Reading Level: Young Adult
Size: 448 pages
Publisher: Del Rey
Release Date: May 19, 2015
Stand Alone or Series: Stand Alone
Source: ARC from Amazon Vine
Rating: 5/5 stars
I got a copy of this book to review through the Amazon Vine program. I have never read anything by Novik, although I want to read her Temeraire series. I was very eager to finally read a book by her, especially one that is supposed to have a very fantasy fairy tale feel to it. This was an absolutely wonderful fairy tale fantasy, I absolutely adored it and had a hard time putting the putting the book down!
Agnieszka loves her small village home even though it lies close to the corrupted Wood. The villagers pay a small price for their safety, the powerful magician known as the Dragon takes one young woman into his tower every ten years. Agnieszka knows it will be her best friend Kasia this time. Kasia is beautiful and smart and brave and everything special that the Dragon normally looks for in a girl. Imagine Agnieszk’s surprise when the dragon does not choose Kasia at all but her.
This was just a perfect book. I loved the characters and the fairy tale qualities the story had. The book has a lot of traditional fairy tale elements as well; deep dark woods, a wizard in a tower, an unlikely heroine. Novik did a beautiful job of blending traditional fairy tale elements into a beautiful and original fantasy story.
The story seems so simple to start but gets so complex and interesting as it continues.
Agnieszka is a wonderful heroine; she’s determined and outspoken yet also compassionate and caring. She has a different way of looking at things that puts her in opposition to the Dragon, yet also lets her complement the Dragon’s style of magic well.
And the Dragon…oh the Dragon…he is such a delightful character. I really enjoyed watching Agnieszka break through his gruff exterior. The Dragon is so abrupt and gruff but does such a great job caring for all of the villagers in the valley. You just know there is more to him than meets the eye.
This book was just one of my favorite types of books, it balances so many elements so well. There is wonderful magic, a well thought out world, action, endearing characters, an engaging plot, and some romance. Really I just can’t say enough good things about this book I adored it.
Overall this book was just perfection. It was a wonderful fantasy with a very fairytale like feel to it. I highly recommend this book to all the fantasy fans out there; it was just such an engaging and beautiful read. So far this is one of my favorite books of the year!
This book goes towards the following reading challenges:
– You Read How Many Books? Reading Challenge