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Goblin Quest

(Jig the Goblin #1)

really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating details ·  3,817 ratings  ·  366 reviews
Jig is a scrawny little nearsighted goblin-a runt even among his puny species. Captured by a party of adventurers searching for a magical artifact, and forced to guide them, Jig encounters every peril ever faced on a fantasy quest.
Mass Market Paperback, 346 pages
Published November 7th 2006 by DAW (first published November 2nd 2004)
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really liked it Average rating 4.00  · 
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Kater Cheek
Dec 05, 2010 rated it liked it
This book will lose most, if not all, of its humor if you haven't played D&D. In fact, it basically reads like a novel version of a D&D game, written from the point of view of an NPC (Non Player Character.) This NPC is Jig, a goblin who falls in with a group of adventurers who are bent on exploring a dungeon, slaying a dragon, and retrieving a wand of enormous power.

For such a by-the-books old school role-playing type adventure, there's a surprising amount of subtlety. One of the most
Apr 04, 2012 rated it really liked it
I love this book so much.

I read it last year, but now I finally treated myself to the two sequels, I decided to read it again. It definitely held up to re-reading.

I don't know how Goblin Quest would seem to people who aren't familiar with fantasy RPGs or post-Tolkien fantasy adventure novels. I enjoy both, on sufferance. Goblin Quest reads to me as though Jim C. Hines interviewed me about EVERYTHING that annoys me about D&D and then set out to write a book to make me feel better.

Blodeuedd Finland
Jan 09, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
I was unsure about this one to be honest, it was the story of a scrawny goblin after all. But I should not have feared, it was a Hines book after all.

This one was amusing, oh those silly humans ;) See Jig lives with the rest of the goblins where goblins live. And sometimes pesky humans aka adventures come into those caves looking for stuff, killing goblins and just being so darn annoying.

And that is what happens. A dwarf, a wizard, a prince and a thief comes looking for something and Jig have to
Dirk Grobbelaar
May 19, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-i-own, fantasy
Here's the thing. On any other day I would have given this little ditty 3 out of 5. Today, I'm not feeling that hypocritical. See, I really enjoyed reading this. It is not a literary masterpiece, but it sure is fun. And sometimes, just sometimes, that counts for a lot. Jig the Goblin is a delightful counterpoint to the more commonplace fantasy hero-type. If you enjoy adventure fiction a la Forgotten Realms or Dragonlance you'll certainly recognise most of the conventions here. This is a parody, ...more
Dec 06, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: tts-vs-jla
This is a simple, enjoyable read that makes a goblin the hero for a change. Poor Jig is the runt of the goblin world and somehow ends up on a quest for the rod of creation. Along the way he meets a great many monsters, a necromancer and a dragon.

I can't say that this would ever win any literary awards but it is a fun, not to serious book with a great main character that made me laugh. Think of a smaller, uglier and more cowardly Dresden. I'll grab the rest of the series at some point.

If you
Zombieslayer/Alienhunter {and so on}
He was, without a doubt, one dead goblin.

Jig, a tiny, scrawny-even-for-a-goblin, nearsighted little dude who's so small and weak that he still receives the chores of a child, was just trying to get through patrol duty in the underground caverns where he and the entirety of goblin and hobgoblinkind reside.
But the world above, full of adventurers and questers and all that noise, had other plans.

Every adventurer wanted treasure. They seemed to want it more than food or water or air to breathe.

Debbie's Spurts (D.A.)
EDITED this review space to remove a deleted review from me somehow still displaying.

My ratings should be the only review of books from me showing on goodreads. They are my unincentivized, unconnected consumer product opinions.

The star rating reflects solely my subjective reading experience and resulting opinion of the book according to the rating scale used by goodreads. It's not intended to destroy anyone's livelihood nor to churn out book promotions for them — just my opinion/reaction shared
Dave Hogg
Jan 24, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sf-f
Jim Hines is a really nice guy. He's a regular attendee at our local SF cons, and I've attended several panels where he's talked about life as a fledgling author. I've also had the chance to chat with him a few times, and, like I said, he's a really good guy.

This year, he was the Toastmaster for ConFusion, the con we have every January. Because of that, and because he's such a nice man, I decided that, well, I should probably read one of his books. Sorry about that, Jim.

I really wish I hadn't
Dec 04, 2008 marked it as to-read
Jig the goblin in very low on the pecking order in the goblin tunnels.

But one day Jig runs afoul of a group of adventurers. The group is led by a prince with too many older brothers. He wants to prove himself. So with his wizard brother, a dwarf protector, and a young elf thief, they have come to the tunnels to search for the legendary Rod of Creation.

It is said to be deep in the mountain, beyond the terrible Necromancer, and guarded by an ancient dragon. Jig is impressed into service as a
Somehow I've ended up reading all of Jim C. Hines's series in reverse publication order. Jig the Goblin is the last series of his I have to read, and the first published. It's definitely not as polished or witty as I found his later books, and perhaps I'm missing something because I don't play Dungeons & Dragons, but it was a fun time anyway. Having read a shit ton of fantasy in my day, I felt I could still appreciate it.

Plus, I get to see the origins of Smudge the fire spider! (He is also a
Dec 10, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, read-in-2009
This book is fabulous! Once I started, I couldn't easily put it down. This book is for everyone who's been in a D&D dungeon crawl, for everyone who cheers for the underdog, and for everyone who wants a good laugh.

Jig is a goblin. He's small, runty, and weak, even for his species. He's very near-sighted and has the unfortunate habit of thinking. He gets shanghaied by a group of adventurers hunting the Rod of Creation. Hilarity ensues.

Luckily for my sanity, this is the first book in a trilogy
May 06, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Hines does for goblins what Tolkien did for halflings.
Christina Muller
Sep 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
It's weird to start this with 'I ran a book club solely based around goblins in literature' but, I Ran A Book Club Based Around Goblins in Literature. I feel I should preface the review with this small nugget as I am a huge, somewhat biased fan when it comes to goblins. A goblin connoisseur, if you will.

You don't need to be a hardcore DnD player to understand the more parody aspects of this book, because the themes Pines lends from are really general to fantasy fiction in general: teams of brave
Feb 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
After reading the first of the 'Janitors of the Post-Apocalypse' books I went back to this early effort by Jim Hines, which I've been vaguely meaning to read for some time.
I have to say that Hines has a nice touch and a good line in defying convention, turning cliche on it's head, etc. Here the eponymous Jig is a runty Goblin sharing all the characteristics of this cannon fodder breed that we've learned from epic fantasy. They're cowards, not very bright, bullies and generally smell bad. Their
May 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
Hines, Jim C. Goblin Quest. Jig the Goblin No. 1. Daw, 2006.
Goblins are a rowdy, self-interested crew who act tough with each other but are afraid to venture out of their native cave in fear of running into “adventurers” out to kill goblins. Jig is the runt of the litter on permanent “muck” duty. He is weak and near-sighted, but he does have a working brain—an organ of not much use to most goblins. When he is taken on patrol for the first time, he is sent out to scout, so he will get killed
Matthew Shileikis
Mar 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
Really good book and very funny. I really like all the characters and the pacing is really good. I look forward to the next book in the series. Would recommend to people who want a silly dungeon crawl book with an unlikely goblin hero.
Jan 28, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Melanie by: Blodeuedd Finland
Shelves: 4-stars, fantasy, z-2017
Review originally posted at

I saw a review for Goblin War on Book Girl of Mur-y-Castell and thought the story sounded so cute, so I decided to start with the first book in the series. I’m really glad that I did. I love Jig. He is a great character.

So, Jig is a goblin. He isn’t a particularly good goblin. He is nearsighted, which makes him clumsy. He starts off the story doing the job that the children do. He isn’t trusted to do the job of adults. That is until a bully comes along
Dec 30, 2010 rated it really liked it
This is the first book in the Jig the Goblin trilogy by Jim C. Hines. This was a humorous and entertaining classic dungeon crawl adventure.

Jig the goblin is the runt of the goblin community. When he accidentally gets tangled up on a quest with two humans, a dwarve, and an elf he finds himself having to be more courageous than ever...which is something a goblin never is. Jig will face off against a necromancer and a dragon and become the worshiper of a forgotten god, and all he wanted to do was
Markham Anderson
May 03, 2009 rated it did not like it
Children young enough to swallow this text should not be exposed to the crass tidbits scattered here and there within it.

The author's effective portrayal of what is admirable about the race of Men inspires faith in humankind and in oneself. The storyline turns out to be beyond the mundane and hackneyed. There are many problems for the characters to solve, and several of their solutions are downright foxy.

The voice of the text is exorbitantly juvenile and, of a
Jul 09, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy-humor
It's Jig, not goblin.

Actually, it's Jig the goblin in the role of fairy tale Simpleton.

I've broken with D&D tradition and rounded up, in case anyone is keeping track, after all one review rounded down.

Goblin Quest isn't as polished as Hines' The Stepsister Scheme and it seems that Hines hadn't fully developed his style as of yet. In truth, some areas could use a tighter editor.

There, that's the bad stuff out of the way.

Hines is brillant. He's wonderful. He's cool. He's a D&D geek. The
Aug 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
So anyone who knows me would find it odd, that I have never read this book before now. I had seen the cover and thought it one of those awful books I just never intended to read.

I am so glad, I changed my mind.

This book deserves 5 stars. Just with any fantasy book you can only judge the character on his deeds and actions. If I was playing d&d and someone played Jig this way... I would let it slide, and love every minute of it, but some GMs are going to find it iffy.

This book is hard to
May 02, 2011 rated it really liked it
An excellent romp for anyone who likes fantasy, and who's tired of the same old looting-questing-raiding tropes. If you've ever played D&D, in particular, you'll adore the offbeat sense of humour and skewed perspective in this novel.

At times, I got a bit annoyed with the very obvious trope inversions, but then the author would throw some fabulous aside out there, or a really resonant bit of character development, and I'd go back to being in love with the book. It's a fast, fun read, meant to
Nov 13, 2013 rated it really liked it
A hilarious and moreover, unique take on the heroes on a quest story. Sure, we all know how humans, dwarves and elves will band together in collections of well-defined classes to face the horrors of underground temples, tombs and caves in search of powerful but long-forgotten artifacts.

But what about all those evil creatures they face along the way?

Jig is a great protagonist, pragmatic and practical, nearsighted and cowardly but essentially goodhearted and quick-witted. He travels with a
May 08, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, silly
I was some 200 plus pages through some other trashy fantasy epic when the boredom factor hit my threshold. And I was in the mood for some other different fantasy story, something light, and this looked like fun.... A story about a puny, blue-skinned goblin named Jig with bad eyesight who finds himself pressed into service as a guide underneath the mountain where he lives. His captors are a vain prince, his half-mad wizard brother, a surly dwarf, and a thieving elf girl. And it's got a sense of ...more
Oct 20, 2009 rated it liked it
Recommended to Rachel by: Chris Koppenhaver
As a D&D geek, I was vastly entertained by this lower deck version of a typical adventure. In addition to the insights into the mechanics of a chaotic evil race, you're also treated to a seat in the front row of party politics.

For those who aren't fellow geeks, there's still a fun story to be had as poor Jig is swept up as a captive by a band of bickering adventurers and gradually develops into a...less pathetic goblin.

Light, fun, and with a few good thinking points, I nearly rated this a
Jun 08, 2012 rated it really liked it
I no longer remember who first recommended this book... a friend on Facebook or Livejournal, I'm pretty sure. It's been sitting on my Teetering Pile for at least a year, if not longer, until a few weeks ago when I went looking for a paperback to take with me to read on the plane and it caught my eye.

What a fun book!! A marvelous twist on the hack-and-slash, follow-the-fellowship-on-their-quest type of adventure. It's funny, but can still manage to make you think about some of the tropes of the
Mar 21, 2016 rated it liked it
Average, but entertaining for teens.

Jig is the runt of his tribe. Scrawny, with poor eyesight he gets the crap jobs no one wants. And of course as fate would have it, he gets captured and is forced to play guide for a bunch of Adventures hunting for some magical trinkets.

Ad a bit of humor and the chance to see the story from the "Monsters" point of few is interesting, but in all the novel hovers around an Average on most points.
Jan 07, 2014 rated it liked it
Many people whose opinions I respect recommended this quite highly, so perhaps my expectations were unrealistic. I thought it was fine, it was funny, it was cute... but not more than that. It's a humorous look at a D&D (or similar RPG) from the viewpoint of a NPC, and anyone who doesn't know what all of those letters stand for probably wouldn't like the book at all. I thought it was okay, but didn't see what all of the fuss was about.
Don Brown
Sep 17, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, fiction
This is very much a tongue-in-cheek type of novel. If you liked the Robert Asprin Myth series, this is as much or more funny. They myth books had a lot of puns. This tells of swords and sorcery from the goblin side. Read it, if only for the laughs!
May 08, 2008 rated it really liked it
A D&D-style quest told from the point of view of a captive, near-sighted goblin. Fun without being silly, it exposes a lot of the conventions of the genre while still telling a good story and creating a protagonist you can root for. Highly recommended.
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Jim C. Hines is the author of the Magic ex Libris series, the Princess series of fairy tale retellings, the humorous Goblin Quest trilogy, and the Fable Legends tie-in Blood of Heroes. His latest novel is Terminal Uprising, book two in the humorous science fiction Janitors of the Post-Apocalypse trilogy. He’s an active blogger, and won the 2012 Hugo Award for Best Fan Writer. Jim lives in Michigan ...more

Other books in the series

Jig the Goblin (3 books)
  • Goblin Hero (Jig the Goblin, #2)
  • Goblin War (Jig the Goblin, #3)
“That worked great! Thank you so much. What next?"
"I don't know. I didn't expect you to live through it."
“Torches," Porak ordered.
"This is dumb," Jig grumbled as one of the others handed out torches. "Why not run ahead and warn any intruders that we're coming? Maybe we should sing, too, in case they're blind.”
More quotes…