Book Details




Philip Reeve


Marion Lloyd Books an imprint of Scholastic

Publication date

5th April 2012

Author's Website



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Philip Reeve

Lovereading - -Year 5 (age 9-10)

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Julia Eccleshare's comment

Shortlisted for the Roald Dahl Funny Prize 2012. Fans of Mortal Engines will devour Philip Reeves’s richly detailed goblin extravaganza. The dank and dark towers and stairways of Clovenstone Keep are packed full of dirty, smelly, squabbling goblins. As a breed, they all love fighting; none more so than King Knobbler, their ferocious leader who takes a secret delight in soft pink pants. But one day Skarper hatches out of an eggstone. Skarper is different and his differences are bound to lead him into trouble. Sent to the Bumwipe Heaps to keep him out of mischief, Skarper looks beyond the decaying residue and begins to makes sense of the ‘lettuce’ and the ‘worms’.  Learning to read is a dangerous business and soon Scarper finds himself bratapulted off the battlements and falling headlong into an incredible adventure. It’s worth keeping track of the cloud maidens, trolls, softlings and the rest as they all hurtle through the headlong action as this glorious adventure is full of hidden jokes and meanings. 

Fun and light-hearted with brilliantly original monsters, magical creatures, rude and funny goblins that children everywhere will love. Superb and accessible storytelling for boys and girls and perfect for fans of Terry Pratchett.

Film news: Laika, the animation studio behind Oscar®-nominated Coraline and the upcoming ParaNorman, has optioned Goblins and plans to film it with Emmy® and Clio® winner Mark Gustafson as director. Watch this space !

Reader Reviews

Kids love to read and so in addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Lovereading4kids Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title.

  • Sam Harper, age 10 - 'A brilliantly funny adventure. Skarper and Henwyn make a really hilarious pair. It's a fantastic story and you should read it, closely followed by the rest of the Goblins series. I love them!' Read full review >
  • Poppy Jeavons, age 15 - 'I really enjoyed Goblins. I thought it had good, strong and well thought through characters. The plot was interesting and fast paced. I did find some parts a bit confusing, but it was very gripping!' Read full review >
  • Toby Slocombe, age 10 - 'Fantastic imagination for a book about Goblins.  The Idea about a bright Goblin makes you eager to read on to find out his adventures.' Read full review >
  • Jennifer Towler, age 8 - 'This book wasn't really for me.  There were bits that I liked - especially the chapter 'bum wipe' - because it was funny, but it didn't grab by attention or imagination.' Read full review >
  • Stanley Howarth, age 7 - 'Absolutely amazing book. Action packed, filled with adventure and very funny. From the very first chapter I was hooked and could not read the book quick enough! Can not wait to read the next book !' Read full review >
  • Holly Honeyman, age 8 - 'A fantastic, funny, fantasy book filled with trolls, giants wizards and of course goblins!' Read full review >
  • William Longlands, age 10 - 'I would strongly recommend this book...Marks out of 10: 10.' Read full review >
  • Callum Broomfield, age 10 - 'This book is fast moving, imaginative, well written and fun to read for children 9 yrs and above.' Read full review >
  • James Harrison, age 10 - 'This is a so-so book with a great ending.' Read full review >
  • Ewan Young, age 11 - 'Brilliant story - definitely should not end up on the 'bumwipe heap'!' Read full review >
  • Joseph Harris-Hart, age 12 - 'A great book for kids who like mystical creatures, magical adventures and who enjoy imaginative stories. All kinds of adventures in strange places....I loved it!' Read full review >
  • Heather Greenan, age 10 - 'An exciting book, good for children who like adventure and mystery tales.' Read full review >
  • Finn Morris, age 12 - 'This is a really interesting book which creates a myth about how the Goblins and air maids get created.' Read full review >


Goblins by Philip Reeve

This is a wild world of magical creatures and heroic adventure from the extraordinary imagination of Philip Reeve. The squabbling goblins who live in the great towers of Clovenstone spend their time fighting and looting. Only clever young Skarper understands that dark magic created by a vanquished sorcerer is rising again. From the lands of men come fortune-seekers - and trolls, giants, cloud-midens, boglins, swamp monsters, tree-warriors and bloodthirsty goblins are swept into a fabulous magical conflict to thrill all fantasy fans.

The full trilogy..


Goblins Vs Dwarves

Goblin Quests


'Philip Reeve is a class act, a marvellously original creator of intelligent and entertaining fictions..Goblins is a send-up, witty and affectionate, and wonderful fun.' Simon Boyce, author of Moonpie, in The Guardian 

"You know you are in the hands of a master storyteller when a dangerous yet frivolous fantasy world is brought to life with such imagination that it not only entertains and amuses - it actually seems real and makes its own curious sense.  
Phillip Reeve has created such a world in his marvellous new book Goblins.  The bloodthirsty, squabbling, greedy - and somewhat dim-witted - Goblins live in the towers at Clovenstone keep, which are described beautifully by Reeve.  The language throughout Goblins is playful and witty." The Telegraph

Praise for Fever Crumb:

‘I felt as if the pages themselves were charged with electricity...’ - Frank Cottrell Boyce in The Guardian

‘Conveys big truths while being witty and playful...clever and moving’ - The Sunday Times

About The Author

Philip Reeve was our Guest Editor for June 2012. Click here to see his books and some that inspired him.

Philip Reeve was born and raised in Brighton, where he worked in a bookshop for years while also producing and directing a number of no-budget theatre projects. Philip then began illustrating and has since provided cartoons and jokes for around forty books, including the best-selling Scholastic series Horrible Histories, as well as Murderous Maths and Dead Famous. He's been writing stories since he was five, but Mortal Engines was the first to be published.

Mortal Engines defies easy categorisation. It is a gripping adventure story set in an inspired fantasy world, where moving cities trawl the globe. A magical and unique read, it immediately caught the attention of readers and reviewers and won several major awards. Three more Predator Cities novels followed, and Philip's latest project are the Fever Crumb books, prequels set centuries before the events of Mortal Engines. Philip has also written Buster Bayliss, a series for younger readers, and stand alone novels including Here Lies Arthur, which won the Carnegie Medal. Philip lives in Devon with his wife and son and his interests are walking, drawing, writing and reading.

Click here to see a Philip talking about his new adventure book, Oliver and the Seawigs, a collaboration with Sarah McIntyre.

Philip Reeve's fiction publisher, Marion Lloyd, describes his Predator Cities series:

“..inspiring adventure stories, in whose futuristic, post-apocalyptic setting, moving cities trawl the Earth. They attack and consume each other in wastelands where natural resources are scarce, and Ancient technology is fought for. Fast-paced, sometimes violent, always surprising and original, Reeve’s epic sequence of love, war and adventure are richly rewarding for both adults and children.”

Praise for Philip Reeve:

‘Conveys big truths while being witty and playful...clever and moving’ - The Sunday Times on Fever Crumb

‘Intelligent, funny and wise’ - Literary Review on Fever Crumb

‘I felt as if the pages themselves were charged with electricity... Fever Crumb is a terrific read, a sci-fi Dickens, full of orphans, villains, chases and mysteries’ - Frank Cottrell Boyce in The Guardian on Fever Crumb

‘Reeve drives his juggernaut of a talent through the streets of a mob-crazed futuristic London with Cecil B DeMille grandeur. Resent being suckered into sequels? Fever Crumb is a complete story – but it may prove addictive’ - Geraldine McCaughrean, Daily Telegraph on Fever Crumb

‘A bold, brightly honed narrative that grabs and holds the attention from the start’ -
Interzone on Fever Crumb

‘A masterpiece’ - Sunday Telegraph

‘Big, brave, brilliant’ - Guardian

‘A majestic achievement’ - Sunday Times

‘Mind bogglingly well-imagined’ - Independent

‘Marvellous… utterly captivating in its imaginative scope and energy’ - Daily Telegraph

‘Brilliant… an absorbing and emotionally engaging work’ - Amanda Craig, The Times

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