Thursday, 10 November 2011
'Goblin Tales' - Jim C Hines
Goblins are not the most nursing of creatures, and it is very much a case of survival of the fittest. From the previous books about Jig we know he is not big or strong. He has always survived by using his mind, and his ability to hide and sneak. The first story tells us how Jig survived as an infant. It does a good job of filling a gap in the story and explaining how such a puny little thing managed to reach adulthood.
Smudge is one of my favorite spiders, err characters, in the Jim Hines' Goblin saga. How the two first met is explored in the second short story. This is a funny one. Maybe it's no surprise, but a spider able to set things aflame gives a lot of room for comedy and mischief.
The third story does not feature Jig at all, but brings back a familiar figure. Veka, the goblin girl with a talent for magic has left the goblin cave and joined a school for wizard. This is a lovely little clash of cultures, who would have thought humans burned their dead on pyres to send them on their way, instead of for cooking! Jim Hines' is one for making fun of tropes and conventions in fantasy, and this time it's Hogwarts which is the target. Very cute :)
The fourth story is a nice little surprise treat for the reader. He has started working on a new series called Magic Ex Libris, with the first installment, Libriomancer, being close to completion. Turns out some people have the ability to make their writing real, way too real. They can breach the barrier between the real and the written world. Luckily there is a council for keeping things in order. It reads very much like a urban fantasy, with the libriomancer using different books to pull out what he needs. Look forward to the first novel.
What I really want to read is a another novel starring Jig and Smudge, but Goblin Tales is the next best thing. Jim Hines is a very funny guy and so are his books. We get the same dry wit you expect from his previous books, along with a slightly mocking tone. He seems to enjoy making fun out of fantasy conventions and tropes. The more I read, the more he reminds me of Terry Pratchett. I strongly recommend you read his other books about Jig, Goblin Quest, Goblin Hero and Goblin War. That's it, only if you enjoy reading something very funny, a story about the underdog, or have an interest in goblins and how adventurers keep bothering them!
Goblin Tales weighs in at 132 pages and is self published by Jim C Hines.