Tom Doherty Ass.
Ambitious and meticulously executed worldbuilding brings an animated dazzle to this exceptional assemblage of character studies and complex encounters, while the expressive evocation of its youthful protagonist's shyness and insecurity adds an affecting authenticity to the steampunk-infused fantasy setting.
Crafted with a preternatural deftness, the elf kingdom of Ethuveraz is a multilayered masterwork. Its density of arcana, language, ritual, and protocol staggers the long-exiled 18-year-old half-goblin heir, Maia Drazhar, when he is thrust onto the imperial throne after his distant father and more favored brothers are assassinated by an act of airship sabotage. Facing ridicule, racism, and outright hostility, Maia nonetheless stumblingly shoulders the burden, his own outcast status becoming his greatest strength. Acts of kindness and empathy begin to earn him the acceptance, if not outright affection, of his courtiers and the populace.
Less a novel than a series of anecdotes, this stalwart endeavor, which is fantasist Sarah Monette's first work under the Addison name, is carried by the strength of atmosphere and Maia's resonant good-heartedness. Readers will hope for many more tales of Ethuveraz.