White Stag (Permafrost #1)
I received an ARC of this book from Netgalley 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.
My Rating: 4 Stars
When I read the synopsis of this book months ago, I knew I wanted to read it. I've heard a lot of opinions about it since then and didn't know what to expect when I finally started reading it. I have to say I enjoyed this debut novel. I think I like goblins as much as I like fairies. There's just something about them that draws me to the story. I think I like seeing how each author puts their unique twist on the story and what they decide to keep and change. I like mythical creatures and the relationships they build with humans. Goblins have now been included and I hope we now see more books with them like they are in White Stag. I liked Jenneke from the beginning. You could tell she was scared and still dealing with some things from her past while she was surrounded by goblins but she was still fierce. She still challenged Lydian despite how she was feeling and knowing that she was no match for him. I loved how she fought to keep her humanity but she could also see reason when it made sense to her. I liked Soren for the way he treated Jenneke and the romance between the two of them was awesome. Soren was sweet and kind but still a warrior who could fight and would do anything to protect the ones he loved. I liked Seppo; he was amusing and made me laugh. I liked the wolves and the goddess as well. The bad guys in this one were not redeemable and I was glad they all got what was coming to them.
The story itself was brutal, beautiful and so full of angst and drama that it kept me glued to my seat. The only reason I put it down the first time was because I had to go to bed. I picked up the book with the intent to read a few chapters and ended up reading for hours and about half of the book in one sitting. I forgot how much I enjoy a good fantasy and I never mind the brutality that is shown in these books as long as there is a little romance as well. White Stag hit all of the marks for a good fantasy and I am excited to see what else this debut author publishes.
I found this story to be funny, inspiring, and entertaining. I enjoyed it so much and it lived up to my expectations when I downloaded the early copy. I will be reading Goblin King as soon as I can. Get your copy of White Stag on Amazon today!