A dark enchantment blights the land.
Agnieszka loves her village, set deep in a peaceful valley. But the nearby enchanted forest casts a shadow over her home. Many have been lost to the Wood, and none returns unchanged. The villagers depend on an ageless wizard, the Dragon, to protect them from the forest's dark magic. However, his help comes at a terrible price. One young village woman must serve him for 10 years, leaving all she values behind.
Agnieszka fears her dearest friend, Kasia, will be picked at the next choosing, for she's everything Agnieszka is not - beautiful, graceful and brave. Yet when the Dragon comes, it's not Kasia he takes.
©2016 Naomi Novik (P)2016 Macmillan Digital Audio
Truly magical and completely engrossing! Really loved it and very sad as I came to its end! Beautifully written and very well read! A complete delight! Where are the rest of her books, please?
"I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library." — Jorge Luis Borges
Despite listening to over 300 books a year, I've only found two new fantasy authors I'd really recommend in 2016. This is a beautifully narrated story with hints of probably Russian folk tales, though I don't know where or how varied the author's influences. It feels like the literary equivalent or a monsoon in the desert.
I'd recommend this book to anyone who for reasons beyond my comprehension likes Twilight saga. Same story of hardly of age girl suddenly finding herself very special and in love with some mysterious hundred year old man. Which I personally find far from fascinating, but dull and degrading. I've also discovered what seems the only disadvantage of an audio book - you can suddenly find yourself listening to a "his firm thigh between my legs" passage without being able to flick through the pages to escape it.
I deeply regret buying this book and my own habit of not being able to put down a story I've started to read or listen.
I bought this as I've loved Naomi Novik's Temeraire series for years. I wondered if she could wow as much with a standalone book and I think she's surpassed herself! Absorbing characters, a complex universe that could go well beyond the one book and I love the narrator, too. She captures the voice of the protaganist so well.
Thoroughly recommend this book! Grabs you instantly and holds you throughout. I only wish she'd done more!
Wonderfully written and read. Probably one of the best narrations I've heard. Will be looking out for more by this author and narrator.
Brilliant Narration, and a story that resembles a dark fairy tale, enjoyed this thoroughly. Highly recommend.
"confused about the hugely varied reviews? read thi"
Ok so the first 5 chapters she is a bit whiney and whinge repetitively about her predicament. he's a miserable negative pratt but do stick with it. the book totally redeems itself soon after and it's a great book. The narrator is perfect for the character, at once whimsical and aloof and real too so you feel you know agnieshka. I'm sure I spelt that wrong, ah well. The wood is fascinating and the magic gets better and better. a highly engaging book.
A wonderful and engulfing story with so many perfect little details narrated masterfully
would recommend to everyone, especially fantasy enthusiasts
Report Inappropriate Content
If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.