Reviewed by Simon Ives
Had enough of trying to get your brain round the latest sci-fi epic, chockfull of phantasmagoria? The sort that leaves you, well, frankly confused about what you have just read? Then jump aboard this roller coaster of a tale, firmly grounded in old style fantasy and primarily told from the viewpoint of goblins and elves.
The novel opens with a band of elves riding into a boggy wetland area, the Goblin Mire of the title. Arrogant to the point of recklessness, they expect to make short work of any goblins they come across. Mickle Gorestab and his fellows have other ideas, however, and by p36 the elves have been slaughtered. This frantic pace is maintained throughout the book to good effect.
Of course, the goblins have a secret weapon, Adragor aka the Corrupted One, an elf banished by his own people for practising foul magic and necromancy. With his goblin allies he plans an attack on the nearby elven city of Cyramon. There follows a tale of treachery and betrayal, humour and horror, siege and the obligatory quest. Ogres and undead appear as does the one solitary human who seems strangely attached to a leather bag he carries with him at all times. And there is fighting. Lots and lots of fighting.
This is not a deep book. There is no love interest and character development is negligible. You are unlikely to empathise with Mickle and his colleagues. Despite the intriguing premise of telling the story from the point of view of goblins and elves, there is no real exploration of their nature or culture. What you do have, though, is a fast paced, page-turning tale which is light and enjoyable.