Thursday, January 10, 2019

Review of White Stag by Kara Barbieri

Read for: Requested Review/Netgalley

Synopsis:  "As the last child in a family of daughters, seventeen-year-old Janneke was raised to be the male heir. While her sisters were becoming wives and mothers, she was taught to hunt, track, and fight. On the day her village was burned to the ground, Janneke—as the only survivor—was taken captive by the malicious Lydian and eventually sent to work for his nephew Soren.

Janneke’s survival in the court of merciless monsters has come at the cost of her connection to the human world. And when the Goblin King’s death ignites an ancient hunt for the next king, Soren senses an opportunity for her to finally fully accept the ways of the brutal Permafrost. But every action he takes to bring her deeper into his world only shows him that a little humanity isn’t bad—especially when it comes to those you care about.

Through every battle they survive, Janneke’s loyalty to Soren deepens. After dangerous truths are revealed, Janneke must choose between holding on or letting go of her last connections to a world she no longer belongs to. She must make the right choice to save the only thing keeping both worlds from crumbling."

My Review: . It has taken me a couple of days to gather my thoughts on this book. I was really intrigued by the synopsis. The book kicks off following Janneke after she has already been in the Permafrost Goblin realm for 100 years, which I really appreciated that it is clear that it has take a long time to progress to the current events and it isn't as sudden as it seems. I really enjoyed the back and forth between Janneke & Soren, as well as the awkwardness due to the human/goblin differences. Their relationship does border on stockholm-ish but I had no problem with it. I enjoyed the variety of influences from mythology and fairy tales as well. I also enjoyed the play with right versus wrong, good versus evil, the lines are definitely blurred and reformed a few times throughout the story. It was a really engrossing read and entertaining, until the last couple of chapters. Then things got overly complex, like she tried to use a lot of symbolism and metaphors that just weren't necessary and didn't match the tone of the rest of the story. That ending was a big disappointment for me and being that it is the end, it doesn't leave a great last impression. Note: I did read an ARC and I am hoping possibly the ending has been altered in the finish copy.

My Rating: I really struggled to come up with a rating for this one because I really did enjoy it right up to the end. It is amazing how an ending can really sway your entire view of a book. I give it a rating of Two Paws and a Stump Wag.

I received a complimentary copy of this book via Netgalley, the above is my honest review.

You can find out more about Kara Barbieri and her books on her Goodreads Page or Wattpad Page.

White Stag was just released on January 8th and is now available in digital and print format from Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

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