Monday, February 13, 2012

Jig the Goblin by Jim C. Hines

Now usually I review books one at a time but in the case of “Jig the Goblin” by Jim C. Hines, I’m going to review all 3 books in the trilogy at the same time. The reason is that each book is kind of short and the trilogy really needs to be read together for you to truly enjoy it.

The “Jig the Goblin” trilogy consists of 3 books; Goblin Quest, Goblin Hero, and Goblin War. It stars Jig who is, of course, a goblin. Born the runt of the litter, he is often made to stand guard on tunnel watch by the goblin warriors/bullies who been assigned the job. Unfortunately, the mountain the goblins live in is also home to a dragon and a group of adventures captured Jig to force him to be their guide.

Overcoming impossible odds, Jig came out of the quest alive and became famous. It was the start of his problems. Soon after the quest, Jig has to survive the goblin leader’s attempt to kill him, an invasion of pixies, and the fact that he has become the high priest of Tymalous Shadowstar, one of the Forgotten Gods who has a death warrant issued on him by the rest of the other gods.

By the end, Jig will have to face up against orcs, trolls, ogres, pixies, hobogoblins, a necromancer, a dragon, and an entire human kingdom. All the while having only the goblins (the weakest race in the history of fantasy) on his side and even then he has to worry about assassination attempts by his fellow goblins!

As you can tell, the trilogy is satirical and very tongue-in-cheek. The series is very funny with moments that made me laugh out loud. I especially enjoyed Veka, a short and fat goblin who wants to be a heroic sorceress, and her hilarious/tragic attempts to be a hero by following the guidebook, “The Path of the Hero (Wizard’s Edition).” I tell you, there’s a novel just waiting to be written on that premise alone (hint, hint, Jim C. Hines, hint, hint).

However it’s not all fun and games for “Jig the Goblin” as Hines managed to insert some ironic commentary on the fantasy genre. The first book, Goblin Quest, is especially filled with them. It had Jig (the evil goblin who would rather be left alone) being kidnapped by “heroic” adventures and forced to guide them to almost certain death against a dragon (who is sleeping in his home).

As funny and enjoyable as the trilogy is, there are parts of it which I thought could have been better. For one, the ending of the series lack closure. The conclusion to the third book is unsatisfying as a lot of plots were left dangling. What happened to Tymalous Shadowstar? Did Veka succeed in becoming a full-fledged hero/sorceress? These are questions that need to be answered.

Also there were a few inconsistencies in the series. I can’t understand how Darnak the dwarf could be able to tell Jig about Tymalous Shadowstar at the start of the trilogy when no one “civilized” could remember even the god’s name! The final battle between the goblins and the humans was also a little confusing. I know the wolves are fast but they need to be supernatural to help the goblins cover that much ground that quickly.

However, overall I found “Jig the Goblin” to be an enjoyable read. I strongly suggest that you read the series together as it is one of those series that works better when read in full. Each book in the trilogy is as strong the others and Jim C. Hines; you really need to get back to the Jig universe. No offence but I much prefer Jig to your current Princess series.

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