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|Print List Price:||£6.99|
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The Goblin Emperor Kindle Edition
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The only reason I don't give this 5 stars is because the appendix explaining honorifics, pronunciations, etc. was at the BACK of the book- it would have been so much better to have it at the front before starting the story proper. As it was, I did find myself distracted at times from the tale trying to work this out. A minor gripe, though - I would still recommend this as an excellent read.
The style is eminently readable (other than those darn character names - I wish I'd realised earlier that there's a dramatis personae for reference purposes at the end - and the interplay of characters and politics interesting enough to keep me reading quite some time after I'd intended to go to bed. The world-building is elegant and thorough, with enough breathing room to cover the odd point that doesn't really directly to the main plot.
Then there's a certain conversation towards the end with a third prisoner - apologies for the circumlocution but I'm trying to avoid spoilers - which strikes a very neat note of "Hmm, yes, that's both fair and clever."
I also found its fascination with linguistic considerations and occasional reminders to the reader that the characters aren't speaking English both entertaining and endearing. All in all, a quietly but thoroughly enjoyable book.
I really liked the ending and the main characters thoughts all the way through the book were interesting. The culture was different enough and reminded me of N.K.Jemison's Dreamblood writing. The court felt quite Eqyptian in origin.
There were also some interesting allusions to being of two different races and the racism/bigotry that comes with that.
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