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Jig is a shy, retiring, runty, near-sighted goblin, anything but a fierce goblin warrior, who wishes to quietly live an ordinary goblin life - out of sight, out of mind and below everyone else's radar. But, having earned the moniker "Jig Dragonslayer" by surviving his adventure with the Necromancer and the Dragon in "Goblin Quest", Jig finds himself unwillingly in the spotlight and under everyone else's magnifying glass.
Kralk, the current goblin chief, wants nothing more than to kill Jig because she sees him as a threat to her authority. Veka, another goblin in Jig's tribe who sees herself as a rising sorceress, follows Jig incessantly seeking his advice and guidance on how to be a hero and how to increase her abilities in the use of a hero's magic. The neighbouring ogres, usually bitter rivals of the goblins, have arrived seeking Jig's help eliminating a dangerous unknown threat that is slowly killing ogres one by one and seems capable of wiping out the entire tribe. The conniving Kralk sees this as an opportunity to rid herself of Jig once and for all so she sends him off on a quest to help the ogres - a mission she firmly believes Jig will fail and see him killed. His companions on the mission will be Grell, an aging, decrepit goblin scarcely able to hobble along with the help of a cane; Braf, a bumbling goblin warrior well known to be slightly dumber than a bag of dirt; and, of course, Smudge, Jig's pet fire spider!
Another reviewer categorized Jim Hines' "Goblin Hero" as a fractured fairy tale. It's certainly true that humour and off-the-wall cartoonish versions of typical fantasy characters form an important part of Hines' most entertaining story. But underlying the wit, the humour, the sarcasm, not to mention the hilarious antics and escapades is a true tale in the finest tradition of the fantasy genre. Hines reminds us through Jig that leadership, success and courage often derive from other simpler things - loyalty, common sense, a strong moral compass, a good heart and an instinct for survival in the face of difficult odds and adversity.
If you're a fan of fantasy literature and can see the value in a good laugh now and then, then Jim Hines' "Goblin Hero" will suit you perfectly. Don't forget to read "Goblin Quest" first. There's a definite story line to the development of the characters and many of the references in the story will blow right over your head without being familiar with the first novel in his series.
Great humour! A great story and great fantasy! Thanks very much, Mr Hines. Highly recommended.
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