Let me just start by saying that I read this book in a few hours, which might not sound that impressive but as a notoriously slow reader, it says a lot! White Stag by Kara Barbieri is such a fun, fast-paced read that I couldn’t put it down. Sadly, I had to put it down because life often gets in the way of reading, but I was back to it as soon as possible!
Kara Barbieri’s book started out on Wattpad and became a sensation. With over a million reads, how could it not get noticed? Her publishers helped her to expand the story and now it has been released as this stunning and thrilling book.
Basically you’ve got Janneke – a human girl who was kidnapped from her home when she was seventeen and enslaved by a cruel goblin called Lydian across the border in a land known as Permafrost. Time is different there and Janneke has been living in this land for over 100 years, all the while retaining her youthfulness.
Although she wouldn’t call it luck, Janneke is lucky enough to be passed onto Lydian’s nephew Soren for the majority of her time so far in the Permafrost. Our story picks up after these hundred-or-so years have passed and Janneke has formed a routine with Soren. They aren’t friends, but they aren’t slave and master either.
Janneke is a really strong character, determined not just to live, but to live true to her beliefs, desires and will. She is stubborn, bold and a survivor! Most humans who are taken as slaves in the Permafrost die after a few years… but not Janneke.
Our story revolves around Janneke and Soren’s involvement in this ancient hunt. When the Goblin King dies, a hunt begins to find the next king. It’s goblin vs goblin, and Soren takes Janneke along. Why? He has his reasons.
I thought I had the end figured out from the get-go but I’m pleased to say that I was wrong! Barbieri did a great job of taking me by surprise with her inventive and emotional ending, I’m very eager to see where this story goes from here!
Perfect for fans of Sarah J Maas and Holly Black.
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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.
About the Contributor
Bronwyn Eley is new to the book industry, having previously served in the Royal Australian Air Force & even spent some time as a barista until entering the exciting world of Booktopia. Books are her true passion. Bronwyn writes in her spare time, often has her face buried in a book and enjoys keeping fit (which she undoes by eating loads of chocolate) with Martial Arts and personal training. She can't answer what her favourite book is but she has a soft spot for Peter Pan (J.M Barrie), Outlander (Diana Gabaldon), Stardust (Neil Gaiman), The Illuminae Files (Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufmand) and Six of Crows (Leigh Bardugo). Fantasy, sci-fi and YA make up the majority of her bookshelves.