The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison : readalong, week 2 #wyrdandwonder, #TheGoblinEmperor

ReadalongGE

Today is the second week in the readalong for the Goblin Emperor.  This is part of the Wyrd and Wonder event taking place during the month of May.  The details of Wyrd and Wonder are here and the readalong details are here.  As always, beware of spoilers which will be lurking and I hope you’ll join in with the discussion if this is a book you’ve already read.

Here’s the reading schedule at a glance:

  • Week 1: Wednesday 6th May, Chapters 1 through 9
  • Week 2: Wednesday 13th May, Chapters 10 through 17 (end of part 2)
  • Week 3: Wednesday 20th May, Chapters 18 through 26 (part 3)
  • Week 4: Wednesday 27th May, Chapters 27 to End (part 4 & 5)

Lisa at DeerGeekPlace is hosting the readalong .  The questions will be posted weekly in  a Goodreads group page, and will also be tweeted out weekly from the @wyrdandwonder account using the hashtag #TheGoblinEmperor, as well as the standard #wyrdandwonder tag.  so without further ado – to the q&a and don’t spare the horses:

So many verbal encounters. So much political muck! Let’s start with Princess Sheveän, who seemed so very outraged at the idea of the late emperor’s body being ‘desecrated’. Do you buy that as her reasoning? Or do you think she was making a scene for another reason?

I don’t really understand what that was all about tbh. I mean she seemed absolutely furious didn’t she?  Perhaps she’s hiding something or maybe she just really doesn’t like Maia and is all too eager to pounce on anything he does and find fault with it. At this point – I suspect everyone (almost).

Cala and Vedero both have some hard but pragmatic advice for Maia here: Cala’s concern is for the emperor being seen to be weak for treating his nohecharei as equals when their job is to protect him; and Vedero’s situation is different but her concern is basically the same as Cala’s. She seems alarmed at the idea that Maia might go against society and tradition by refusing to bargain for a marriage for her. How do you feel about these scenes, and the conversations between them? Are they being too harsh and/or cynical, or is Maia simply being too naive?

I think that the scene with Cala giving Maia advice was very touching.  I felt so sorry for Maia because he does seem to have latched onto the two as friends and so with that in mind I think the advice was good – particularly if he wants to keep the two of them close.  I think if he makes his feelings towards them too obvious in public then somebody will find a way of replacing them by saying they’re not doing their job properly.  And then he could be left with two people with a very different agenda. The same with Vedero – I think she was genuinely trying to give good advice to Maia, even if it isn’t advice that she likes herself.  Maia is being naive but that’s understandable given he hasn’t been brought up in court or with expectations of ever being there and so it’s good that he has some people around him to give advice.  But, I like that he still makes his own decisions, the case with Vedero being a perfect example.

Setheris attempts to come at Maia from his more abusive position, clearly intending to railroad his cousin into giving him a position at court he feels is worthy of him. Yet Maia sticks to his intention of sending Setheris somewhere he will not have so much easy access to the new emperor. Do you think, with that, that Setheris’s days of troubling Maia are over?

It’s interesting because Setheris has tried his bullying tactics now and they haven’t worked, so he’s seeing that Maia can and will stand up to him.  I don’t think he will be happy though and I definitely don’t think that’s going to be the last we hear from him.  Perhaps he will try something more subtle.  Maybe he’ll pull Hesero out of his bag of tricks and see if she can work her magic on Maia.

A discovery is made that the sabotage of the Wisdom of Choharo may have been caused by the Cetho Workers League – a “dissident group”. Do you think this will lead to a resolution of the investigation, or did the plot just thicken?

I think the plot did just thicken.  Clearly there are unhappy people in the empire and I’m sure that’s going to be due to a catalogue of unfair treatment from the previous Emperor.  I don’t think the Workers League will be responsible for the crash but I do think that someone will try to use them as a very convenient scapegoat.  It’s just too easy to pin this on a bunch of unhappy people and point the finger, plus it skirts round the issue of what they’re unhappy with and removes them from the picture.  Maia will probably be interested in hearing what others have to say and making change for the better so if the crash can be pinned on them it removes any justified complaints they might have.

Maia’s grandfather is coming to court for Winternight, though this seems to please Maia far more than it pleases Chavar … What do you make of Chavar’s open disagreeableness during the dinner at the ambassador’s home? Is it plain arrogance (albeit the racist kind), or do you think his disapproval of goblin folk runs deeper than that?

Well, I think there is a lot of racism at this court – and it’s not particularly well hidden, but with a new Emperor, and one that is half Goblin, people will have to be more careful.  Hopefully, Maia’s kindness will help people to see things in a new light – but such changes don’t usually happen overnight.  I imagine that Chavar’s open opposition to all of this runs slightly deeper.  He’s probably worried that the goblins will now use the opportunity of Maia being Emperor to their own benefit.  Or perhaps he’s worried that Maia will have more of an ear to what the goblins have to say?  It’s also another potential ally for Maia.  I’m really looking forward to the visit though, for Maia’s sake and also to learn more about his family.

 

22 Responses to “The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison : readalong, week 2 #wyrdandwonder, #TheGoblinEmperor”

  1. Tammy

    Sounds like it’s getting really good😁

    • @lynnsbooks

      It’s an intriguing book really – more about people and politics than outright action but it really does pull you in and Maia is a lovely character.
      Lynn 😀

  2. bkfrgr

    You’re reading this with so much more intelligence than I’m managing! I’m feeling a bit ashamed of myself now … all I do when I’m reading is boo and hiss at the characters that are mean to Maia and cheer when I think people have been nice (then worry that they’re not really being nice). I’m a big bag of emotions and that’s all! But everything you’ve said makes so much sense – what Chavar must be thinking, why Cala warned Maia the way he did … etc. 🙂

    • @lynnsbooks

      Haha – I’m really just winging it to be honest and hoping that something will stick or make sense. Reading with loads of emotion is definitely the best way to read and I can’t blame you at all. I really feel for Maia but he’s making some strong decisions already and I’m impressed with the way he’s standing up for himself.
      Lynn 😀

      • bkfrgr

        Absolutely. I love that he has his own strong sense of what’s right and such kindness. I don’t think he’s as delicate as the Court is assuming he is. *crosses fingers, throws salt over shoulder, avoids black cats* 😁

  3. sjhigbee

    This one sounds like great fun:)). I wish I had jumped aboard, but right now I’m absolutely slammed – I got a bit carried away with Netgalley… again! *sigh*

    • @lynnsbooks

      I know – NG is such a little tempter at the moment!
      Lynn 😀

  4. Annemieke

    Setheris is an abuser and they don’t give up so easily. This will just have upset him more I’m afraid for Maia.

    • @lynnsbooks

      Eek, now I’m more afraid for Maia – particularly as Setheris is now working with Chavar!
      Lynn 😀

  5. Zezee

    I think the same as you on just about all this. My worry for Maia is that there’s no one he can really trust and call a friend. Maybe that’s the situation for all rulers, I don’t know. But I hope he’ll be able to work around that and be friends with his nohecharei.

    • @lynnsbooks

      I hope so too – after all the rest of the court wouldn’t know if they are friends behind the scenes – although perhaps Cala is worried that Maia is too young to keep up the pretense when he’s at court?? I do hope they can work it out though.
      Lynn 😀

  6. Lisa (@deargeekplace)

    Re: Setheris – oh man, I hadn’t considered that he might try using Hesero against Maia! Now I’m scared for him. DO NOT FALL FOR IT MAIA.

    • @lynnsbooks

      Well, I don’t really know too much about Hesero yet or how to feel about her but Maia does seem to be in awe of her so Setheris might use her in tht respect.
      Lynn 😀

  7. imyril

    Ooooh using Hesero as a sekrit weapon is a good idea. She did have an air of femme fatale…

    • @lynnsbooks

      Haha – yeah, I’m not sure yet how to feel about her. She’s very cool and collected and she definitely had an impact on Maia so I do wonder whether Chavar might think of involving her – although, having said that she comes across more as the brains to his brawn so the idea of him involving her doesn’t truly fit.
      Lynn 😀

      • imyril

        And Chavar is surely as sexist as he is racist, so would it even occur to him to him that a lady elf might be useful?

  8. Greg

    Interesting to see your thoughts on this as you guys roll through it. Sounds like a good one!

    • @lynnsbooks

      It’s a very easy read and with intrigue and characters aplenty. I’m loving it so far although I always think that readalongs help to pull out so many subtle nuances that reading at full tilt often misses.
      Lynn 😀

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  10. waytoofantasy

    I love seeing your thoughts on this so far. I also felt sorry for Maia in that scene where they have to say ‘they’re not your friends’ because he’s been so alone his whole entire life and all he wants are friends–my heart aches for him so much. Part of me wishes maybe he didn’t have to be emperor so he could make friends better, but I think he’ll make a great leader and help bring about changes for the better.

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