Publication Date: May 19, 2015
Publisher: Del Rey
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.
This was recommended to me by someone off Twitter, I hadn’t heard of this book and I am so glad that they told me about it! WOW if you love fantasy with an AMAZING storyline you should totally check this out!
It is, but it isn’t a retelling of Beauty and the Beast. Well, that is what I was expecting and actually it started off that way and then Novik made this story her own, I would say it has a Beauty and the Beast FEEL to it, but in actuality it is, it’s very own story.
This story is well-drawn, with vivid characters, beautiful descriptions, an amazing world-building, fantastic descriptions that aren’t so out-of-this-world crazy or overdone that it’s a turn off. It has an undertone of romance, amazing action, mystery, and humor. This story is creepy at times yet exciting. The characters were so well done I could literally picture them in my mind and feel like I was actually a fly on the wall. THAT is how well written this book is.
This story tells of the Dragon who takes a girl every ten years to work with him and when their time is up, these girls are gorgeous women with wealth-yet changed that they no longer can return and stay with their past place and loved ones.
When Agnieszka is chosen to serve the Dragon, their lives are changed forever.
I loved Agnieszka because she ISN’T the prettiest or the “brightest”. But she is special. Something we mere mortals can relate too. I loved everything about her-except the fact I felt like she cried too much, and that was a bit annoying, other than that, I loved her.
The Dragon was…just…interesting. I can understand why he is the way he is and it makes for a great love/hate dynamic between him and Agnieszka which made for some great funny scenes and yet have those very few heartwarming ones. He was just overall fascinating.
Overall I would recommend anyone who is a lover of adult fantasy.
Sexual Content: heavy (talk of rape, an almost sex scene that got pretty detailed, and an actual sex scene that is again detailed)
Violence: moderate (fantastical violence, creepy characters, battle scenes)
Language: mild/none (that I recall)