White Stag by Kara Barbieri

First, I need to start with the fact that please be aware of all of the triggers in this if you are looking to jump in. This is a FANTASTIC AND EPIC read and I still recommend it 100%, but it does have some hefty triggers. Okay, now that we got that out of the way, we need to talk about how much I loved this read. Janneke and Soren are two of my absolute new favorites. They were such an odd duo and still absolutely fantastic. I loved the dynamic between them and the story that develops as you read. The world was so uniquely crafted and such a twist on the Goblin King stories I have read before that I was completely captivated by it. Even with how dark it was, it was compelling and left me excited for the next read. Something I do need to throw into the world. I will say, this novel definitely felt like the author grew into her writing more as she was writing this and the characters grew with her? I know that sounds odd, but it made the start of the novel a bit of a work through for me. With the novel being as dark as it was, it also took em a bit to get through the first through chapters as a result. Once it got going though at around 40% I absolutely couldn't put it down. I became invested in Janneke and even in Soren and I couldn't stop reading. So if you start this novel, and it isn't jiving for you at the start, give it a few more chapters. You may become just as addicted as I did. Add To Goodreads Amazon

Synopsis:

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.

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