir to the imperial throne when his father’s airship explodes, killing all on board. Previously consigned to life in rustic isolation, far from the court where his presence would embarrass his elf father, Maia becomes emperor without the training he should have received, with little knowledge of court intrigues and no idea who around him is trustworthy among the ambitious sycophants or much worse. While Maia has inherited all the powers and prerogatives of his father’s lofty position, he has also inherited all of Varenechibel’s enemies, one of whom orchestrated the destruction of the imperial airship. (TOR, Apr., 448 pp., $25.99)