Author: Katherine Addison
Summary: A half-goblin, the youngest son of the emperor has lived his entire life in exile, far from the Imperial Court and the intrigue that surounds it. But then his father and three half brothers - who are the heirs to the throne ahead of him - die together in an airship crash. Maia is summoned to take his father's throne.
For Maia, life in the captial is a bewildering and exhausting daily test of his mettle. And before long he discovers his father and half brothers' deaths were no accident. The airship was tampered with. The crash was murder.
With no friends, no advisers, and no schooling in the art of court politics, the only thing Maia knows for certain is that whoever was behind the assassinations must still be plotting an attempt on his life.
The beginning of the book has been a bit "Hmmm" for me. Like Maia, we get thrown into this world with so many names and titles and so on to discover with basically no help. The use of thee/thou hasn't made reading this book easier for me. On top of it, I had not much time to read and therefore had to stop often which certainly didn't help.
But, at a certain point this book, and especially Maia and the way he just rallied on and didn't gave up on being the Emperor, just grabbed me and I got sucked into this world. It helped that I had some more time and could read longer passages in one go. Even though - I still had troubles with all the titles and names and who is who. *hands*
I like that there are airships and pneumatic mail systems and moveable bridges (well, one is planned so far) besides horses and page boys and couriers in this world. :)
Even though the book is mostly Maia trying to be an emperor and political scheming (on both sides - the one trying to keep Maia as the Emperor and the one trying to not keep him) - after the book grabbed me (and before that as well in some instances), I really enjoyed reading about this.
There have been some things I wish that would have been explained/explained more. Like, how did Goblins and Elves start to live together? How does the magic work (we only get a tiny glimpse at it)? Yes, we only got a short glimpse into this world but I want to know more!
I really like Maia. His life hasn't been easy up to when he got notified that he'll be the Emperor and it certainly didn't get easier in some ways after that. I like how he managed to grow into being the Emperor and to stand up for himself in certain aspects. But, there have also so many moments when I just wanted to hug him and tell him that he's not alone.
I also like the supporting characters - Cala, Csevet (even though, I thought for a long time that he's working for Chavar), Beshelar, Telimezh, Lord Berenar, Vedero, Idra, Kiru - basically everyone who has been kind to Maia and helped him in some way.
I wish we could get some other POVs too. I'm especially interested in the POVs of Csevet, Cala, Beshelar (very interested) and Lord Berenar.
All in all, I enjoyed reading this book and wouldn't mind another book in this world - either a sequel or one that just happened to be set there.