It was gruel again for breakfast
–T. Kingfisher - Nine Goblins - c.2013
Sergeant Nessilka and a band of the Nineteenth, after heroically charging at an enemy wizard during battle, find themselves transported far from war. On the one hand that is good; less chance of dying if you aren’t fighting. But they now appear to be at least fifty miles behind enemy lines. Surrounded by humans and in an elf-protected forest. This does not make survival look likely.
T Kingfisher is Ursula Vernon’s pseudonym and as I am a huge Ursula Vernon fan I had to buy this. It’s been on the kindle a little while but I finally got around to reading it today. And I loved it.
It is a great fun comedy story. The goblins here aren’t evil. Smelly and disorganised they may be, but malicious they certainly are not. They have a genuine grievance against the humans, and that is what started the war. Not that they particularly want to be at war any more. Nessilka and her group certainly are not enjoying the mayhem, and are very relived to be away from it all.
And the elves, well, there reputation goes before them doesn’t it. Graceful, tall and beautiful. They tick all those boxes here, although Nessilka begins to think that maybe, just maybe the reputation has some slight exaggerations. And not all elves are the same; the one we spend most time with in this story is Sings-To-Trees, he’s one of those animal-lovers whose whole life gets caught up in rescuing baby foxes and trolls that there is no time for anything else. The other elves admire him, it’s an admirable way to spend your life, doing good, but they really are glad that it’s him and not them that has to spend their time covered in blood and goo and dung and whatever else injured animals bring with them.
It is a short book, but even still there is plenty of world building, you really get a sense of a wider world being out there. And I love Vernon’s imagination. In this world there are bone deer, literally deer skeletons only alive! And wizards are psychotic and really to be avoided.
If you enjoy the funny and weird you’ll enjoy this. Go on, off you go and buy.
I haven’t seen any reviews of this one out there, if you’ve read & reviewed it let me know and I’ll add a link.