Goblin Quest is a book I've wanted for a while, as I read an excerpt some time ago, and found it quite funny. If you remember one of the things I said about A Secret Atlas was that it didn't have enough humor, this has an abundance of humor, action, and pacing.
As Goblin Quest Starts Out...
We're in the viewpoint of Jig, a goblin, an ugly, blue creature with two fangs. He's cleaning out the muck pots (eeeuw), is laughed at by most of the other goblins because he's small and scrawny, and he's an older goblin (as far as goblins go) - and he's still cleaning out the muck at his age.
Fantasy has its own tropes, as does every other genre out there, and Goblin Quest is no exception. We're on a quest (duh), although Jig tries to avoid it as much as possible. See, he's taken prisoner by a bunch of adventurers who are after the Rod of Creation. ::smirk::
Barius is the eighth or so of the princes of his father's kingdom, and he has a slim-to-none chance of becoming king. Rather than wait around, he goes on an adventure to find this, um, Rod, bringing along with him his younger brother, Ryslind, who's a wizard, Darnak, a dwarf, and Riana, an elven thief who was induced by Barius (or, more likely, Ryslind) to come along and pick locks, if the need arose.
Which, it does.
Barius is the ultimate arrogant bastard royal type, tying up Jig to within an inch of Jig's life, even though Barius could easily take his sword and chop up Jig.
Jig is taken along for the ride, a ride he's not interested in (as he tells us in his own humorous way). But he ends up saving the lives of the others with the help of a certain god, a forgotten god...
Did I Like Goblin Quest?
Jim Hines has turned the quest trope sideways, by giving us the point of view of how a goblin might react to certain things. And also by providing a lot of humor; not all of it is laugh-until-your-sides-hurt humor, but there are the sly remarks and the wink-wink-nudge-nudge moments.
One of the wink-wink-nudge-nudge moments comes on page 115 (of the paperback), which should be a real treat for Lord of the Rings fans: **spoiler alert, in case you don't want to read this**
Darnak, the dwarf (yes, he has an axe and a skin filled with beer, natch) is trying to console Riana, who has lost a finger, and I quote:
"Don't worry about a lost finger," Darnak said gently. "Many an adventurer has lost a finger, or worse, and still gone on to accomplish great things. Have you heard the song of...I forget his name. The little guy with nine fingers, from the middle continent. The one involved with that ring business a while back."
All right - it's probably a bit corny - but I laughed out loud; fortunately for me, I wasn't at work (not that I would care at this point in my life).
Do they eventually find the Rod of Creation? You'll have to read to find out.
This was one of the most fun reads I've had in a long time - and a pretty clean one, to boot (especially as far as curse words go - not that I have a problem with that ;-)). You'll be rooting for Jig the entire time, as they encounter the deadly lizard fish, the weird bat-type things, and a dragon called Straum (yeah, I know; sounds close to Smaug, but I didn't care; it fits).
There was actually a part near the end of the story where I cried, something to do with Jig's pet fire-spider, Smudge, but I'm not going to give that away. Suffice to say that everything in this story - and I mean everything - is not as it seems.
For pure enjoyment and fun, with some good action and pacing thrown in, this is a wonderful book to pick up. In fact, I wanted to read the rest of the trilogy, so I've already picked up the other two books.
I can't wait - and neither should you! :-)
Love and kisses,