The Goblin Emperor is like nothing I have read before. At its core, it is a story of palace intrigue and political moves, which has been done many times. But it’s the dedication to the minutia of Maia’s day to day tasks as Emperor, the careful thought into every single detail, that define this novel. As someone who often hates when books get bogged down in descriptive details, I have to admit I scanned through some of the denser descriptive passages, but it’s a credit how well it’s done and how central it is to the story Addison is telling that I ultimately enjoyed the book and was thrilled I read it.
The other great part about this novel is that Maia is fundamentally good. There are other good characters, just as there are flawed characters seeking their own interest, but Maia is the definition of a ruler you can cheer for. And he is a reformer at heart. By the end of the novel how he treats his staff, those around him and those ostensibly viewed as less by society, has clearly made an impact on many. There is an incredibly touching seen at the end that brought some tears to my eyes. The scene is neither cheap, nor manipulative…it is fully earned by all the thought and care Addison put into Maia and the world around him.
Cheers to this one, which is unique in so many ways.