This clever satire is based on
fantasy role-playing -- something
veteran gamers will get a huge
kick out of. Reminiscent of Terry Pratchett and Robert Asprin at their best, this is an over-the-top tale that still manages to be genuinely touching, particularly the friendship between
Jig the goblin and Riana the elf.

Jig's a runty, nearsighted and clumsy goblin whose greatest desire is to be left alone. Sadly, he's captured by a group of adventurers who decide that he'll be able to guide them on their quest to retrieve the Rod of Creation, which is guarded by a fearsome dragon.

With only a fire-spider on his side, Jig has to find it within himself to survive the bumblings of a dwarven warrior, an insane wizard, a pompous prince and a beaten-down elven thief. Praying to his forgotten god -- the only kind of god who would want a puny goblin as a worshipper -- Jig finds reserves of unknown strength and resilience and manages to triumph in the end. (DAW, Nov., 352 pp., $6.99)
Reviewed by: 
Natalie A. Luhrs