Goblin Hero

Throwback Thursday: Goblin Edition

“Throwback Thursday” has become a thing in certain circles, so I figured I’d try a TBT blog post. This is from May 19, 2005. Both of these excerpts are from Goblin Hero.


Two excerpts today. Double your pleasure, double your fun, or something like that…

Excerpt the First:

Slash pushed him roughly to the other side of the tunnel. “See that patch?”

Jig stared. The ground was dusty rock, the same as the rest of the tunnels.

“We spread a mix of blood, rock serpent venom, and diluted honey there. The venom keeps the blood from clotting, and the honey makes it stick to whoever steps in it.” Slash licked his lips. “The tunnel-cats love the stuff. If you step inside the lair wearing that scent, they’ll be on you before you can draw your sword.”

Before Jig could say anything, Slash was yanking his arm again. “Watch out for those spikes.” Jig had to squint to see the tiny metal shards resting on the ground.

“They’re so small.”

“And they’re coated in lizard-fish toxin,” Slash said.

Oh. Jig looked at the hobgoblins with new respect. If he tried to set up such traps to protect the goblin lair, the only thing he’d accomplish was to kill off half of the goblins.

Happy Bonus Excerpt:

When the hobgoblins materialized beside him, Jig jumped so hard he knocked Smudge to the ground. “Where did they come from?” he asked as he retrieved his fallen spider.

“Author’s tweaking the storyline again,” Grell muttered. She glared at the sky. “Try writing an outline, ya damn hack!”

Zokutou Word Meter (No Longer Exists)
48,150 / 95,000

Flashback: June 3, 2005

I’m off to Melbourne for Continuum! Since I’ll be busy battling venomous were-kangaroos for the next week or so, I figured I’d run a few flashbacks from the blog.

On this date back in 2005, I was in the middle of drafting Goblin Hero [Amazon | B&N | Mysterious Galaxy], and decided to share an excerpt…


This one’s free for all, since it’s another piece that will never make it into the final book. Enjoy!

Jig pressed his body to the wall and knelt in the snow to confirm his fears.

“That’s not fair.” Jig closed his eyes. “There were only four pixies!” he shouted. “I counted them myself! Four, not forty! You stupid author, why do you keep doing this to us?”

Braf winced. Even Slash looked nervous. “Not so loud, Jig. The pixies-“

Jig shook his head. “I’m talking to the author. Secondary characters never seem to notice when I break the fourth wall.”

Goblin Hero, as Reviewed by Jackson

About a month ago, I posted my son’s review of Goblin Quest [Amazon | B&N | Mysterious Galaxy] here.

He and my wife finished reading Goblin Hero [Amazon | B&N | Mysterious Galaxy] last night, so I asked him to share his thoughts again. I was nervous, because he had said the first chapter was kind of slow. I also introduced a second point of view character in this book, and he didn’t really like Veka’s chapters, at least in the beginning. But by the end, he seemed to be really enjoying the story. Even the gross bits. (Glowing pee!!!)

Jackson would like everyone to know that there are SPOILERS in his review.

What is Goblin Hero about?

It’s about Jig, who has to kill the pixie queen, and Veka, who wants to be a hero, but she can’t really. None of the things that she did were in her book* except [SPOILER ALERT!] slaying a dragon, and that wasn’t really direct, but I guess a giant flying snake is kind of like a dragon.

*The Path of the Hero, Wizard’s Ed., by Josca. It’s a book Veka carries around that supposedly tells her how to become a hero. Naturally, shenanigans ensue.

Who is your favorite character?

I like Braf, but he’s not my favorite. He’s funny, and I like what he did to avoid getting killed by the other goblins. He just plays dumb. Jig is my favorite. He was in the last book. Of course, in the last book, most of the people were bad guys, and they were treating Jig like a slave. The only two good guys in Goblin Quest were Jig and Riana.

What about the other characters?

I liked them. Veka, well, I liked her, but what she was doing to try to help the pixies, I didn’t like that. I think you made more Veka chapters than there were Jig chapters. Jig chapters were my favorite.

What was the best part of the story?

The best part was when Jig found out [SPOILER ALERT!] that he couldn’t get affected by the pixie queen because he would be looking at her through two steel circles*, and steel is what the pixies call death metal. It’s the only thing powerful enough to kill a pixie!

*Jig’s spectacles.

Were there any parts you didn’t like?

There were some chapters I didn’t really like, but I don’t really remember them.

Which is better, Goblin Quest or Goblin Hero?

I can’t pick.

Who should read this book?


What do you think is going to happen in Goblin War?

I do not know. I’d like to see Riana coming back in her [SPOILER ALERT!] dragonchild form.

La Gloire du Gobelin

1. Remember when I did those 20 Neil Gaiman facts?  Author Ann Aguirre is running a contest that involves Jim C. Hines facts, and she’s giving away all of my books as prizes.  I just … wow.  Go.  Go now.

2. In further awesome and ego-boosting links, Catherine Schaff-Stump has written up her thoughts on Red Hood’s Revenge.  But this is no ordinary review; this is the English professor treatment, and it is most nifty.


So anyway, when I posted a picture of my ego shelf a while back, I mentioned that I was missing a single book: La Gloire du Gobelin, the French edition of Goblin Hero.

I finally said the heck with it, went to Amazon.ca, and plopped down $30 to get a copy of the book.  It arrived yesterday.

One of the things I loved about the first book was that they included additional artwork on the back cover.  They did the same for book two.  Here, for your enlightenment, is the back cover art for La Gloire du Gobelin:

Okay, I don’t recall Veka being bald, but it’s been long enough since I wrote that book, maybe I’m misremembering.  And I love that Braf’s back there with his finger up his nose.  Grell and her cane are pretty cool too.

Then there’s Slash the hobgoblin.  Here, take a closer look:

I stared at this for a long time, trying to understand.  Was it a hobgoblin night light?  A PSA about the tragic effects of snorting LEDs?  A rogue pixie who got lost and flew up Slash’s nose by mistake?  Some sort of Christmas–

And then I remembered.  There was a scene where Veka cast a spell on Slash’s nose, wasn’t there?  (It’s been five years since I printed out that manuscript and sent it in.  I’m allowed to forget a few details.)

I’m not going to pick on my former publisher.  I have no doubt the artist did a great job with the directions he or she was given.  But I can’t help noticing that for some reason this book, with nose-glow Slash on the back and Jig in blue jeans and church lady glasses on the on the front, apparently did not sell well enough for my French publisher to pick up the third goblin book.

Ah well.  Overall, I’ve had incredibly good luck with my cover art.  And at least this one gives us Braf with nose-picking action!

What do you think?

Jim C. Hines