Agnieszka (pronounced Ag-NYESH-kah) of Dvernik is a Dragon born girl. Born between one October and the next, she and her best friend Kasia are among the ones who will be chosen to serve their wizard, the Dragon, for 10 years. Kasia is the one he will take. Everybody knows - she is everything the Dragon would look for, everything Agnieszka is not. But when the dragon comes, the tables turn and Agnieszka is ripped from her world and taken into the Tower.
Despairing, she knows that when she returns from the 10 years, she will not be the same, and never return fully to her village. At first, the Dragon is sure she is a spy, but soon realises she is a witch - with a gift for disaster, but a witch nonetheless . Every day in the lonely tower, she grudgingly learns her trade beside the Dragon, but it’s not until the Wood, a dark, enchanted place of wickedness attacks her village, and her best friend that she uses it willingly. With the Dragon elsewhere, she escapes and discovers her own type of magic, and is fiercely devoted to protecting the ones she loves from the terrible Wood. But it’s hard to fight against an enemy so unknown and so strong - no one knows where it came from, but it grows ugly, twisted trees, children snatching Walkers, disease, corruption and death. And ever so slowly, it eats up the land and takes over villages. No one returns from the Wood unchanged, but with the aid of the Dragon, Agnieszka knows she will stop the wood if even if it’s the very thing that will kill her. And it will, if she can’t stop it. Because everything comes at a price.
This book is full of the raw will of Agnieskza, the complex relationships of herself to the land, to the Wood, to the world, and the deep, enchanting and deathly magic of Evil. This world is one you never want to escape from, and the the book will catch you in it’s claws and hold you until you finish it. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and I couldn’t tear my eyes away from it. You're never safe in this story - there is no easy way out and the twists are continuous and hard to unravel, but it makes you want to read to the end and reread to make sure you've made sense of it. It won’t suit everyone’s taste, but don’t judge this book as a fairytale, because it’s much, much more than that.
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