“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 did like this whole fairy-tale fantasy vibe. That was nicely done, but I also felt like the book could have done with more books. Let me explain.
This is a stand alone. Through out the entire book we hear about the Big bad, and then at the end, well since it ends happily duh. That was too fast. Too easy.
Agnieszka was a nice young woman, but she had Mary Sue tendencies. The only thing not in her favour was that she was not uber pretty but whatever. No, she was awesome at something, something only she could do, and best in the world. She comes along and is all, I can do this, and does it, while others could not. And after a short time. I need more growth, now she was just Mary Sueish.
So I wished more growth for her, and more story. Because I wanted more tension, danger, death and destruction. The whole plot was so awesome and then near the end I was all cool! And then, the end!, done...eh? Too fast! You do not have to drag it out for ages, but a bit more. Now it ended too easily with Super Agni.
What I then liked what the mythology behind certain things, and I wanted more. The story was nice and exciting at times. And I enjoyed it a lot. But like I have said, I did want even more. For me it could have been even better. I also think what did it was this whole is it adult or YA? It is adult in my eyes, just light pretty fairytale adult. It would have worked better with some true darkness.
Still...very cool story.
Hardcover, 438 pages
Published May 19th 2015 by Del Rey