As part of the Wyrd and Wonder reading month, Lisa is running a readalong for The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison. Since it’s one of my favourite books, I’ve been wanting to reread it for a while and this is the perfect opportunity. Each week Lisa will be posing questions regarding the chapters we’ve read and I’m going to (try to) post my responses.
SPOILER NOTE: This is a reread for me so while there are definitely spoilers for the weeks chapters, there might also be some for the rest of the book too.
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)
Questions for Chapters 10 through 17
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?
Sheveän’s a tough one to get a handle on even on a second reading.
I think she’s genuinely upset about the ‘desecration’ but that she’s also predisposed to be upset because Maia ordered it, if that makes sense? And, at the same time, she’s glad to have something to attack Maia with.
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?
Unfortunately I think with the way the Court currently is, on paper, Cala and Vedero are in the right. However, I love Maia for trying and for seeing them as people foremost.
I also think it’s interesting that if Maia were more popular, or was more established, any changes he wants to make would be better received, if not outright supported. He really is the scrappy little underdog, even with all his new power.
It makes me wonder if his seeing Cala as a person, and wanting Vedero to have a say in her future even if he can’t guarantee it, are tied into his own abusive upbringing with Setheris and rejection by his father. It feels as if his own experiences have really shaped him.
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?
I think this was a big moment for Maia. For all the changes in his status and his new allies, I feel like standing up to Setheris is the point were he really steps away from his old life and starts to ‘become’ the Emperor.
I also adore the way Maia’s ‘team’ so clearly want to help and protect him on this.
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?
Definitely a lot of it is racist superiority.
You’d honestly think a politician would have a least a little skill at hiding his feelings, but then he probably doesn’t even see why he should. There’s a complacency there that feels more than a little foolish.
I loved the ambassador and how he actually seems to be supportive of Maia. He was so touched that Maia kept the letter pendant. I really liked the dinner itself too. I loved that we got to see how varied the goblins are in appearance and how Maia finally feels like he belongs.