Goblin Quest by Jim C. Hines
Jig hated muck duty.
He didn’t mind the actual work. He liked the metallic smell of the distillation room, where week-old blood and toadstool residue dried in their trays.
Jig is a goblin; a smaller than average, weaker than average goblin. This means he gets picked on a lot. He gets a bit of a raw deal most of the time. But that is the norm for most goblins, their fate is to live underground in their tunnels, fodder for any adventurous type that might come looking for treasure, or maybe to die at the hands of the neighbouring hobgoblins. An early death is a fairly usual end; the best to be hoped for is a quick one.
But then, taken out on patrol as a practical joke, Jig runs into some adventurers, taken captive by them, and forced to guide them through the tunnels. They have come looking for the Rod of Creation, supposedly hidden underneath the mountain, and guarded by a dragon. Not something that Jig is all that interested in, but the adventuring party don’t really care mush for his opinion.
Overall Goblin Quest isn’t an outstanding read. It is, however, solid entertainment. A quick and easy read, with a couple of nice touches thrown in, as well as a bit of humour. Telling the story from the goblin POV isn’t a totally original take on these sort of fantasy-quests, but Jig was an entertaining enough protagonist. And unlike Stan Nicholls’ Orcs it doesn’t completely transform the orc/goblin culture into one that is merely “misunderstood”. Most goblins are practical in the extreme, and will turn on an enemy if their back is turned, after all, when you are smaller and scrawnier, with poor weapons you really have to take an opportunity presented.