Author: Naomi Novik
Date of Publication: 21 May 2015
Number of Pages: 438
Read between: 09-11 August 2017
I had no expectations for this book, it was simply on my listed of ARC’s that needed to be read. What I was very pleased with was the story, the writing, the world created, the characters, the plot arc, everything.
Are there other readers out there who will disagree with me? Going by some of the reviews of Goodreads, vehemently yes.
Do I think they’re wrong? No, because there are books where the roles are reversed (see Gone Girl, Girl on the Train for just two examples).
However, some reviews are so nasty I can’t help but wonder what else was going on in their lives that they are so hate filled.
Were there problems with the book? Sure. Every single book published has problems.
But what did I like? I liked the mythology that Novik introduced and weaved through the pages. I liked the threads that almost felt like they didn’t mean anything that were suddenly tied up into an interesting crescendo and I liked that while Agnieszka might have been bullied and belittled by Dragon to start with, their relationship is far more nuanced than what some have called, a 50 Shades of Grey relationship. The two books don’t even compare.
For me, it was the magic of the world that Novik created. It was the overall believable nature of the characters, within a mythical world that kept me reading. In a world where everything is getting progressively more and more intolerant, it was nice to disappear inside Novik’s world for a few days.
Would I recommend this book? Yes. Anyone who wants to get away from this world, who likes fiction, who likes European mythology, who likes tales of battles, and redemption. This is a book for you.
Summary: Agnieszka loves her valley home, her quiet village, the forests and the bright shining river. But the corrupted wood stands on the border, full of malevolent power, and its shadow lies over her life.
Her people rely on the cold, ambitious wizard, known only as the Dragon, to keep the wood’s powers at bay. But he demands a terrible price for his help: one young woman must be handed over to serve him for ten years, a fate almost as terrible as being lost to the wood.
The next choosing is fast approaching, and Agnieszka is afraid. She knows – everyone knows – that the Dragon will take Kasia: beautiful, graceful, brave Kasia – all the things Agnieszka isn’t – and her dearest friend in the world. And there is no way to save her.
But no one can predict how or why the Dragon chooses a girl. And when he comes, it is not Kasia he will take with him.