Naomi Novik, author of the bestselling and critically acclaimed Temeraire novels, introduces a bold new world rooted in folk stories and legends, as elemental as a Grimm fairy tale.
Dragon doesn’t eat the girls he takes, no matter what stories they tell
outside our valley. We hear them sometimes, from travelers passing
through. They talk as though we were doing human sacrifice, and he were a
real dragon. Of course that’s not true: he may be a wizard and
immortal, but he’s still a man, and our fathers would band together and
kill him if he wanted to eat one of us every ten years. He protects us
against the Wood, and we’re grateful, but not that grateful.”
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.
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.
The next choosing is fast approaching, and Agnieszka is afraid. She knows—everyone
knows—that the Dragon will take Kasia: beautiful, graceful, brave
Kasia, all the things Agnieszka isn’t, and her dearest friend in the
world. And there is no way to save her.
But Agnieszka fears the wrong things. For when the Dragon comes, it is not Kasia he will choose.
I loved most of the main characters in this book. Agnieszka is the sweet
girl that is taken from her home to live 10 years with the wizard
Dragon, although I like his name Sarkan better. It seems from the very
start that these two have a rocky beginning. She is clumsy, he is
hateful. As a matter of fact, I didn't like him throughout the first
part of the book. His prissy attitude is hilarious and the mishaps him
and Agnieszka get into are classic. But he does grow on you after a bit.
Sarkan is teaching Agnieszka to be a witch and she does
remarkably well to Sarkan's astonishment. And at times he gets cranky
about this :)
**SOME MILD SPOILERS**
Then her best friend
Kasia is taken by walkers into the WOOD. The woods are corrupt and
anything that goes into the woods, or is taken into the woods become
corrupt as well. Agnieszka refuses to believe she can't save Kasia and
sets out to do this very thing, much to the chagrin of Sarkan. Agnieszka
does manage to free her from one of the heart trees and bring her back
to the tower with Sarkan. They manage to combine their magic and perform
a Summoning spell and save Kasia although she's not quite the same.
story goes on to tell of more corruption from the Wood and what they
must do to make it all better. Agnieszka is very good at this and
keeping up with taking care of the Wood and the heart trees with the
help of the walkers. I think Agnieszka is a wonderful character and the
things she does to help the trees and the people are bitter sweet.
loved the character of Alosha. She's a tough warrior with magic of her
own. She's only in the last part of the book though and I'm hoping there
might be another book to go with this one, but if not it's great as it
is, I just want the story to continue for myself :)
There are some people in the book I don't care for but what would a book be without that!
love the atmosphere and the descriptions of the places in the book. I
could see it all in my minds eye. And the ending is so good! I really
enjoyed my journey with this book.
I would recommend this book
to anyone that likes these types of fantasy books. My review is short
and to the point, I don't like to drag on and on. I hope you enjoyed it
and it gave you a little bit of an idea what you will find in this