In Kara Barbieri’s Goblin King, the stunning sequel in the Permafrost series which began with White Stag, Janneke must find how far she’s willing to go to save her world from destruction–even if it means sacrificing everything she’s fought for.
The Hunt is over but the War has just begun.
Against all odds, Janneke has survived the Hunt for the Stag–but all good things come with a cost. Lydian might be dead, but he took the Stag with him. Janneke now holds the mantle, while Soren, now her equal in every way, has become the new Erlking. Janneke’s powers as the new Stag has brought along haunting visions of a world thrown into chaos and the ghost of Lydian taunts her with the riddles he spoke of when he was alive.
When Janneke discovers the truth of Lydian and his madness, she’s forced to see her tormentor in a different light for the first time. The world they know is dying and Lydian may have been the only person with the key to saving it.
Fly Girl’s Review:
Talk about some existential thought. This book is definitely a different bag than the White Stag was. The White Stag was about world building and action whereas this one is about what drives all these races and why the Permafrost exists. And of course why the White Stag and the Goblin King must keep it together.
When Janneke and Soren have to go into the nether realm to rescue a dead Lydian because he seems to have the answers to why Janneke can’t wield the power of the Stag yet and what is happening to their realm and finally just to get him out of her head. Soren loves Janneke beyond measure but has gone through no trial like she has under Lydian’s thumb and can’t understand the connection she has with Lydian. But he is willing to go to the depths of his soul to release her from Lydian.
Along the way they learn some truths about their rag tag gang that are both wonderful and heartbreaking. Everyone is keeping secrets but the in between will divest them of them. If any of them thought they were safe from the Queen of the Dead’s wrath they were all wrong. Sacrifices must be made and games plaid to get Lydian out with his mind intact. Lydian’s secret most of all brings peace to both Soren and Janneke as it explains why he was so intolerable to both of them as youth.
When they emerge from the in between, they are no more in the light than when they went in. We must wait for book three before we can really see the tale end and peace be brought to not only the Permafrost, but the Human world as well and the balance of good and bad, light and dark, human and other be put as ease. What gets me the most about Kara’s story thus far is how much it is similar to Dan Pullman’s Dark Materials in the pacing of the story between the two books and also how much the second book is really about what’s inside of each of the characters and the travails they much got through either because of what’s there or what they need to be in the future. Both books make you analyze yourself just a little bit differently than the other and maybe their is hope for the reader to have discovered something about themselves or discovered where they wish to be with their soul.
Fly Girl’s Rating: 4.5 of 5 Propellers
To catch up on the rest of the series:
Connect with Kara Barbieri
Kara Barbieri is a writer living in the tiny town of Hayward, Wisconsin. An avid fantasy fan, she began writing White Stag at eighteen and posting it to Wattpad soon after under the name of ‘Pandean’. When she’s not writing, you can find her marathoning Buffy the Vampire Slayer, reviving gothic fashion, and jamming to synthpop