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review 2019-01-04 22:37
Brutal but stunning dark fantasy, this chilling debut goblin-king novel has roots in Norse mythology
White Stag - Kara Barbieri

In this dark fantasy, Janneke is the last child in a family of daughters and has been groomed to be the ‘male heir’, having been taught to hunt, track, and fight. When her village was burned to the ground she was the only survivor and was taken captive by the malicious goblin Lydian, who scars her for life, and who then sends her to work for his nephew Soren.

She then has to serve this monster who she is bonded to in the Permafrost. A brutal hunt begins for the beautiful white stag as Lydian and Soren compete for the throne of the next Goblin King. Janneke's humanity comes at the cost of becoming more attached and loyal to the goblin Soren, and as she has to learn to survive in the world she has been made to live in, learning truths about the past and about who she really is.


This is the first novel from a talented new author, Kara Barbieri, who brought it to life on WattPad; she has imagined a world called the Permafrost, heavily influenced by Nordic mythology, laden with dangerous monsters alongside the goblins, living in an unforgiving frozen landscape. Set to be the start of a series, ‘White Stag’ is both frightening and captivating.

*Frightening because of the amount of sheer brutality in the novel: there are plenty of references to rape, torture, mutilation, and abuse, as well as all the combat/fighting leading to bloodshed and descriptions of injuries and more. Janneke has been victim to unspeakable acts at the hands of Lydian, and we gradually learn about his true capabilities as the story goes on, making him just about the vilest character you can possibly ever read about. Soren, who she is bound to, is the unlikely antidote to this goblin villain, and ironically becomes the one to bring romance and emotion to her world, despite the ‘humanity’ leaving her life.

*That's your trigger warning, folks!



What I found most appealing about the book, is the journey that Janneke goes on, both physically and emotionally, which kept me captivated throughout; the hunt and the battles are relentless and test her constantly, and the relationship with Soren gradually changes. I've read some criticism of the relationship between her and Soren (I made the mistake of reading others' reviews, which I don't normally do), and I disagree that it would be unlikely that she would become attached to him, given that she is his charge and bound to him. I wasn't sure whether to attribute her feelings towards Soren to a sort of Stockholm syndrome or because she genuinely developed feelings for him because he seemed to care for her (he became more human as she lost her humanity). The dichotomy here is fascinating. They've been attached for some hundred years or so, and the intensity would undoubtedly bring some connection; why now though is more the question, but it makes for great reading.


Barbieri has set the stage for a series in a world that may trigger many readers but evokes images, not unlike the Game of Thrones and is for anyone who loves Viking or Nordic-inspired tales and mythology. I appreciated her sense of humor throughout the novel, and I know there is so much more to come from this bright light that is Kara Barbieri.

Source: www.goodreads.com/book/show/39863517-white-stag
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review 2013-03-03 00:00
Wacky Wednesday (Beginner Books(R))
Wacky Wednesday (Beginner Books(R)) - Theo LeSieg Fantastic book for kids! So imaginative and creative. Easy read that children will find delightful!

Dr. Seuss is always brilliant! His stories and rhymes are fun and entertaining! Some of my all time favorites!! Such a great way to entertain children and get them interested in reading!
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review 2012-02-12 03:32
An ode to a really strange day
Wacky Wednesday (Beginner Books(R)) - Theo LeSieg

This is probably my favourite Dr Seuss book, having I read it many a time when I was a kid. I guess the reason for that was because it was one of those books that you didn't just read, but actively participated in it as well. On every page there were things out of the ordinary, and you, the reader, were to try and find as many of these 'Wacky' things as possible. I must also admit that I have not read it in a while, and I suspect that with my rather odd personality, would purposely find more wacky things than the authors originally intended.

Basically this book is about a kid that has had a bad day. He wakes up and suddenly discovers that things have simply gone all weird. Well, granted, when you are on acid things do end up looking really, really weird (just watch Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas), but I am doubtful that it is suggested in this book that the boy took something that we was not supposed to before he went to school.

I would probably suggest that this book is allegorical as well (allegory, as I have previously mentioned, is actually a very good way to assist a child in understanding the world around them. C.S. Lewis understood that when he wrote The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe). The allegory here, and the lesson to be learnt, is that we will always have bad days, or Wacky Wednesdays (I heard that used that as a term for coming down off of hard drugs). However, we are to do our best to make good light of the bad situation. Bad days will always happen, however we need to laugh and look at the bright side of life, just as Brian did when he was hanging on the cross.

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review 2009-12-23 00:00
Wacky Wednesday (Beginner Books(R)) - Theo LeSieg I thought this was Dr. Seuss's funniest book as a kid. Loved, loved, loved it.
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