As the only survivor of the fire that burned her village to the ground, Janneke has lived nearly a hundred years as a thrall in the service of goblins. Though she has held on to her humanity as much as possible, it slips away the longer she stays in the Permafrost. When the time comes for a Hunt to decide the next Erlking, Soren, the goblin she serves, decides it’s the perfect time for her to embrace her transformation into a goblin. As they fight for their lives, Janneke must decide whether to hold on to the human world or finally let go.
This book took me through a whole rollercoaster of emotions. Janneke’s character development throughout the entire book was extremely well done. The fact that it wasn’t linear was definitely a selling point for me. Her journey of forgiveness towards herself is based on the author’s own, which made it that much more realistic. The reader is privy to all of her internal struggles and gets to see how she changes with every twist and turn the plot brings.
I enjoyed Janneke and Soren’s relationship as well. Soren’s respect for Janneke and her boundaries was honestly one of the best parts of it. It’s not often in YA that I see this kind of mutual respect. The tendency seems to be that one partner is always forcing the other into things. These two definitely don’t do that. They also communicate, something that can be a point of frustration in fiction. I can’t even begin to count the number of times where something could have been solved or avoided had the characters just talked. Janneke and Soren, for the most part, are aware of each other’s feelings.
All in all, White Stag is a wonderfully emotional fantasy.
Yours in love and literature, Page.
Content Warnings: sexual assault, abuse, trauma, graphic violence. I would definitely recommend reading the author’s note at the beginning if you’re concerned about the content.
Check out @page.turner.omnibus on Instagram for sneak peeks at what I’ll be reviewing next!