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The Goblin Emperor (The Chronicles of Osreth) (Mass Market)

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The Goblin Emperor (The Chronicles of Osreth) By Katherine Addison Cover Image
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(SciFi & Fantasy)

Staff Reviews

This is one of those books I couldn’t help but read constantly—whlie eating breakfast, before bed, any spot of free time I could find—but I didn't want the story to end. This combination always adds up to A Very Good Book, and The Goblin Emperor is precisely that. Addison's world-building is mind-blowingly intricate and epic, but even more impressive (and beloved by me) is the interior world she has constructed for Maia, the half-elf, half-goblin son of a murdered emperor of Ethuveraz, the Elflands. Though rife with political intrigue, I love that Addison hones the story on the thoughts and feelings of Maia, a kid thrown into power who leads with a compassionate heart. He is a reluctant leader (and one who faces dangerous opposition), but one that deeply cares about those he leads. In short, this books is immersive and refreshingly good-hearted—I recommend it for readers who enjoy fantasy novels in the vein of Sofia Samatar's Stranger in Olondria and Christelle Dabos's Mirror Visitor Quartet.

— Hannah DeCamp


A lush tale of deadly court intrigue and a modern classic of fantasy by Locus award winner and Hugo, Nebula, and World Fantasy Award finalist Katherine Addison

Unbound Worlds 100 Best Fantasy Novels of All Time

A Best Fantasy Novel of the Decade Pick for BookRiot

"Striking."—The New York Times

The youngest, half-goblin son of the Emperor has lived his entire life in exile, distant from the Imperial Court and the deadly intrigue that suffuses it. But when his father and three half brothers in line for the throne are killed in an "accident," he has no choice but to take his place as the only surviving rightful heir.

Entirely unschooled in the art of court politics, he has no friends, no advisors, and the sure knowledge that whoever assassinated his father and brothers could make an attempt on his life at any moment.

Surrounded by sycophants eager to curry favor with the naïve new emperor, and overwhelmed by the burdens of his new life, he can trust nobody. Amid the swirl of plots to depose him, offers of arranged marriages, and the specter of the unknown conspirators who lurk in the shadows, he must quickly adjust to life as the Goblin Emperor. All the while, he is alone, and trying to find even a single friend . . . and hoping for the possibility of romance, yet also vigilant against the unseen enemies that threaten him, lest he lose his throne–or his life.


The Goblin Emperor

The Cemeteries of Amalo trilogy
The Witness for the Dead
The Grief of Stones
The Tomb of Dragons

About the Author

KATHERINE ADDISON’s short fiction has been selected by The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror and The Year’s Best Science Fiction. The Goblin Emperor won the 2015 Locus Award for Best Fantasy Novel and was a finalist for the Hugo, the Nebula, and the World Fantasy Award. The Angel of the Crows was nominated for the 2021 Locus Award. As Sarah Monette, she is the author of the Doctrine of Labyrinths series and co-author, with Elizabeth Bear, of the Iskryne series. She lives near Madison, Wisconsin.

Praise For…

"Striking."—The New York Times

“Challenging, invigorating, and unique. If courtly intrigue is your wine of choice, The Goblin Emperor is the headiest vintage I've come across in years.” —Scott Lynch, bestselling author of The Lies of Locke Lamora

“I liked it. It's a fantasy, a novel of court intrigue. Those of you who like that aspect of my own work will probably like The Goblin Emperor as well.”—George R. R. Martin

“Spellbinding. . . . Unreservedly recommended.”—Kirkus, starred review

"Fantastic." —Library Journal, starred review

“Subtle, intricate, fascinating worldbuilding.”—Katherine Arden, author of The Bear and the Nightingale

“I enjoyed The Goblin Emperor a great deal. I was sucked right into her world of goblins, elves, and airships, and was anxious to the very end to find out how Maia, the unwanted halfblood son of the Emperor, who finds himself unexpectedly on the throne, learns to navigate the intrigues and danger of the imperial court. An engrossing read!” —Kristen Britain, New York Times bestselling author of Blackveil

"Impressively elaborate worldbuilding underpins this lovely fantasy novel, but I couldn't put it down because of the heart-grippingly sympathetic main character."—Kate Elliott, bestselling author of Unconquerable Sun

The Goblin Emperor has one of the most lovable characters we’ve met in ages. . . . Remarkably compelling and fascinating.”—iO9

"Ambitious and meticulously executed."—Publishers Weekly

"Addison has built a completely believable world, complete with its own language, customs, and history, but there are tantalizingly familiar elements (such as newspapers and pocket watches) that make us wonder from whence this world came and whether it might have sprung from our own, in a distant future." —Booklist

The Goblin Emperor made me remember why I fell in love with the fantasy genre.”—Jim C. Hines, bestselling author of Goblin Quest

"Katherine Addison has written a nuanced and compelling story. Her world is unusual and vivid, her characters affecting, and her storytelling subtle and deft. This is a book I will be thinking about for a long time. Highly recommended!" —D. B. Jackson, author of Thieftaker

The Goblin Emperor is a delicious tangle of court intrigue, murder, and an abused boy's coming of age.”—Pharaoh Francis, bestselling author of the Horngate Witches series

Product Details
ISBN: 9780765365682
ISBN-10: 0765365685
Publisher: Tor Fantasy
Publication Date: March 3rd, 2015
Pages: 512
Language: English
Series: The Chronicles of Osreth