Book: White Stag by Kara Barbieri
Published January 2018 by Wednesday Books|368 pages
Where I Got: I got an e-ARC from netgalley.com in exchange for a fair and honest review
Series: Permafrost #1
Genre: YA Fantasy
White Stag, the first book in a brutally stunning series by Kara Barbieri, involves a young girl who finds herself becoming more monster than human and must uncover dangerous truths about who she is and the place that has become her home.
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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.
When I saw this book on netgalley, I was intrigued enough to request it. The cover is beautiful but unfortunately, I didn’t like this book as much as I wanted to.
One of the things I didn’t like was how bored I was. The world didn’t make a lot of sense to me, and it’s not really clear how the humans and goblins came to be. The Stag and it’s importance to the Goblin King wasn’t clear, and the hunt didn’t make a lot of sense. It’s an interesting idea, but I just needed more details.
The mythology was a little odd to me. It seemed like a mix of different mythologies, which could have been cool but didn’t work because it made things more confusing than they should have been. It felt like the goblins weren’t really goblins- they felt more like faeries to me than actual goblins.
The book was also pretty forgettable and even though I finished the book pretty recently, I also couldn’t tell you most of what happens in the book. It felt like a blur, and I think I kept reading in the hopes I would end up liking it more. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen, and while I can see why people really like it, I just needed more from it.
I also wish I had more to say about White Stag, but I really don’t. Unless I want to start repeating myself, of course.
1 star. The cover is beautiful and I liked the premise of the book. But I was bored, and thought there needed to be more world-building. We get too little about the world, and what we do get is too confusing.