- Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
- Publisher: DAW; Reprint edition (Nov. 7 2006)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9780756404000
- ISBN-13: 978-0756404000
- ASIN: 0756404002
- Product Dimensions: 10.7 x 2.2 x 17.1 cm
- Shipping Weight: 136 g
- Average Customer Review: 3 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #69,746 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Goblin Quest Mass Market Paperback – Nov 7 2006
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"If you've always kinda rooted for the little guy, even maybe had a bit of a place in your heart for the likes of Gollum, rather than the Boromirs and Gandalfs of the world, pick up Goblin Quest - just make sure you keep well away from Golaka's stewpot." - The SF Site
About the Author
Jim C. Hines has been a paid juggler, earned a black belt in two different martial arts, performed yo-yo tricks at the top of the Eiffel Tower, and lived with a brain-damaged squirrel. (Only three of those are true.) One of his earliest stories earned first place in the Writers of the Future contest. He’s published more than forty short stories as well as numerous fantasy novels, including the humorous Jig the Dragonslayer trilogy, the Princess series, which re-imagines traditional fairy-tale princesses as butt-kicking action heroines, and the Magic Ex Libris series, about a centuries-old secret society dedicated to the use and control of book magic. In 2012, he won the Hugo for Best Fan Writer. Jim lives in Michigan with his wife, two children, and an unstable number of pets. He can be found online at www.jimchines.com.
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Jig also learns about many gods from the dwarf, Darnak. Darnak's god is too busy to give the dwarf much help, but after witnessing Darnak heal the wounds of his team, Jig decides that a god would be handy to have around. But Jig needs a god with few worshippers, who would not be busy answering other prayers. One who could devote his full attention to people like Jig. One who might be grateful even for a goblin follower. Jig chooses to become a follower of a god who has been all but forgotten, Tymalous Shadowstar, God of the Autumn Star. And surprisingly, Tymalous agrees.
***** FIVE STARS! This author has a winner on his hands. Because Jig is the runtiest goblin, he has to use his brain in order to simply survive. I guess the motto of this story could be "brains over brawn...or magic". When Jig is given a choice on any situation, none of the choices are good. But Jig is used to choosing the lesser of the evils. The goblin seems to always end up between a rock and a hard place. (Hmm, should he try to battle the undead warrior or jump into the lake where fish are waiting to eat him?)
Jim C. Hines has created a hard-core fantasy world with lots of dangers, traps, and creatures and then turned everything topsy-turvy by making the hero a tiny, fragile, and cowardly goblin. The results are beyond outstanding. Un-freaking-believable! In fact, I cannot recommend this story highly enough. *****
Favorite Quote: I guess there's a bright side to every flaming corpse.
Reviewed by Detra Fitch of Huntress Reviews.
Review of Goblin Quest by Jim C. Hines
Jig the goblin and his pet fire-spider Smudge are centre stage in this D&D parody. He's on the bottom rung of the goblin pecking order, so when a group of adventurers (complete with a warrior, a wizard, a thief, and a prince who's got something to prove) kidnap him he thinks that things can't get much worse. They do. Jig is clumsy, has confidence issues, is near-sighted, and his best companion is a spider that occasionally lights his hair on fire. I like that Jig continuously tries to roll with the punches and keep on truckin'. He definitely has a survival instinct, and many of his comments about human hierarchy and their ways of life are laugh out loud funny. Jig's creativity in the face of certain death is admirable. The adventurers themselves consist of the most stereotypical group imaginable, but this is done purposefully and is used to good effect.
Plotting and Pacing: 7/10
Jig is a perfect protagonist for this story, and as the ultimate underdog the reader can't help but root for him. Wanting to know how he's going to get out of each mess makes you want to keep reading, so I've got to say that the plotting is well done. Goblin Quest IS a shorter book than the usual epic fantasy fare out there, but Hines finds a good pace and still manages to pack the plot with all sorts of creative obstacles for Jig and his 'friends' to overcome. Pacing isn't too fast, but it isn't too slow either. Good inciting incident, a nice long series of conflicts, and then a satisfying climax and conclusion.
Pretty conventional setting to anyone who has ever played dungeons and dragons. Or anyone who has read much of anything in the way of fantasy. You've got your elves, dwarves, goblins, orcs, dragons, necromancers, enchanted items, fire-spiders, the whole deal. Hines establishes a hierarchy amongst the goblins and a society that is often humorous. Nothing new or wildly interesting, but the setting serves the needs of the story well and that's about all I can say.
Style and Themes: 4/5 and 3/5
Style is clear, straightforward, and eminently readable. Hines wastes few words in his narrative and this helps keep the plot moving along at a brisk pace. No complaints here. Why did I give him a mark of 3/5 with regards to themes? You just can't help but root for an underdog. A nearsighted, clumsy goblin would seem to have little chance of surviving an encounter with both a necromancer and a dragon, but Jig somehow pulls through. The book uses comedy to good effect in its examination of human motivations and values, which is more than I expected. It's no Windup Girl or Little Brother with regards to the exploration of themes, but it isn't mean to be.
Goblin Quest is a laugh-filled romp through a familiar setting from a very non-conventional point of view. I think that the more fantasy you've read, the more board games you've played, and the more d&d adventures you've taken part in, the better you'll like this novel. It isn't exactly long, so if you're looking for a good page-to-dollar ratio you won't find it here. I laughed out loud numerous times reading this book, and expect that many others will do the same. A BIG step away from the books I usually read, but a fun adventure nonetheless. Instead of becoming long-winded, I'll just simply say that the book was a lot of fun.
01-09: Nigh unreadable
10-19: Get it from the library
20-24: A modest endorsement
25-29: Well-rounded and enjoyable
30-34: Highly recommended
35-40: A must-read!
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
I absolutely love Jig as a character. He’s observant and shrewd in his own way, and spending time with the adventurers changes him. He starts to realize more fully both the failings and, occasionally, the unique strengths, of the goblins. It’s a fantastic gradual transformation. The lampooning of stereotyped fantasy settings is just so much fun:
Adventurers were like fleas. If you didn’t kill them right away, soon the blasted things were leaping into everything.
There are some fantastic bits of fantasy religion worldbuilding. I love the notion that a god who has more worshipers might be more powerful, but he also has to split his attention between so many people that a worshiper has trouble getting noticed. Whereas a less-popular god has more attention to give to individual followers.
I enjoyed Goblin Quest enough that I stayed up late to read it. The quality of the writing ramped up very nicely, and I loved the humor of it. I immediately moved on to the next book in the series.
Jig was a wonderful character, who, despite his self-deprecating view of himself and all goblins in general, turned out to be very brave, caring and smart. Without him along on their adventure, the others would not have survived for as long as they did, even though none of them really appreciated or thanked him for his help. I loved his amusing descriptions of goblin life and especially their culinary tastes...although, I must say, I'm glad I'm not a goblin!
Barius, the human prince, was a total doofus and idiot and fully deserved every single thing that happened to him. Ryslind, his brother and wizard extraordinaire, was creepy and scary. Of the four adventurers, Darnak, the dwarf, was the most likeable, but even he had his weaknesses and fallibilities. Riana, the young elf woman, merited some sympathy from me, but there were times when I didn't like her very much at all. Smudge, the fire spider, and Jig's best friend, was cute and added an element of humour to the story.
The quest was full of danger, magic, humour and fast-paced action, which is everything I like to see in a fantasy. And, I will definitely read the next installment in this series to find out what further adventures and mishaps poor Jig gets himself into.