Friday Face-Off: Goblin

Welcome to The Friday Face-Off, a weekly meme created by Books by Proxy! Each Friday, we will pit cover against cover while also taking the opportunity to showcase gorgeous artwork and feature some of our favorite book covers. If you want to join the fun, simply choose a book each Friday that fits that week’s predetermined theme, post and compare two or more different covers available for that book, then name your favorite. A list of future weeks’ themes are available at Lynn’s Book Blog.

This week’s theme is:

“Come buy our orchard fruits, Come buy, come buy”
~ a cover featuring a GOBLIN

Mogsy’s Pick:

The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison

I suspect this one will be a popular choice for the theme this week. After all, not too many options came to my mind when trying to come up with with books that feature goblins, and even The Goblin Emperor does not contain the traditional mischievous dwarf-like creatures from folklore. The story follows Maia, the youngest half-goblin son of the Elven emperor. His entire life, Maia has lived as an outcast, kept far away from the business and affairs of the Imperial Court. But after his father and three older brothers all perish in a freak airship accident, Maia is plucked from exile to take his rightful place on the throne.

The Imperial Court is a whole new world for Maia. He arrives at the palace to find himself with no friends, no allies, and not even a clue as to how an emperor is supposed to act. Everyone seems to want something, and distinguishing obsequious flattery from genuine kindness is nearly impossible for someone not accustomed to court life. On top of that, the airship crash than claimed the lives of his father and brothers turns out to have been no accident, and soon, whoever committed the assassination will be coming for Maia next.

Let’s take a look at the covers:

From left to right:
Tor Books Hardcover (2014) – Tor Books Trade Paperback (2019)
German edition (2016) – Turkish edition (2017)




It nearly came down to a tie for me this week. I’m not too crazy about the original Tor cover, so to choose a winner, I looked to the German and Turkish editions. In the end, the Turkish cover wins out, which is just as well, because I can’t seem to find a good clear image online of the German cover without that horrendous yellow sticker!

But what you do think? Which one is your favorite?

26 Comments on “Friday Face-Off: Goblin”

  1. I think I like the TOR trade paperback the most, with the blue cover, although the Turkish cover is a close second. After all it’s got an airship or dirigible or whatever it is. 🙂


  2. The 2014 might be my favorite just because I sometimes miss the goblin at the bottom, and then notice it in mild surprise. Aesthetically, it might not be my favorite, but I like details that don’t immediately jump out at me for some reason.


  3. I like both the German and Turkish covers, too – but like you I LOATHE that dreadful sticker… WHAT were they thinking?? Which is such a shame because without it, that would have been my favourite this week.


  4. This is one of my favorite books! I’ve never seen any of the other covers. I think I like the original Tor 2014 best though, the colors are bright and that puts me in mind of how hopeful a story it is.


  5. Oh wow, I honestly came to a tie between all of these covers minus the Tor paperback. I mean, they’re all so distinct from one another, but I like them all! The print-like design of the Tor hardback is nice and clean, the sci-fi look of the German one is really cool (but yes, without that yellow sticker), and the Turkish one feels almost steampunk weirdly enough?? First time ever that I’ve had to actually call a tie!


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