Synopsis (from Goodreads)
My thanks go to Netgalley and Pan Macmillan for providing me with this e-Arc
Released: 21st of March 2015
“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.
What I Have to Say
I found this book really slow. Part of it may have been that the text in my copy which was annoyingly small and hard to read, which while not being the worse thing in the world did affect my mood when I was reading. I don't want to let that effect my enjoyment of the book, especially with a proof copy, but the fact is, it did. That said I've read Naomi Norvik before and found it just as slow, so it's probably just that she's not for me.
The story itself was really good though, I liked the main character and her friendship with Kasia as well as most of the interactions between her and the Dragon, because she was so annoyed and grumpy with her all of the time. The fact that she had no idea that she was learning magic was really funny.