Agnieszka loves her valley home, her quiet village, the forests and the bright shining river. But the corrupted Wood stands on the border, full of malevolent power, and its shadow lies over her life. Her people rely on the cold, driven wizard known only as the Dragon to keep its powers at bay. But he demands a terrible price for his help: one young woman handed over to serve him for ten years, a fate almost as terrible as falling to the Wood. The next choosing is fast approaching, and Agnieszka is afraid. She knows—everyone knows—that the Dragon will take Kasia: beautiful, graceful, brave Kasia, all the things Agnieszka isn’t, and her dearest friend in the world. And there is no way to save her. But Agnieszka fears the wrong things. For when the Dragon comes, it is not Kasia he will choose.
I really enjoyed this, even if I did have a few problems with it. I was listening to the audiobook, and it felt like, once I started, I just couldn’t let it go -- much like The Summoning. :) I’d definitely give it four stars.
For that, though, I did have some issues -- one, while I’ve listened to this narrator before, I just can’t enjoy her -- she’s *so* slow. I got frustrated when I had five or six hours left in the book, realized it was just a hundred pages, and walked over to the library and read the last pages there in about an hour rather than waste another day with it. Eh. While that’s a valid complaint about the narrator, I do still enjoy her -- she brings an interesting flavor to the story.
One of my friends reviewed this book as “While this book isn’t perfect and I have my gripes, I had to give it five stars because of how I needed to have it on my to-buy list after the first chapter.” Nail, head. Yep. Great story.