The Socially Distant Read Along of The Goblin Emperor celebrates Maia’s 19th birthday this week! The latest conversation covered Chapters 27–31: “The Great Avar Arrives”, “A Letter from Mer Celehar”, “A Ball and a Deathbed”, “The Nineteenth Birthday of Edrehasivar VII and the Winternight Ball”, and “A Conspiracy Unearthed”—and took us from a surprising fun birthday breakfast, to a formal ball, to an assassination attempt!
And as if that wasn’t enough, Maia finally met his grandfather, The Great Avar, and one of his aunts. Not the nun, and not the sea captain, but the other one.
Introducing…The Great Avar!
It’s only right and fitting that we begin with The Great Avar! The venerable leader of the goblins cuts a ferocious figure, but turns out to be a much warmer character than people expected.
Grandpa also took the time to take his grandson shopping for his birthday:
It’s a fascinating trick to introduce a character and show us his growth all in one chapter:
One of the benefits of the Avar’s visit is that one of his daughter, Maia’s Aunt Nadeian, accompanies him. For the first time in his life, the young Emperor learns about the Goblin side of his family, and there are a few characters that deserve books of their own:
That’s a lot of captains! And wait, what was that about Shaleän?
Between this revelation and a few other relationships that come out during the Winternight Ball, it seems the the Court might be a little more progressive than we thought.
And yes, we want a book about these Lighthouse Keepers as soon as possible?
Closer to home, Maia also spends his birthday with his nephew and nieces, getting to know the children for the first time. For all his trepidation, Maia turns out to be pretty good with kids, and slowly realizes that they…like him? Plus he spots a family trait:
A Future Empress Takes a Gamble
Csethiro Ceredin didn’t particularly want to marry Maia, but as she’s gotten to know him she’s finally letting her true personality show.
This bodes well for their marriage:
A Really Bad Re-Staging of Assassins
Of course is Duke Tethimar who finally tries to seek his misguided vengeance for being refused as Vedero’s suitor:
But as in the rest of the novel, Addison spends time dealing with the aftermath of trauma, rather than pretending everyone can brush themselves off and keep moving, and in this case, a surprising character became the focus for a lot of reader empathy:
We’ll Leave You With This:
That might just be one of the ulterior motives of the book, and this Read Along! Join us next Wednesday, 2PM EST, for a discussion of the end of The Goblin Emperor. We’ll talk about Chapters 32-25: “Shulivar, Bralchenar, and Narchanezhen”, “The Great Avar Departs”, “Building Bridges”, and finally, “The Bridge over the Istandaärtha”—we hope you join us!