Thursday, April 30, 2015

31. The Goblin Emperor - Katherine Addison

read on my iPhone
2014 Tor Books
446 pgs.
Genre/Audience: I've been calling it YA, but it actually may be considered ADULT Fantasy
Finished 4/29/2015
Goodreads rating: 4.10
My rating:    3/Liked it some of the time (see notes below)
Setting;  A fantasy goblin world

1st sentence/s:  "Maia woke with his cousin's cold fingers digging into his shoulder."

My comments:       I SO don't know how to rate this book.  I was reading it for my Young Adult book group, although even though it isn't, apparently, a YA, this was the chosen title.  I read it on my phone and got completely flummoxed after a very short time because the names of people and places are extremely difficult, long, and too similar to each other.  I went crazy!  So much of it wasn't making sense because I wasn't sure who the people were.  So at pg. 178 I started over and started taking short notes to remind who was who and what was what.  That really helped!
     I was happy to discover when my book group met, that I wasn't the only person who had difficulty with all the names.  And, I discovered that there is a sort-of-glossary at the back of the book to help with this.  Since I was reading this on my phone I hadn't a clue.  So when I checked it out, I discovered that my notes were WAY more helpful than the glossary, which doesn't clarify and differentiate enough between the characters to be anything more than superficially helpful.
     There are a zillion characters. The plot got more and more interesting. I ended up really, really liking Maia, the protagonist - what a sweet young man.  But I still don't know how to rate it, for I had too many ups and downs can't totally recommend it.  I can only partially picture this world.  Perhaps because this is only my first foray into this sort of fantasy? 3 means "liked it."  I guess, all in all, that's what I'm going to have to say about it.

Goodreads book summary:  A vividly imagined fantasy of court intrigue and dark magics in a steampunk-inflected world, by a brilliant young talent.
          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 na├»ve 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

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