The Goblin Emperor

mass market paperback, 512 pages

Published March 3, 2015 by Tor Fantasy.

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4 stars (14 reviews)

5 editions

A personal story of a reluctant emperor

4 stars

Overall this was a good book. It was fairly straightforward in its plot and characters, which allowed it to have a more personal feel to the main character. The setting is hindered a little by aspects of the language which, while they add some depth, they also add a great amount of complexity. I can certainly see the similarities to The Hands of the Emperor, though I prefer that book for its broader story and the focus on the secretary rather than the emperor himself.

For a full review, check out my blog:

reviewed The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison (The Goblin Emperor, #1)

The Goblin Emperor

5 stars

Before reading Witness for the Dead, I took the excuse to reread Goblin Emperor for the nth time, and oh wow is it still such a comfort read for me.

I think it's really that Maia is an endearing (and easy to connect to for me) character. An anxious, apologetic, people-pleasing half-goblin forced into being an emperor that he doesn't know anything about. Wanting to be kind and make friends but struggling with being awkward and trying to do that through an extreme power dynamic differential.

It takes a little to get into the swing of the various courtiers and naming conventions, but it feels a little like a reflection how lost Maia is himself.

Overall, it's just a nice gentle character arc of growing into competency and friendship that always seems to be exactly what I need.

A gentle, low-stakes book about palace intrigue

3 stars

Content warning Vague spoilerish chat. No specific plot points discussed.

reviewed The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison (The Goblin Emperor, #1)

Review of 'The Goblin Emperor' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

Not what I expected, but definitely interesting. The 18 year old Maia, son of the elf emperor and his shunned goblin wife totally unexpectedly rises to ascend his father when an airship with the emperor and all his other sons crashes. Totally unprepared he has to learn all the ways of elven court and earn the respect of his people.

My biggest hurdle were all the names. The author uses a complex elven language that to the end of the book made me confused about characters. Nevertheless it was gripping reading, if a bit slow at times

reviewed The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison (The Goblin Emperor, #1)

Review of 'The Goblin Emperor' on 'Goodreads'

No rating


I am not a big fan of politics, I feel I am much more like the Goblin Emperor himself when he first joined his court, but I wanted to read this due to the Sword and Laser book club. I enjoyed this book, the story was interesting and entertaining, but managing the politics is not my style.