The good, the bad, and the smug

Tom Holt, 1961-

Book - 2015

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Subjects
Genres
Fantasy fiction
Published
New York, NY : Orbit 2015.
Edition
First U.S. edition
Language
English
Physical Description
374 pages ; 21 cm
ISBN
9780316368810
0316368814
Main Author
Tom Holt, 1961- (author)
Review by Library Journal Reviews

Goblin king Mordak investigates a troubling bit of news. It seems the humans have outbid him for an important shipment of dwarf armaments and possess more gold than usual. Meanwhile, the doughnut-traveling technology known as YouSpace that allows users to travel between parts of the multiverse has resulted in an imbalance in good and evil that could annihilate all time and space. VERDICT This continuation of Holt's zany series about interdimensional travel via circular pastry (after The Outsorcerer's Apprentice) will appeal to those missing the late Terry Pratchett, although Holt doesn't quite match Pratchett's skill in welding social commentary to the absurd. Now that Holt has been revealed as the fantasy author K.J. Parker, there could be additional interest.—MM [Page 64]. (c) Copyright 2015 Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

Holt (The Outsorcerer's Apprentice) achieves near-perfection in his new comic fantasy. The complicated multiverse setting requires some nimble reading, but the three central narratives unfold and combine into a cerebral yet slapstick comedy. Mordak, king of the social media–loving goblins, undertakes a hero's journey with a condescending elf at his side to learn how the human princes of a fantasy realm are getting so rich, and to find out whether an arms race is in the works. A peculiar little man from another universe is spinning straw into gold for the princes, while attempting to teach them strategic thinking and prevent the mess he made in his own dimension. The goblin Ozork transforms into a puny human named Archie when he aims for the Realms of Transcendent Bliss, misses, and lands on a film set in modern New Zealand. Holt keeps track of every thread from beginning to end and cleverly ties them all together in unexpected ways. This is a must-read for those who grew up in awe of The Phantom Tollbooth. (Aug.) [Page ]. Copyright 2015 PWxyz LLC

Review by School Library Journal Reviews

Christopher Moore blurbs this, the last installment in British author Holt's comic fantasy series, and it will likely appeal to the same core group of fans. The satire flows fast and furious, possibly starting with a media mogul named Mordak (i.e., Murdoch), who is also a goblin. Living beside the goblins are elves, and though they coexist, they haven't really paired up until now. When Mordak buys out elf Effluviel's magazine, his minions make her an offer she can't refuse—to become Mordak's assistant. Eventually the duo set off on a dangerous quest that makes them actual allies. Meanwhile, a Rumpelstiltskin character appears, making all sorts of commentary on the financial industry. When everyone realizes you can spin straw into gold, straw becomes scarce and gold becomes plentiful—where's the balance between getting rich and getting richer? Doubtless many of the jokes will go over teens' heads, but young adults will get enough of them that this won't hamper their enjoyment. VERDICT This volume will appeal to fantasy readers who can take a little irreverence with their magical creatures.—Jamie Watson, Baltimore County Public Library [Page 164]. (c) Copyright 2016 Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

Someone is pumping gold into the human kingdoms, which causes Mordak the goblin king to enter into an arms race with a species he considers part of a calorie-controlled diet, but he must find out who or what is really behind his troubles.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

Mordak isn't bad, as far as goblin kings go, but when someone, or something, starts pumping gold into the human kingdoms it puts his rule into serious jeopardy. Suddenly he's locked in an arms race with a species whose arms he once considered merely partof a calorie-controlled diet. Helped by an elf with a background in journalism and a masters degree in being really pleased with herself, Mordak sets out to discover what on earth (if indeed, that's where he is) is going on. He knows that the truth is out there. If only he could remember where he put it.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

A new novel from a master of comic fantasy, Tom Holt. Same as the Old Evil, but with better PR.Mordak isn't bad, as far as goblin kings go, but when someone, or something, starts pumping gold into the human kingdoms it puts his rule into serious jeopardy. Suddenly he's locked in an arms race with a species whose arms he once considered merely part of a calorie-controlled diet.Helped by an elf with a background in journalism and a masters degree in being really pleased with herself, Mordak sets out to discover what on earth (if indeed, that's where he is) is going on. He knows that the truth is out there. If only he could remember where he put it.