Title: The Goblin Emperor
Author: Katherine Addison
Series: The Goblin Emperor #1
E.S.C.A.P.E Score: 44
(see below for breakdown)
From Goodreads: Katherine Addison returns at last to the world of The Goblin Emperor with this stand-alone sequel.
When the young half-goblin emperor Maia sought to learn who had killed his father and half-brothers, he turned to an obscure resident of his Court, a Prelate of Ulis and a Witness for the Dead. Thara Celehar found the truth, though it did him no good to discover it.
Now Celehar lives in the city of Amalo, far from the Court though not exactly in exile. He has not escaped from politics, but his position gives him the ability to serve the common people of the city, which is his preference. He lives modestly, but his decency and fundamental honesty will not permit him to live quietly.
This book is a worldbuilders dream. If you adore detailed world building this is a book for you. It is incredibly detailed in n all the political machinations of court life, to the point where you almost forget there is a plot and just get lots in learning all the ways of this empire. I adored all the details. I found the descriptions of court life captivating. The religious and social practices were so unique and interesting. I loved how much each of these elements played into the emotional wellbeing of the characters and how evident that was on the page.
I genuinely liked Maia, I loved how slowly we moved through the plot, really delving into how he learns to be emperor, seeing him grow into the role and how he adapts the role to fit into his own personal beliefs of what an emperor could be. I loved the way that it dealt with Maia’s childhood abuse, how he coped with it, how he recognised the behaviour in himself and others and adapted to remove it. The writing takes such a delicate and precise approach that it is just beautiful and emotional. From gorgeous descriptions of clothing and food, to the immersive descriptions of grief, the confusion and overwhelming nature of being thrust into power. We really get a deep insight into what is going through Maia’s mind and that really drove the book for me. The descriptions of emotions in this book were powerful. You could real feel them oozing from the page and it really made me feel for Maia so much more.
The mystery plot comes second to this learning the way of court life and I cam completely fine with that. It is interesting in its own but is oust shined by Maia’s arc and the weaving and dodging political machinations. Its just a slow paced, beautiful coming of age story, in a world that is so easy to get immersed in and I really enjoyed it. I highly recommend this if you loved character driven works, but also if you love to be pulled into a new world.