Weekend Reads #102: Goblin Emperor Readalong, Ch. 1-9

My plan was to use Weekend Reads for my bookshelf tour BUT I’m participating in the Wyrd & Wonder readalong for The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison and am enjoying the book too much to not answer the readalong questions for the chapters, so… Weekend Reads will be used for that instead. 😀

So far, The Goblin Emperor is a fantasy book that seems to be about a young man who suddenly, and unexpectedly, becomes emperor of his realm. I get the impression that the story will be only about political intrigues and that this world is filled with only goblins and elves since only those two types are mentioned in the first 9 chapters.

Well, then, now for Lisa’s questions — Lisa from Dear Geek Place is the moderator for the readalong on Goodreads and is a co-host of the Wyrd & Wonder fantasy celebration event.

These questions and answers will most likely contain SPOILERS so if you’re interested in what else I’m currently reading, skip to that section below.

Goblin Emperor Readalong Questions for Chapters 1-9:

The first thing that struck me about this book is the formality in the way the characters speak. What do you think of this style? Do you enjoy it?

I don’t like this style at all. It’s one of the things that annoyed me as soon as I started reading. It’s why I dislike reading some versions of the Bible and can’t bother with Shakespeare. All that thee and thou and hast and stuff drive me crazy, so I change it to you and your, etc., while reading.

The names of places and titles also throw me off because I can’t pronounce them. They make me look forward to listening to the audiobook. (Yep, I’m only 9 chapters in and am already planning to reread. Lol!) And there are SO many character names that I sometimes get confused. The glossary isn’t very helpful either because the names I look up aren’t there. I guess it’s because those characters appear/are mentioned often in the story, but right now the many characters and difficult names are hard to keep track of.

And speaking of language, I find it interesting that the pronoun for the royals is “we.” I wonder why that is. What does the royal “we” comprise?

The reader, much like Maia in his newfound role, is given very little time to get comfortable before being thrown in at the deep end. How do you feel about this approach to the story? Does it help you to empathise with the newly ascended Emperor?

I love it! I like it when the character starts out in a relative stage of innocence or lacks the knowledge they need. The learning/training stage in a story, frustrating as it is sometimes, is one of my favorite parts to read. I like seeing how a character reacts to certain knowledge/experiences gained at that stage and how that reaction affects their response later when they need to apply the particular knowledge/experience gained.

It does help me to empathize with the character more, especially if the character struggles a bit during this stage. With Maia, it seems that he quickly adapts to the role thrust upon him, so I was a little skeptical of him at first and even suspected him of the emperor’s death, lol.

Okay, yea, that suspicion is still at the back of my mind. (I mean, dude went from not knowing what to do and asking Setheris for advice to maneuvering people pretty damn quickly.) I even wonder if he’s an unreliable character hiding this bit of info from the reader. (It’s a very small part of me that thinks this. I like Maia. But I do wonder.)

Too many cooks spoil the political broth, or so it seems. Are there any characters in particular who stand out to you as being the most potentially troublesome? And on the other hand, who catches your attention as being unusually (potentially) helpful?

Yes!! That Setheris dude. I don’t trust him a bit. I think he’ll cause trouble for Maia later on. I don’t think he’ll be content with anything Maia gives him. I think he’ll assume/want Maia to give him a high governmental position, like chancellor or something. Also, he makes me think of Severus Snape.

Csevet is surprisingly helpful. Since he used to work with Chavar and it’s Chavar who assigned him to Maia, I don’t entirely trust him. I don’t entirely trust anyone. I suspect everyone in this book! Except Cala. I like Cala.

So the late emperor was killed deliberately and now Chavar effectively has control of the investigation. I have to know: Do you suspect him at all of being involved in the incident?

YES!! He’s so guilty! But I know I think that because I don’t like the character and because he’s the antagonist right now. I also suspect Maia (my reasons are under question 2 above) and the Barizhan emperor. I even wonder if the emperor faked his death (I have no reason to think this, but I do). I suspect everybody right now, lol!

What are your other thoughts/feelings/first impressions?

Umm… well I’m really enjoying the story and was surprised at how quickly I flew through these first chapters (despite the archaic language I hate).

Maia quickly appealed to me and I especially like how polite he is and how many rules he’s breaking by being considerate and kind. I wonder how these “blunders,” intentional or not, will later affect his reign and elves and goblins’ impression of him.

I do find it interesting that skin color is mentioned — the elves’ light skin and the goblins’ dark skin — so I wonder what role it will play in the story. From the observations made, mostly to point out the differences between elves and goblins and that goblins are seen as an inferior race, it seems to be a major factor.

Are humans in the story? Is this all about just goblins and elves? I keep wondering this as I read.

What I’m currently reading:

I’m currently reading many books, more than these 4, but I want to focus on these this weekend.

  • Of course, I want to continue with The Goblin Emperor to see what happens next.
  • I’m buddy-reading The Inheritance with Emily from Embuhleeliest to wrap up everything Hobb.
  • Brass Carriages and Glass Hearts is an ARC that I’m looking forward to.
  • And I REALLY want to make some progress in Dragon Reborn. I don’t know why the book has suddenly become difficult to read. Also, I keep making fun of Jordan’s overwriting and silly characters as I read, which is very distracting. I feel as if I complete a page every 2 hours.

What are you reading this weekend?


31 thoughts on “Weekend Reads #102: Goblin Emperor Readalong, Ch. 1-9

  1. So glad you’re enjoying this one! I know the language and names is the number one thing that throws people off this one, but I kind of love it. I think she does an interesting thing here with it to show the distance between characters (not physically of course) with the different levels of formality. The names do drive me a little bit crazy but I don’t even try to pronounce them or keep them straight in my head, I’ll admit LOL.


    1. Lol! I think there’s a lot of little details I’m missing because I didn’t even think of how she shows distance between characters. I’m so looking forward to the reread.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh goodness… Did Maia kill his father? Despite how much I love Maia, that is a great revenge story. That “we” thing threw me off at first too. I can’t tell if Maia is speaking formally or if he actually means “we”. Oh, well. I’m already planning my re-read also! Maybe the next time I’ll be able to keep track of all the characters.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That’s what I’m hoping for on my reread too.
      I suspect everyone at this moment, including Maia. It would be quite a twisty story if he’s the guilty one.


  3. I’m only laughing a little that you’re hating the way the book is written and already planning a reread 😉 But glad to hear you are enjoying it in spite of the intricate language and overwhelming number of syllables in the names (that gets me too, tbh).

    …it never occurred to me to suspect Maia himself. Huh.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Bingo – they typically wear many hats – the individual wearing the fancy hat (crown), the role of king, and the various other titles – duke of this, count of the other – so I think the ‘we’ represents all of them.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. I wondered if that was the reason. Well, I wondered if the “we” meant the emperor and the people or the emperor and other top rulers/decision makers in the country. Thanks for that clarification.


  4. Good Lord, it never even occurred to me to suspect Maia, and I am suspecting literally everyone else. My opinion seems to change on a 30 second rotation. The style of speaking doesn’t bother me too much, in fact I must be translating it automatically in my head in the way you mentioned. The ‘we’ ‘us’ way of speaking – I always assumed that was because Emperors and Kings, etc, were ordained by God so they refer to themselves as ‘Us’ (God and I), I just seem to recall historical novels in the past with Queen Elizabeth 1 always talking like that, something about their judgement being final and unquestionable – I’m probably misremembering though. 😀
    The elves and the goblins – yeah, the whole dark/light skin thing, it’s an interesting angle that throws prejudice firmly into the story.
    I do like Maia and sincerely hope he wasn’t involved – he seems so naive but then, like you said, he’s stepped up quite quickly so we’ll see.
    Lynn 😀

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Lol🤣 same here. My thoughts on who’s suspicious keeps changing that’s why I suspect everyone lol.
      Oh. Interesting idea there about why the emperors use “we”. I didn’t think of that at all. I wonder if that’s why it’s used in this book.
      Lol yup! Can’t wait to see what happens next.


  5. I agree with so much of what you’ve said! Particularly the suspecting everyone of the emperor’s death (except Maia, I hadn’t even thought that… but now … hmmm).
    I did the same with the glossary and eventually realized that characters are listed by surname/house name – most unhelpful glossary EVER! 😆
    Can’t wait to see what happens next. 😁

    Liked by 2 people

    1. 🤣🤣 sorry for increasing your suspicion lol
      I didn’t even realize that about the glossary!! Thanks for telling me. I won’t be using it much.
      Same!! I’m eager to continue with it too.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. I won’t be able to make it for the read-along, but I’m excited to read the Goblin Emperor! To answer your question, the ‘we’ is a Royal We. Actual monarchs used it instead of “I”.

    Is the Robin Hobb one part of a series or a stand-alone? I remember loving the Assassin series growing up.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh, thanks for telling me. I’ll look it up then. That royal “we” is very different for me.

      About three of the stories in the Inheritance are based in the same world as the Assassin Apprentice books.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. I meant that I don’t think I’ve ever encountered it before. I don’t recall reading or hearing about it being used by emperors or other royals, which is a little weird. But my memory brings up nothing when I think of it.


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