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Publisher's Summary

A dark enchantment blights the land.
Agnieszka loves her village, set deep in a peaceful valley. But the nearby enchanted forest casts a shadow over her home. Many have been lost to the Wood, and none returns unchanged. The villagers depend on an ageless wizard, the Dragon, to protect them from the forest's dark magic. However, his help comes at a terrible price. One young village woman must serve him for 10 years, leaving all she values behind.
Agnieszka fears her dearest friend, Kasia, will be picked at the next choosing, for she's everything Agnieszka is not - beautiful, graceful and brave. Yet when the Dragon comes, it's not Kasia he takes.
©2016 Naomi Novik (P)2016 Macmillan Digital Audio
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Customer Reviews

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By jaki on 01-18-17

confused about the hugely varied reviews? read thi

Ok so the first 5 chapters she is a bit whiney and whinge repetitively about her predicament. he's a miserable negative pratt but do stick with it. the book totally redeems itself soon after and it's a great book. The narrator is perfect for the character, at once whimsical and aloof and real too so you feel you know agnieshka. I'm sure I spelt that wrong, ah well. The wood is fascinating and the magic gets better and better. a highly engaging book.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful


By rebecca wheeler on 04-07-17

Thoroughly enjoyed!

Brilliant Narration, and a story that resembles a dark fairy tale, enjoyed this thoroughly. Highly recommend.

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By Gabrielle Harvey-Jones on 05-18-16

Highly recommended!

Truly magical and completely engrossing! Really loved it and very sad as I came to its end! Beautifully written and very well read! A complete delight! Where are the rest of her books, please?

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4 of 4 people found this review helpful


By nicole on 07-11-16

Exceptional epic fantasy

Despite listening to over 300 books a year, I've only found two new fantasy authors I'd really recommend in 2016. This is a beautifully narrated story with hints of probably Russian folk tales, though I don't know where or how varied the author's influences. It feels like the literary equivalent or a monsoon in the desert.

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6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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By emmoff on 11-17-16

Well written folklore fantasy

Folklore fantasy full of malevolent woods and powerful magic. Interesting twists in the plot and characters who develop and grow. Very enjoyable. Solid narration.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful


By Zora on 11-04-16

Deeply engaging stand-alone fantasy

Lovely story, with a fascinating and very sinister baddie in the form of an entire evil forest! Feels like a Russian fairytale (as it is meant to) and the pace is brisk and exciting. A real pleasure.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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