Published by Del Rey on May 19th 2015
Number of Pages: 435
Genres: Fairy Tale, Fantasy, Romance, Young Adult
Purchase: At Amazon
“Our 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.”
Agnieszka 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.
Her people 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 read this in two days. I could have finished it faster if I didn’t have to go to work. It was that amazing. And now that I’m done reading it, I’m wishing that it was the first in a series and not a single book.
I loved how Agnieszka and Sarkan interacted with each other. It was funny and perfect, and totally believable. I also liked how close she was to Kasia. Their friendship was shown through everything they did together, and I liked how it changed and yet stayed the same.
The reason behind the Woods being evil and dark was unexpected and sad. And I liked how it all tied in with the world and story-line. All the characters were three-dimensional and the world was vivid and full. Even with as many pages as this book is, and how much happened in it, I wanted still MORE. Not because there was a lot of things left hanging (there weren’t.) And not because something bothered me that I wanted to see fixed (it was all good!) But because it was so good I just didn’t want the story to end.
I loved the magic in the world, and how Agnieszka saw it compared to the magic users she came into contact with. I also liked how there were no slow bits in the story. Nothing went by too fast either, it was just the kind of book where once you start it you’re sucked in and don’t want to do anything but read.
There is sex in the book, but only one scene and it isn’t too explicit. The only negative thing I can think of to say about the book is that the main character name was a mouthful. Agnieszka. I kept having to call her “Ag” or “girl” in my head when I was rooting for her to do something because I just couldn’t remember how her name was spelled or settle on a shortening of it for myself that I’d remember.
If you haven’t read this book yet, you need to!