Author: Naomi Novik
Agnieszka lives in a small village by a dark corrupted wood held back by the Dragon. But they pay a price for his help. Every ten years he takes a local girl from the village to serve him. Agnieszka (and everyone else) is sure this is going to be the beautiful Kasia. Boy, is she in for a surprise!
This book can really be broken down into stages for me.
Stage 1: Pretty cover, interesting, good reviews. I’m sold! Book waits while I finish up some others.
Stage 2: Hit a little mini-slump and then read some reviews that aren’t as good (repetitious and too-wordy). You don’t want to make a reading slump worse. Book continues to wait for me.
Finally: I’m just going to read this!
Stage 3: (First 200 pages) Oh, man! This is so good! Love the main character! The relationship with the Dragon is right up my alley! Love that they don’t lose the binds of her friendship with Kasia. A girl can have love and friendship right?
Stage 4: (Mid-book) Okay, she’s going where? I don’t know about this… I like the story of the poor Prince looking for his Wood stolen mother but still…
A little further along: Oh! Ah, brutal. We’re talking old school fairy tales here! Back on track pretty quickly no less!
End of Book: Great story. Great characters. Would love to see this on-screen and see the truth about the Wood brought to life. I should have read this sooner!
Recommend: Yes. It lags a bit in the middle for some world-building but I admit I might have thought that because I wanted more of the Dragon/Agnieszka but when it moves it flies toward the ending for me. I even wound up enjoying the stuff with the royal family. I really should have picked it up sooner!