Sunday 30 December 2018
Book Review: White Stag by Kara Barbieri (YA/Fantasy)
Author: Kara Barbieri
Publisher: Wednesday Books/Pan Macmillan Aus
Publication Date: 8 January 2019
Source: ARC from Publisher
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 even as she tries to fight her growing attraction to him. 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.
White Stag gripped me so much I finished reading the book in just two days. The prose was excellent--easy reading and flowing--and I adored the characters and the premise, which is loosely based upon Norse myth and folklore. Although the enemies-to-lovers romance was clear from the start, it progressed at a steady pace which felt natural for the characters. Meanwhile, there was plenty of action and suspense to keep me turning the pages. I would definitely be keen to continue reading this series, and I recommend White Stag to fans of YA fantasy who are looking for a fresh new voice in the genre.