Goblins have always had a bad press, just think of their place in general folklore, which portrays them thus,
“Goblins are an evil or mischievous type of fairies found in the folklore of many societies and the name has become an umbrella term to describe an entire host of dangerous creatures in myth and legend.“
Which means that it’s all the more refreshing to see them portrayed in a different light, in this book of short stories.
A very long time ago, there once was a land called Goblindom, hidden behind a magic barrier to protect its inhabitants from mankind.
Man’s ancestors the humins lived there quietly alongside wyverns, griffins, trolls, witches and wizards as well as woods, mountain and plains goblins, ravens, eagles and many more creatures.
This anthology is a collection of thirty tales, which I have translated from goblin into English thanks to Globular Van der Graff, a friendly southern woods goblin who told them to me not long ago…
Jack Eason has created a world of good goblins, living at ease with humankind in this collection, but his imagination doesn’t stop there. We have dragons, witches and all manner of beasts, all vying for power, with varying degrees of success. There are thirty or so tales of varying length, featuring a whole host of memorable characters.
All of them delivered with skill and obvious enthusiasm.
I love their names, for the Goblins, we have Globular Van der Graff (Glob), Makepeace Terranova (Make), Byzantine Du Lac (Byz), Eponymous Tringthicky (Mous), Neopol Stranglethigh (Neo.) Not forgetting the lisping Raven, Bejuss.
Add Mica the human (or Humin in Goblin-speak) and you have a band ready for any adventure. All of them have very individual personalities and the author’s descriptions make them come alive.
Problems beset the band and they tackle them with a little help from friends or their own ingenuity. These are tales of derring-do and while I enjoyed them as an adult, they are eminently suitable for children, there is enough action and not too much gore (as well as the always popular pastimes of eating creepy crawlies and assorted bodily functions) to keep them entertained and interested.
The language of the Goblins is written in their own dialect, which may seem a little confusing, at least until you read it aloud in your head, when it adds atmosphere.
Overall, I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys good crisp plotting, tales with strong stories and mostly happy endings.
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