Hitting week 3 already with this readalong and now 75% into the book. Here we go again.
The readalong is currently being hosted by Lisa from Dear Geek Place during Wyrd and Wonder. She is asking the questions each week in this goodreads group.
Obviously there will be spoilers in here.
Title: The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison
Release Date: April 1st 2014
Tags: Fantasy | High Fantasy | Adult Fantasy | Goblings | Elves | Court Politics
CW/TW: Mentions of Physical Abuse
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 naïve 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.
Chapter 18 to 26
These chapters open with a very candid, yet significantly warmer than most, conversation between Maia and Arbelan, and from there things begin to change as Maia learns to act with more confidence. Do you think Arbelan’s kinder treatment of him is what sparks this, and if so, how much of an impact do you think it had?
I think it is a combination of everything that is going on. Maia is fed up with getting treated like an idiot who doesn’t know anything, and he is the emperor so he feels he needs to take charge. The conversation with Arbelan showed him more politics in families, and I think he realized he could help those out that would otherwise be shoved under. His politics could ripple further. He wants to be the right example somewhere I believe.
The river bridge scheme proves to be a delightful plot point to push a lot of character interaction forward, as well as opening up the scope of this world. Were you surprised by the developments involving Lord Pashavar?
I thought it was really interesting how the debate about the bridge went. What people saw on each side. How Maia debated. The dinner party was the most interesting about this because it showed multiple sides to Pashavar which I think was important for Maia to see as well. Pashavar is set in his ways but he is not an unkind man. And maybe with the right approach he could get somewhere. I think Pashavar seeing Maia debate and getting others to laugh also showed Pashavar more of who Maia is.
And I loved seeing Maia marvel at the little bridge haha.
Like a train gathering steam, a great deal of plot drama happens here. Let’s talk about Shevean and Chavar. Were you surprised by their gambit? And how do you feel about the way it all played out (ie. Idra’s decision to put his foot down)?
I thought it was quite bold the way they went about it. There was no hiding away after that and they seemed to think they could bully Maia into it. It was clear though that they had not been near Maia much in recent weeks and that they had not seen how he had become to grow in his role as emperor. Otherwise they might not have taken the gamble to go about it this way.
I think it was wise of Maia to talk to Idra before this all happened because that way Idra knew who Maia was as a person. I do think that helped him in this situation. Idra was appalled at what was being done to one of his family because I do feel that is how he saw Maia. For 14 years old Idra is also smart and didn’t fall into any mind trappings of his mother. Which I think might come a lot from his tutor (and perhaps his father).
I hope very much so that Maia will continue relations with Idra and his siblings. While taking them under his wing might be a bit too much for Maia to handle right now I don’t think it would be wise to let others influence them too much. I also think it would just be good for both Maia and Idra to gain more family feelings.
We get another surprising turnaround from Ceredin, Maia’s intended empress-to-be, as well. What are your thoughts on her by the end of these chapters, compared to her initial impression?
Aah Ceredin. I think she’ll be a good fit for Maia. She had certain assumptions about him I think from the start and showing her feelings and hand beforehand would put her in a vulnerable position. But his reply to her at the party surprised her in a good way I think. And I think her letter clearly shows she is more willing to open up to him when everything gets going. Or I hope so. I really hope that they will be able to find each other in the remaining 25%.
The story, and perhaps the danger, is not quite over yet … any thoughts on what might be in store in the final chapters?
We are getting the solstice still of course and his grandfathers visit. I expect something there to happen. And of course who killed his father and siblings. I feel like there is still a betrayal to be incoming somewhere. One that will hit him so much harder. I mean I hope not but it does seem likely. ;_;
7 thoughts on “The Goblin Emperor Readalong | Chapters 18 to 26 | #WyrdandWonder”
I thought it was a huge gamble for him to ask for Idra. I was like, dude, suppose he’s in on it. But I think it’s a sign that Maia takes being emperor seriously because he wants to face/talk to the dude who will take the crown from him I guess to make sure it’s worth it (I dunno) instead of just handing it over.
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For what was a pretty blunt plot, they so very nearly succeeded. Maia was so vulnerable in terms of his fragile confidence in himself and in the support of others – if he hadn’t been so aware of what regencies tend to mean for the young emperor and the empire, he might not have resisted. As it was, asking for Idra was a bold, brilliant move (although I don’t think he meant it that way – I think he was reassuring himself about what seemed inevitable) and Idra is a bit of a gem. I love your thoughts on who has influenced Idra, because you’re right – clearly he doesn’t take after his mum 😉
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