BOOKS
White Stag
368p. Wednesday Bks. Jan. 2019. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781250149589.
COPY ISBN
Gr 10 Up—The Wattpad author debuts with a violent YA fantasy that draws heavily on elements of Norse mythology. In the first installment of a planned trilogy set in the Permafrost, humans and a society of beautiful, fierce goblins uneasily coexist in adjacent kingdoms. Seventeen-year-old human Janneke has been enslaved to the powerful goblin lord Soren for 100 years, ever since her village was burned, her family massacred, and she was captured by Soren's ruthless uncle Lydian. After enduring unspeakable brutality at Lydian's hands, Janneke tolerates Soren as a master but still views all goblins as monsters. When the ancient goblin king dies, Janneke and Soren join the legendary white stag hunt to determine who will succeed him. Along the way, they must outwit "svartelves," battle a pair of vicious "lindworms," and fend off attacks from rival goblin gangs. Throughout the adventure, Janneke struggles to come to terms with her traumatic history as she discovers mysterious newfound powers, emotional strength, and a growing tenderness toward Soren. In her interior monologues, Janneke repeatedly and vividly relives Lydian's brutal abuse, which becomes particularly problematic when scenes of graphically described rape are invoked to demonstrate Lydian's—and his fellow goblins'—monstrous nature. Although Barbieri tries to portray Janneke as a strong female lead, she seems to be defined mainly through her relationships with men, and her character growth is underdeveloped.
VERDICT Not recommended.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.

RELATED 

TOP STORIES

LIBRARY EDUCATION

Kids are using VR to explore worlds and create new ones

COMMUNITY FORM

Kids are using VR to explore worlds and create new ones

COLLECTION DEVELOPMENT

Kids are using VR to explore worlds and create new ones

Get connected. Join our global community of more than 200,000 librarians and educators.