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ARC Review: Goblin King by Kara Barbieri

Rating: 1 out of 5.

I enjoyed White Stag, though it definitely had its faults, and was looking forward to continuing the story. The problem now is that I wish the story had ended there. Goblin King is…. boring. Seriously boring. There’s no emotional connection to characters. The stakes may be high but they certainly don’t feel so. The story DRAGS on and on with nothing but Feyre – I mean Janneke – stewing over her emotional trauma and letting it dictate her relationships.

I found similarities to A Court of Thorns and Roses series in White Stag, but here they were overwhelming and unending. Janneke morphed into Feyre, Soren became Rhys, Lydian became Tamlin, Seppo became Cassian… It’s frankly ridiculous. I may as well just reread ACOTAR – at least it was more polished. Here I’m practically having to read between the words that are written just to understand it.

If you loved ACOTAR, it might be worth picking this up. Otherwise, I can’t recommend it.

*Thanks to NetGalley and Wednesday Books for providing an e-arc to review

Book Review: White Stag by Kara Barbieri

Rating: 3 out of 5.

I bought this after reading Wintersong and falling in love with that version of the Erlking. I had high hopes for it, but I also was turned off after buying it and seeing the content warnings in reviews. They’re the sort that usually turn me away from a book, but I decided to give it a go. And, for whatever reason, the content being warned actually didn’t bother me in this book.

The story was very good, but could have used a bit more work. The worldbuilding and magic explanations were scarce, and I came away feeling rather like it was ACOTAR on ice. The relationship between Janneke and Soren was a VERY large part of the book, and while I love a good fantasy romance, I also love a good fantasy worldbuilding, which this one lacked.

Towards the end, though, things picked up story-wise and I was left mostly satisfied. I loved the ending twist and that helped shape my overall opinion of this book.

I’ll be reading the ARC of the sequel in the next week or so, and it will be interesting to see where the story goes and if the worldbuilding improves.