Friday, January 4, 2019

BLOG TOUR: White Stag (Review)

The first book in a brutally stunning series where a young girl finds herself becoming more monster than human and must uncover dangerous truths about who she is and the place that has become her home.

As the last child in a family of daughters, seventeen-year-old Janneke was raised to be the male heir. While her sisters were becoming wives and mothers, she was taught to hunt, track, and fight. On the day her village was burned to the ground, Janneke—as the only survivor—was taken captive by the malicious Lydian and eventually sent to work for his nephew Soren.

Janneke’s survival in the court of merciless monsters has come at the cost of her connection to the human world. And when the Goblin King’s death ignites an ancient hunt for the next king, Soren senses an opportunity for her to finally fully accept the ways of the brutal Permafrost. But every action he takes to bring her deeper into his world only shows him that a little humanity isn’t bad—especially when it comes to those you care about.

Through every battle they survive, Janneke’s loyalty to Soren deepens. After dangerous truths are revealed, Janneke must choose between holding on or letting go of her last connections to a world she no longer belongs to. She must make the right choice to save the only thing keeping both worlds from crumbling.
White Stag
Permafrost #1
Kara Barbieri
Pub Date: 1/8/19
Wednesday Books
Rating: 4/5
Amazon | B&N | Kobo | Audiobook

The first novel in the Permafrost series is dark and enticing. Kara Barbieri's debut immediately throws you into the heart of the story as it follows Janneke, a human thrall in a world dominated by goblins and other creatures. The Goblin King's death is the beginning of the hunt for the next. Janneke joins the hunt with her master, Soren, and embarks on a journey she has been avoiding for decades.

If you enjoyed Wintersong you'll enjoy White Stag. It's filled with more action, but the heroine in the story has complex thoughts and challenges that she struggles to overcome. Even with the dark nature of the story I still found moments in the story that made me laugh and feel like I could have been reading a contemporary fantasy.  I definitely recommend this story for upper YA and mature readers due to the violence and content of Janneke's past. There were some parts of the novel that even made me cringe because it was just too much.

It's been a long while since I've read a fantasy adventure like White Stag. Every challenge Janneke came across revealed a part of her character and a bit of her story that explained her role in the Permafrost. Kara Barbieri's writing style makes it so easy to understand the characters and their motivations. I went into the story expecting it to play out a certain way, but eventually I just sat back and enjoyed how it actually played out. By the end I just wanted to skip forward to the release of the next novel to see what's next for Soren and Janneke!
*ARC provided in consideration for review*


Kara Barbieri is a writer living in the tiny town of Hayward, Wisconsin. An avid fantasy fan, she began writing White Stag at eighteen and posting it to Wattpad soon after under the name of ‘Pandean’. When she’s not writing, you can find her marathoning Buffy the Vampire Slayer, reviving gothic fashion, and jamming to synthpop.

Connect: Goodreads

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