Book Review: White Stag by Kara Barbieri

Published in 2019 by Wednesday Books

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

Page Count: 360

My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Goodreads Sypnosis:

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.

My Review:

Thank you Pan Macmillan Australia for providing me with an ARC of this book to enjoy, all thoughts are my own.

I always enjoy a story of survival, and Janneke’s story is no exception! I was instantly drawn into her world, and I thoroughly enjoyed my stay! White Stag was so captivating, I hadn’t read a book with Goblin King and Goblin lore embedded throughout it for some time, and I definitely felt addicted to this one! I instantly loved the chilly undertones to this book, I mean, even the setting Permafrost, just makes me break out in gooseflesh!

I loved Soren’s character, even though he was a monster, I felt like you could really tell that his heart was in the right place, and that he really did have Janneke’s best interests at heart, even though he should’ve been more honest with her regarding her early years.

I mean, and this is really where I felt for Janneke, the poor love never knew where she belonged! Her family were all taken away from her at the hands of the ruthlessly evil Lydian, who in turn is Soren’s Uncle, each who hated the other with a burning disgust.

Personally, I sided with Soren, all of the way!

Coupled with the appearances of a half human/half goblin, a pair of menacing dragons, a she wolf (not in the traditional sense, perhaps), and an array of goblins (good and evil), and a titular character that had me feeling the feels, White Stag was a fabulous and refreshing read, and I can’t wait to see where the story goes from here!

Happy Reading,



  1. I’ve seen this book around a lot lately, and it sounds really good. It’s nice to see something a bit different in the genre. I’m glad you enjoyed it so much! Can’t wait to pick it up myself.

    Liked by 1 person

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