Review and synopsis of The Goblin Emperor by Martin Wisse.
I liked this, but not as much as Martin did. For me, something was missing. I found the relentless focus on the protagonist, for a novel written in the third person featuring court intrigue, did not work for me. Because I also had a hard time remembering the names of characters and places*), I did not get a sense of conspiracies developing and the two that feature prominently in the story rather erupted out of nowhere for me. As they must have if I had been in the protagonist’s place.
That’s not a fault of the book. It’s the result of perfectly good artistic decisions by the writer. But I prefer a more caleidoscopic approach most of the time, and I found The Goblin Emperor a perfectly enjoyable, well-written, well-structured novel that simply isn’t the thing I go for. That happens, but it does mean it’s not going to be my # 1 choice for the Hugos.
*)There is an appendix that would have helped if it had been easier and less disruptive to flick back and forth in the eBook within iBooks. This is one area where paper books still have a strong advantage, although solutions do exist.