Bridgebuilding

imperial_sofa_topkapi
Interior of the Imperial Hall (Hünkar Sofası) at Topkapi Palace in Istanbul (by Gryffindor: own work, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3796895

Katherine Addison The Goblin Emperor
Tor Books 2015 (2014)

When readers whose judgement you trust recommend this novel and even go as far as re-reading it within a short space of time you know there is something special about it. And yet what on the surface of it makes it outstanding? It’s fantasy, yes — the title suggests as much — and there’s worldbuilding, and there’s the disregarded child who’s an orphan, and there are seemingly unpronounceable names, everything in fact that screams at the lover of contemporary novels to pass over this book. And I too, who ordinarily enjoys fantasy, am one who tends to put a book back on the bookshop pile when faced with a cast list of — it feels like — thousands, all with alien names. So I have to ask myself then why I found this such an un-put-down-able title, and then perhaps attempt to persuade you to give it a try.

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