Top Fantasy Books With Goblins to Read Right Now

Like orcs, fantasy books don’t often treat goblins kindly. Yet these fantasy creatures have their own unique stories to tell and new, potentially even fresher, perspectives. Are you curious what stories are out there?

Here are the top five fantasy books with goblins to read:

Their descriptions and a summary of what readers loved and didn’t are all below. But for a quick comparison of these book’s ratings, price range and more, here’s a chart.

The Goblin Wars by Stuart Thaman


A city without a king, a paladin forsaken by his god, and goblins just beyond the horizon… 

Lady Scrapple lurks in the depths of Kanebullar Mountain, building her army of mindless slaves and waiting for the perfect moment to strike.

As the final pieces are about to fall into place and secure her victory, an anomaly is born. A single goblin stands free of Lady Scrapple’s iron-clad hive mind. 

A few miles west of Kanebullar Mountain, the frontier city of Talonrend perches dangerously on the edge of anarchy. King Lucius Firesbane has disappeared without an heir and left the city leaderless. 

In the face of chaos, one man sets out to find his king. 

What Do Readers Say?

Goodreads Rating: 3.76

Most Common Rating: 4

Positive Comments

First on our list of fantasy books with goblins is The Goblin Wars. This book delighted readers with its protagonists and unique spin on goblins.

Fans reported that the main characters, in particular, were easy to bond with. As the chapters progressed, the novel revealed new layers to them that made readers eager to hear the rest of their story.

They also mentioned that while goblins might be common fantasy creatures, The Goblin Wars makes them fresh. In particular, readers said that the way the story fleshed out the concept of goblins as part of a hive mind fascinated them.

Negative Comments

If readers didn’t enjoy The Goblin Wars, what did they say?

Interestingly, critics said the opposite to fans in regards to the characters: they thought that they weren’t nuanced enough. To them, the characters came across as shallow.

A few readers attributed this to the story’s fast-pace. They generally said that because so much happened, there wasn’t enough breathing room to explore the characters.

The Goblin Corps by Ari Marmell


Welcome to the Goblin Corps. May the best man lose.

Morthûl, the dreaded Charnel King, has failed. Centuries of plotting from the heart of the Iron Keep, deep within the dark lands of Kirol Syrreth – all for naught. Foiled at the last by the bumbling efforts of a laughable band of so-called heroes.

Still, after uncounted centuries of survival, the Dark Lord isn’t about to go down without a fight, particularly in battle against a mortal!

No, the Charnel King still has a few tricks up his putrid and tattered sleeves, and the only thing that can defeat him now…may just be the inhuman soldiers on whom he’s pinned his last hopes.

What Do Readers Say?

Goodreads Rating: 3.80

Most Common Rating: 4

Positive Comments

Next on our list of fantasy books with goblins is The Goblin Corps. This witty and humorous story entertained readers with its lighthearted take to its concept and engaging characters.

Goblins, here, aren’t portrayed as ‘misunderstood’ or unfairly maligned heroes. The Goblin Corps tells a classic fantasy story from the perspective of ‘the bad guys’, but does so in a way readers described as fun and engaging.

Despite the characters’ lack of heroic character, though, readers said that the cast were easy to root for and feel empathy for. Because of this, the story struck them as a unique and intriguing take to traditional fantasy.

In terms of content:

Readers mentioned that people who’s humor leans toward sarcastic and crude will enjoy the story. On the other hand, they also said that the story doesn’t either its violence or its profanity.

Negative Comments

If readers didn’t enjoy The Goblin Corps, what did they say? Generally, most critics said that they enjoyed the story until the ending. Once they reached the story’s conclusion, they thought it reduced the significance of everything that had happened until then.

Other readers didn’t jive with the story’s humor. They said that after a while, the jokes and snipes became repetitive and didn’t make an impression on them.

The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison


The youngest, half-goblin son of the Emperor has lived his entire life in exile, distant from the Imperial Court and the deadly intrigue that suffuses it.

But when his father and three sons in line for the throne are killed in an “accident,” he has no choice but to take his place as the only surviving rightful heir.

Entirely unschooled in the art of court politics, he has no friends, no advisors, and the sure knowledge that whoever assassinated his father and brothers could make an attempt on his life at any moment.

Surrounded by sycophants eager to curry favor with the naïve new emperor, and overwhelmed by the burdens of his new life, he can trust nobody.

Amid the swirl of plots to depose him, offers of arranged marriages, and the specter of the unknown conspirators who lurk in the shadows, he must quickly adjust to life as the Goblin Emperor.

All the while, he is alone, and trying to find even a single friend . . . and hoping for the possibility of romance, yet also vigilant against the unseen enemies that threaten him, lest he lose his throne – or his life.

What Do Readers Say?

Goodreads Rating: 4.04

Most Common Rating: 5

Positive Comments

Another fantasy book about goblins is The Goblin Emperor. Rather than an action-packed tale about battles and wars, this story captivated readers with court intrigue and a coming of age story.

Readers praised the book for giving them Maia, the kindhearted main character. Especially given the current slew of grim dark fantasy novels around, he stood out to them as a refreshing change.

He’s a noble and heroic character that they immediately bonded with and wanted to see succeed. In particular, his efforts to improve his new kingdom him and serve his people endeared him to them.

Other readers mentioned the world-building. Some mentioned the nuanced way characters spoke to each other, which took into account the social standing of the person they conversed with. Others mentioned the description of court life. But in either case, readers thought the world was fascinating and vividly realized.

Negative Comments

So why didn’t critics like The Goblin Emperor? Overall, readers tended to cite either the plot or the way the author used language to portray court life.

In terms of the plot, critics said that it meandered: there didn’t seem to be a connecting thread between the events or an ultimate point the plot drove toward.

Others, though, were frustrated by the terminology the story used in its dialogue. For instance, Maia would use the royal ‘we’ instead of ‘I’ to refer to himself when he acted in the capacity of a monarch. While this was and is standard protocol for kings and queens, it nevertheless was too off-putting for critics.

Similarly, some were either confused or bothered by how the story used both ‘you’ (formal second person) and ‘thou’ (informal second person). While there’s a historical basis for using the terms, these readers found it grating.

A Goblin’s Tale by Scott Straughan


A new, darker age is dawning. The greed of kings has ignited a seemingly endless war. As men fight, the monsters of the untamed wilds are devouring the frontier. Villages are abandoned as fields go fallow. Murderous bandits roam the desolation. 

None of that matters to a nameless goblin slave. He just wants to eat as much food as he can shove into his mouth when no one is looking, but fate runs a twisted course, so instead he is whisked away to the far off Iron Teeth Mountains.

To stay alive, he will have to evolve into something more than a simple goblin, and carve a bloody path through the forests of the North. 

However, first he has to get over his crippling fear of trees, and survive in a place where everything considers him to be the perfect size for a quick snack…

What Do Readers Say?

Goodreads Rating: 4.26

Most Common Rating: 5

Positive Comments

Just as you would expect, A Goblin’s Tale is a story told from the perspective of a goblin. Readers loved the refreshing concept of this book and found it an often funny adventure.

Others enthused that they enjoyed the main character, who, while no hero, was charmingly likable.

Negative Comments

Readers who didn’t like the A Goblin’s Tale said that they liked the concept, but found the book’s execution of it disappointing. These readers described it as a series of individual adventures rather than a novel with a connecting story.

They also mentioned that the supporting characters, world-building and plot were blatant, standard fantasy fair.

Shadow Prowler by Alexey Pehov


An army is gathering; thousands of giants, ogres, and other creatures are joining forces from all across the Desolate Lands, united, for the first time in history, under one, black banner.

By the spring, or perhaps sooner, the Nameless One and his forces will be at the walls of the great city of Avendoom. 

Unless Shadow Harold, master thief, can find some way to stop them.

Epic fantasy at its best, Shadow Prowler is the first in a trilogy that follows Shadow Harold on his quest for a magic Horn that will restore peace to the Kingdom of Siala.

Harold will be accompanied on his quest by an Elfin princess, Miralissa, her elfin escort, and ten Wild Hearts, the most experienced and dangerous fighters in their world…and by the king’s court jester (who may be more than he seems…or less).

Reminiscent of Moorcock’s Elric series, Shadow Prowler is the first work to be published in English by the bestselling Russian fantasy author Alexey Pehov.

The book was translated by Andrew Bromfield, best known for his work on the highly successful Night Watch series. 

What Do Readers Say?

Goodreads Rating: 3.95

Most Common Rating: 4

Positive Comments

First on our list of fantasy books with goblins is Shadow Prowler. Fans went into this story expecting its heavy use of classic fantasy tropes. As such, they weren’t bothered by it and instead delighted in the book’s spin on common characters, origins and setups.

Readers also praised the fun and often hilarious interactions between the characters. Circumstances force fantasy groups typically at each other’s throats to work together, whether that be dwarfs and goblins or elves and orcs. Their clashes kept readers grinning.

Aside from that, readers mentioned that a combination of Shadow Prowler‘s lightning-fast pace and its smooth-talking, witty main character immediately absorbed them into the story.

Negative Comments

If readers didn’t like Shadow Prowler, what did they say? Typically, these were readers who couldn’t buy into the premise line. They either described the story as cliche overall or didn’t think the book added enough twists to specific tropes.

Other readers said that they thought that the main character, Shadow Harold, initially entertained them with his sarcasm. However, eventually the humor began to come across as predictable.

Top Fantasy Books With Goblins to Read Right Now

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Top Fantasy Books With Goblins to Read Right Now

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N.S. Mirage

I'm Natalie, an avid fantasy reader here to help readers find exciting, otherworldly books.

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