White Stag by Kara Barbieri
Publication date: 08 Jan 2019
Publisher: Wednesday Books
I was really excited about the Second Star Books January 2019 Monstrous Truths box. Deep, dark, monstrous, right up my alley! And I've gotta say, this has been the best book I've received from them to date. It's beautifully written and the plot is very unique.
First a *TRIGGER WARNING* White Stag is a story about a girl who was violently raped. While it does not go through the actual (past) event in graphic detail, it does discuss it, so be warned.
Janneke is the only survivor of a Goblin raid which destroyed her family and her village. She was taken captive by one of the most violent of the Goblins, Lydian. She endured torture and cruelty from the partly insane goblin, until she was given to his nephew Soren.
Soren treated her well, but she can never trust him. He and his uncle Lydian are both contenders for the Goblin throne. They must hunt the White Stag, along with any other aspirants to the throne, and the winner takes all. Many will die, and there are no rules against sabotage. To win, Soren knows he will need Janneke at his side.
Janneke has something else to contend with. She has been in the goblin world for so long that she is starting to assimilate, not just to their culture, but to their blood. Will she find a way to stop the process which is slowly turning her into what she hates most? She will have to face all of her inner demons to find out.
The ending is NOT what you expect. This book is magical. Her struggle with PTSD and her self hatred, which many rape victims face, is one of the most honest and heart rending things I've ever read. I tore through it in 2 evenings, it's hard to put down.
Strongly recommend, 4.5/5!
Anyone affected by sexual assault, whether it be you or someone you care about, can find support on the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673.)