If you’re tired of the common tropes of the traditional fantasy genre, you can’t do much better than turning to Jim Hines’ books about Jig the Goblin. This has been hands down one of the more entertaining fantasy trilogies I’ve read in some time.
Jig is the smallest, scrawniest, runtiest goblin in the entire goblin lair–and he’s nearsighted to boot. He’s constantly harassed by the bigger and stronger goblins, and made to do all the worst chores. So it just goes to figure that he’s the one who winds up getting captured by a party of adventurers, two human princes, a dwarf cleric, and a young elven thief, all of whom are looking for the fabled Rod of Creation. Jig’s fast-thinking claim that he could guide them deeper into the caverns keeps him from getting killed on the spot by the arrogant prince leading the party, and he has to spend the rest of the book frantically trying to find a way to keep from getting killed by not only the adventurers, but everything else they encounter and fight along the way. He’s even desperate enough to commit to following one of the Forgotten Gods, if that’ll keep him alive. And to his surprise, that Forgotten God is in fact listening.
This is pretty much a D&D adventure from the goblin’s point of view, and it’s quite charming. I especially liked Jig’s forming a tentative… if not friendship, really, than at least less hostile alliance… with the young thief who’s just as much a captive of the adventurers as he is. His partnership with the Forgotten God Tymalous Shadowstar’s also a highlight, since Shadowstar’s so desperate for worshippers that he’ll even take on a goblin, the lowliest of the low. And overall, the goblin society is just hysterical, refreshingly straightforward in all its backstabbing, cowardly chaos. Four stars.
ETA: Correcting the first sentence, since I’d said “can’t do much worse” when what I really meant was “can’t do much better”. PhrasingFail! Thanks to