“My point is that we’re all monsters to someone or something by some definition. It’s the context of the situation that matters.”
Rating: 4/5 stars
Release Date: January 8, 2019
Thank you Wednesday Books for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!
The first book in a brutally stunning series where a young girl finds herself becoming more monster than human and must uncover dangerous truths about who she is and the place that has become her home.
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.
tw: mentions of rape, torture, violence
Ladies and gentlemen, there’s a new Rhys in town and he goes by the name of Soren.
I honestly, didn’t doubt for a second that I was going to end up loving this one. I mean, I freaking LOVED Wintersong, and it changed my life basically forever because I am now just one giant pile of goblin trash. So, its not really a surprise that the minute I heard about this book I knew I was going to spend the rest of my days eagerly anticipating the release of this book. I basically fell in love with this story from the first page. It’s all the right amount of dark, twisted, and atmospheric.
The story follows Janneke, captured by the goblins at seventeen years old after they burned down her village and killed her family. When the story starts she’s currently bound to Soren, but recounts the horrors of being previously bound to his evil uncle, Lydian. Janneke, loathes the goblins but after spending a century with them she fears she is starting to become more monster than human. Especially as Soren takes her on the Hunt for the stag after the Goblin King is murdered. The rules are simple, whoever kills the stag becomes the next Goblin King, but the stakes are high. If Lydian becomes the Goblin King the world will never be the same, if Soren dies Janneke will be once again bound to the goblin responsible for her nightmares
The world building in this one is off the charts, it was so good and super atmospheric. I basically wanted to live inside of this evil little world, especially with Soren at my side. This book starts off strong and never stops. It’s action packed with an tons of plot twists, secrets, and an epic adventure through the Permafrost that will introduce you to monsters straight out of your nightmares.
Janneke, was such a lovable character and I absolutely loved her growth throughout the story. She struggles greatly with her feelings towards Soren, what being a monster means, and letting go of her past throughout the entire story. And while we do see this softer, doubting side to her, she continues to be an absolute BADASS and carry this story on her back. Remember what I said earlier about Soren being the new Rhys? I AM NOT LYING. Soren brought back all the ACOMAF vibes and I was screaming over the slow burn, hate to love, romance between Soren and Janneke. It was the perfect amount of angst and love without ruining the plot. I can’t wait to see where the next book goes with the two of them.
The only reason why I couldn’t give this five stars is because it was a little bit predictable, but maybe that’s just because I’ve read too many fantasy novels. Even though I figured out the end early on, it was still extremely enjoyable to watch the plot unravel and the mayhem ensue.
“If I stopped because I was in pain, I would have killed myself a long time ago,” I said. “I’m a survivor.”
“Things like that stay with you no matter how hard it is to forget them. It doesn’t mean you haven’t survived. It doesn’t make you weak.”
“And I don’t want to force you into something that will make you unhappy. And if that means that I release you from your bind and you go back to the human world and find a man of your own, then I’ll do it. Your happiness means more to me than anything in the world.”
“I was chaos and darkness and balance and light”
All in all, if you’re looking for an epic adventure, with a fierce female MC, lovable side characters, and lots of secrets than this should definitely be on your radar. White Stag hits shelves January 8, 2019!
Until next time,