* Author: Naomi Novik
* Genre: Fantasy/Fairytale
* Page Count: 435
* Date Started: April 27th
* Date Finished: May 4th
A Brief Description
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, driven wizard known only as the Dragon to keep its powers at bay. But he demands a terrible price for his help: one young woman handed over to serve him for ten years, a fate almost as terrible as falling to the Wood.
But Agnieszka fears the wrong things. For when the Dragon comes, it is not Kasia he will choose.
“There’s no kindness in offering false hope.”Naomi Novik
This book is a fairy tale that is worth reading. It tells the tale of Angieszka and a mysterious wizard called the Dragon. The Dragon takes a girl from Angieszka’s valley every 10 years, and when the girl comes back, she is nothing like she was when she left. Her ties to the valley cease to exist, and she moves away never to return.
The writing was atmospheric and the characters real and believable. I liked most of them and the stakes felt real. The world felt magical and real, almost like I could reach out and touch it. The stakes felt real, and the powers that were against them were powerful, and almost felt insurmountable. There were a lot of twists and turns in the story and it was action packed, particularly the last 100 pages or so.
There was some romance, but it was not the main focus of the story, in fact it was second to the rest of the story, and it progressed naturally! No insta-love here! The romance also made sense for the way that the tale progressed.
The one thing I’ll say is that the magic system was very loose. It was definitely a soft magic system and didn’t have hard and fast rules. I typically prefer my magic systems to be well defined and to have limits, but overall, I think this was done really well. There were some limitations and consequences, but the actual act of doing magic felt too easy? Overall, I’d say that this is a very minor pet peeve for me, and did not detract from my enjoyment of the book at all!
I would highly recommend reading this! It was a very wonderful world built around East European folklore and the characters were enjoyable.
Have you read this, or anything else by Naomi Novik? What did you think? Share your thoughts below!