In Jig’s world, goblins exist for adventurers to kill when looking for adventures. And as far as goblins go, Jig is the most killable of them all. Near sighted, cowardly, and small, he’s relegated to kitchen duty and getting beat up by the larger goblins. But when one bully sends him to investigate a noise, he discovers real adventurers in their cave system-A prince, a sorcerer, a dwarf, and an elf, all searching for the legendary “Rod of Creation” that is hidden deep within the caverns. Jig is captured and forced to go along as a guide; but Jig is no ordinary goblin, and the adventurers are not quite what they seem.
Jim Hines takes great delight in deconstructing fantasy tropes here, particularly the ones used in RPGs. Despite being a goblin, Jig is very much the audience surrogate, not much of a fighter, most frequently terrified, and annoyed with the others. His snarky commentary on the proceedings lends a humorous note to the story, even when it gets rather dark.
The little twists and turns also make it quite a fun read. There is a “Necromancer”-that turns out to be something simultaneously interesting and hilarious. The elfin girl is not the archer; she is the thief, and a terrible one at that. We learn what happens when a god is forgotten (they mainly sit around and are bored), and there is a passing mention of that “nine-fingered fellow” across the sea…they can’t remember his name…
Definitely a fun read with a light-hearted ending. There’s a series, so I look forward to hearing more from Jig.