I actually bought The Goblin Emperor for Rebecca for Christmas last year after reading Scott Lynch's recommendation. I let Rebecca read it first, of course, but grabbed it off her almost as soon as she'd finished it.
High! Not only did one of my favourite authors recommend it in glowing terms, but Rebecca said she really liked it as well.
This book was great. I love fantasy books that can surprise me by not adhering to fantasy cliches, and this one surprised me within the first chapter! The main character, Maia, is the forgotten son of the previous emperor who never expected to come to the throne. He's inexperienced, untrained, and should - according to fantasy tradition - fall prey to the machinations of the evil grand vizier. But he doesn't. The first time he meets his Lord Chancellor, he challenges him and does not let himself be shouted down. It's great.
Maia's not the only great character, either. He's the one who is most fleshed out, but plenty of the people who work with and around him are charming, if rather more shallowly constructed.
"'Nine o'clock,' he said, with perhaps a quarter twist of question."
While there are an assortment of female characters, of different types, none of them are fully fleshed out. I would love to see more from this world, and from Maia, exploring these characters.
Thoroughly enjoyed this, and feared whatever I read next would be unable to compare. 4 stars.