The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison : readalong, week 3 #wyrdandwonder, #TheGoblinEmperor


Today is the third week in the readalong for the Goblin Emperor and things are certainly hotting up.  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:

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 enjoyed the chapters where Maia seems to be gradually becoming more confident and in particular his discussions with Arbelan and Idra.  What really comes across with all the interactions is how stiffly everyone seems to be at first (or at least almost everyone).  Everyone has a court ‘face’ and I can’t help thinking I would be so miserable in such a place, never knowing what people are really thinking, all the scheming behind the scenes.  Well, we know it’s a lonely existence so frankly whenever Maia tries to hold out an olive branch, and it’s well received, it’s a good moment.  Plus these new ‘friends’ are helping him to learn so much and are showing him that not everyone favoured the last emperor.

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 like the bridge storyline to be honest, it’s interesting and helps to show the split in Maia’s court.  Lord Pashavar being a fine example.  Maia seems to like Pashavar or more to the point respect him maybe?  The dinner and discussion they shared was quite revealing.  Again, it drove home the fact that not every action of the previous Emperor was thought well of.  He was stubborn and his advisors didn’t necessarily always agree with him. It was really interesting to find out a little bit more about the history of the place and it was also a little revealing in terms of Pashavar – who I don’t dislike, but feel he’s maybe very set in his ways and not very receptive to change, although maybe he can be persuaded by reasonable arguments?  Time will tell – of course the part of my brain that screams ‘trust nobody’ can’t help reading dark thoughts into why Pashavar is so set against the bridge scheme.

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)?

This bit actually really surprised me tbh.  I guess it shouldn’t have, it was obvious that things were building up and would eventually just pop from the tension but I have to say I was really shocked at how quickly things happened and how quickly they were resolved.  I thought Chavar would have been a bit more cunning or thorough with his plotting.  I’m relieved he and Shevean have eventually shown their true colours although I can’t help thinking that this can’t be the end of the threat to Maia. It simply doesn’t feel ‘cunning’ enough.

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?

I liked that she showed a little more of her own personality, I think I could like her very much.  Yes, this is an arranged marriage and she is carrying out her duty but I have hope for her and Maia.

The story, and perhaps the danger, is not quite over yet … any thoughts on what might be in store in the final chapters?

Well, there still feels to be quite a lot hanging in the balance.  Things are moving forward but there is a definite feeling of danger lurking.  One thing that struck me was Mer Celhar’s sudden disappearance.  He could have made an interesting discovery in his investigations or he could have been taken out of the picture because he’s getting too close to the truth?  I’m inclined to think the first explanation is the more likely and he’s rushed off to find something out or uncover some truths.  This also leads me to wondering who could have been involved in the explosion.  Is Chavar now out of that scenario or was this scheme just another part of the plan (a plan B) to put in place a young emperor who could be managed easily?  And there has been, suspiciously, no mention of Chavar’s son since the abdication attempt.  It concerns me.