Review: The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison (2014)
Categories: Fairies (elves/goblins), Political Intrigue, Royalty and Nobility
Content Warnings (Highlight to read): References to past (offscreen) child abuse
Buy it at: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Description: Maia, the youngest son of the elven emperor, was somebody nobody thought would inherit the throne. Half-goblin and the result of a loveless political marriage, he has lived his entire life in exile. Yet, when every family member closer to the throne dies in an airship crash, along with the ruling emperor, he finds himself at age 18 taken to the capital and thrust into a role he has barely been prepared for. He has no friends, and barely knows which of his supporters he dare trust. Even so, Maia must negotiate the bewildering tangle of court political intrigue, arranged marriages, parliamentary disagreements, and, of course, investigating the deaths of his family.
Review: Swordspoint by Ellen Kushner (1987)
“Above him, the stars shone frosty and remote in the clear sky. They wouldn’t dare to twinkle at him, not in the position he was in.”
– Swordspoint, Ellen Kushner
Genre: Fantasy, romantic (but not a romance)
Categories: M/M, M/F, politics & intrigue, royalty and nobility, hidden identity, swords & swordplay
Content Warnings (highlight to read): Frequent but not super graphic murder & violence. Recreational drug use. Discussions & ideation of suicide. Very morally ambiguous protagonists.
Description: A “classic melodrama of manners” where disputes are settled with sharp blades and sharper tongues. Swordspoint follows an interweaving set of characters and perspectives in a struggle for political power in the world of Riverside: Richard St Vier, an excellent swordsman but not much for conversation; Alec, his sharp-tongued lover with bad habits and worse ideas; Michael Godwin, a young lord who finds himself involved in games over his head; an elegantly powerful Duchess; and the rest of an engaging and largely morally ambiguous cast.