I’m the type of reader who usually fall in love with the book cover and I must admit the covers of this book were not really my type (at first), then it grew on me, I mean the goldish/yellow cover with the girl photo. The longer I stare at that cover the more I fell in love with it.
The title though, for me suits everything about this book (finally a perfect title of a book which truly describes the plot, in my opinion).
This is my second read about witchcraft and my first read of Ms. Novik’s. I enjoyed the magic and spells (though the incantations are difficult to pronounce, because YUP! I actually tried reciting them) because those were just a few of my secret dreams (well not secret anymore); to have super natural powers like witches have.
This book was told in Agnieszka’s perspective, I just wish there were more dialogues than story telling but nevertheless this was just a little complain of mine.
My favorite thing about this book is its plot. It’s exciting, amazing, unexpected and brilliant. I was spell bounded reading it. I really enjoyed reading Agnieszka’s training to develop her talent and their battle against the “Wood”. So far the “Wood” is the most evil being/thing/place among the villains I ever encounter in a book. There are horrid creatures in there. People could get “corrupted” (meaning their body could get possessed by the “Wood” spirit as if possessed by a demon) which is really terrifying. But of course, it has a story of its own and reasons for being bad, but still bad.
The world building is really good too. I liked how the author created a world where normal people and wizards/witches are living together but a little saddened by the fact that wizards and witches lived for hundreds of years and witnessed their loved ones, especially those who are not wizards or witches, die from generations to generations.
The character development of the heroine, Agnieszka, is good too. I liked her character. Agnieszka is going to be one of my favorite heroines. She doesn’t really care of her looks (even though most of the time she gets dirty/untidy because she feels really herself and comfortable when she’s outside doing something and not really minding if she gets dirty or not.) Her strong conviction is what I really really loved about her. I also like her relationship with her best friend and I understand it because as much as I love my best friend I could definitely say that there were times in the past that I got jealous, annoyed, and also got angry with her and I know she felt the same with me, but in the end what’s important is we stick together. And I know deep in my heart that I would do anything I could for her.
Sarkan, (hhmm) on the other hand has surprisingly and successfully earned my approval. I also like his snob character even though I’d read reviews about him being abusive, not a charming love interest and with 0 (zero) chemistry with Agnieszka,….. I-still-like-him-for-her. He’s not the typical kind of guy. He’s blunt; he says things sarcastically (well this happened most of the times); he says what he wanted to say regardless of how you would feel. He also isolates himself because he’s afraid of getting attached to people. And because Agnieszka is such a tenacious heroine, she successfully got through his defenses.
The romance in this book is just like a side dish to make the main course (which is the plot) a bit more interesting, in my opinion, because for me the plot is amazing enough (Hands down).
As I read it through about 75-95% of the story I was actually wondering and anxious to know how the author is going to solve all those problems, and I was really hoping that she would not drag everything just to make an ending for this story. Fortunately, she did not. But I found myself wishing for a few more lines at the ending or maybe an epilogue because I wanted to read more about Agnieszka and Sarkan.
#this book made me wish it to be a part of a series
#but as a standalone this is satisfying
#I almost gave it a 5 star because I loved the plot so much