The second Jig the Goblin book by does what any good second book of a fantasy trilogy ought to do: it shows you what’s happened to your protagonist as a result of Book 1’s events, and upped the stakes this time around to get him in even more trouble. In this particular installment’s case, it does an excellent job as well of taking traditional fantasy tropes and subverting them.
Now that Jig’s become “Jig Dragonslayer”, if anything, he’s almost more miserable than he was before. It is nifty that he’s gotten the ability to heal his fellow goblins of their injuries, but oi, the singing they’re doing about him! Not to mention how he’s coming perilously close to being chosen as chief. One goblin, though, is convinced that Jig’s not all he’s cracked up to be: Veka, who’s adamant that SHE is far better hero material, and who is bound and determined to win the acclaim that ought to be hers. Jig would quite cheerfully let her do her thing–only their lair is threatened by a pixie invasion, and it becomes the job of Jig Dragonslayer to go do something about it. Even if he’d much rather run the other way.
All in all this was a lovely followup to Book 1. I very much liked the character of Veka, her almost-a-romance with the hobgoblin nicknamed “Slash”, her struggle to master magic–and ultimately, even though she’s not about to admit it, to live up to Jig’s example and become a true hero. She gets significant point-of-view time, making her plotline as important as Jig’s all throughout the book, and her character arc does not disappoint.
Other high points of the book are Jig’s developing relationship with his god Tymalous Shadowstar, and the “duh OF COURSE” giggle-worthy way Jig finally wins the day. Four stars.