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White Stag

(Permafrost #1)

3.70  ·  Rating details ·  2,626 ratings  ·  835 reviews
The first book in a brutally stunning series where a young girl finds herself becoming more monster than human and must uncover dangerous truths about who she is and the place that has become her home.

As the last child in a family of daughters, seventeen-year-old Janneke was raised to be the male heir. While her sisters were becoming wives and mothers, she was taught to hu
Hardcover, 368 pages
Published January 8th 2019 by Wednesday Books (first published May 2016)
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Kara Barbieri Yes it is! It's a trilogy, in fact. …moreYes it is! It's a trilogy, in fact. (less)

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Average rating 3.70  · 
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 ·  2,626 ratings  ·  835 reviews

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Oct 31, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: arcs-read
**2.5-stars rounded up**

As the sole survivor of a goblin raid on her village, Janneke is wracked with guilt.

As if this weren't bad enough, she is also taken hostage by the raiding army and forced into a life of servitude at the hands of a sadistic goblin, Lydian.

Her life with him is nothing short of hell. We learn about this time through flashbacks, but let's just get the trigger warnings out of the way: (view spoiler)
Chelsea Humphrey
Nov 03, 2018 marked it as dnf-lost-interest  ·  review of another edition
I think I'm going to have to mark this one DNF @ 25%.

I initially requested White Stag because gorgeous cover + Goblin King = a happy Chelsea. The first chapter was incredibly suspenseful, dropping us right in the middle of an action packed, tense scene. It was a fantastic start and I was anxious to see how the author would fill in the backstory, along with bringing us forward in a tense race to hunt the stag. I quickly realized that perhaps this book needed a bit more work before being released
alana ♡
Aug 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
tw: mentions of rape, torture, violence

Ladies and gentlemen, there's a new Rhys in town and he goes by the name of Soren.

I honestly, didn't doubt for a second that I was going to end up loving this one. I mean, I freaking LOVED Wintersong, and it changed my life basically forever because I am now just one giant pile of goblin trash. So, its not really a surprise that the minute I heard about this book I knew I was going to spend the rest of my days eagerly anticipating the release of this book. 
C.G. Drews
This is about goblins and erlkings and monstrous girls... so basically a checklist of things I quite enjoy reading. I am PLEASED. It had a lot of fae culture woven through a Norse setting, but focusing on goblins instead, and I've been reading SO many fae books recently that this just fit right into what I was in the mood for. Plus it's bitterly cold and cruelly wicked with knives and claws and fights around every few pages. But it also takes the time to really discuss and delve into PTSD and me ...more
Dec 14, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Mention of rape.

At first, I couldn't figure out what bothered me about this story. I read it, and then read it again, trying to figure out why I just didn't feel comfortable with it. Then, after thinking on it, I realized what was wrong.

The main character's rape is used for shock value. It's brought up again and again, to either reinforce how 'bad' the bad guy is, or to force sympathy for the character. It's a go to whenever the character is upset. It's a constant reminder bashed over our h
Mara YA Mood Reader
Perfect for those who enjoyed Holly Black’s Folk of the Air trilogy although you won’t find a Cardan copy here but maybe you will discover something else.

Something magical happens inside me when I see the words Goblin King or Der Erlkonig or Faerie Prince in a book title or synopsis. Where I know I’ll be taken down into the hidden depths of Goblin Grove or a Realm of Faerie and whisked away into a wondrously dark fairytale filled with beautiful yet vicious and passionate otherworldly creatures
Ashlee » libraryinthecountry
This isn’t going to be a warm and fuzzy review.

I love dark fantasy stories that involve the folk and jumped on the opportunity to read and review White Stag. I discovered the origins of this story after I had started it (so cool!) and highly commend the author for getting her work published after originally publishing online.

That said, this story needs A LOT of work still. The premise is very interesting and I enjoyed the main characters, Janneke and Soren, but the plot only gets more confusing
Tomoe Hotaru
There are two ways to judge this book. The first is to see it as a coping mechanism; a cathartic device the author used to deal with her own trauma. She acknowledges so in her preface, and for that reason, it feels a bit icky for me to review this book. It feels as though I'm reviewing her way of dealing with her trauma; that any criticism towards the plot, structure, voice -- is by extension a criticism of her coping mechanism. That saying this could have been written better somehow tra ...more
destiny ♡⚔♡ [howling libraries]
Not gonna lie, if I'm on netgalley and see the word "goblin" I just start clicking buttons

Thank you so much to Wednesday Books for providing me with this ARC in exchange for an honest review!
Feb 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
What a fantastic story! ⭐️ Brilliant writing and such originality! This is definitely not what I expected when I read “goblins”. There’s a hint of Beauty & the Beast... but only if Beauty was a terrifying hunter and warrior.

Other reviews mention some trigger warnings and I try to be very sensitive to that as well. The scenes aren’t overly graphic but I suggest reading with caution... would not recommend for young or pre-teens.

Overall just an awesome fantasy that moves at a good pace, well devel
Dark River
Aug 05, 2020 rated it really liked it

I don't even really know what to say.
Was White Stag perfect? No.
Was it my fastest, most entertaining read in months? Hell yeah.

The world is beautiful, the writing fluid and the story action-packed. It really doesn't get boring.
And also let me just say that I loved Janneke as a protagonist. She's interesting and has a lot of baggage that's honestly heavier than I expected going in (the author does give you a fair warning before the start of the b
Amy Imogene Reads
3.5 stars

The Goblin King tale re-imagined with goblins who feel like sexy Fae, and dashes of debut tropes and intriguing character dynamics thrown in with sometimes confusing results. This was quite the whirlwind and I'm not sure how I feel about it.

Concept: ★★★★
Pacing: ★★★
World: ★★★
Character arcs: ★★ 1/2
Plot: ★★★
Writing: ★★

White Stag seemed to have everything I ever wanted: the Goblin King, a spitfire female protagonist, a dark love interest, winter vibes. It follows the world of the Permafro
Cindy ✩☽♔
Sep 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc, netgalley, fantasy
Rating ~3.5

We are all monsters in some way.

Whitestag tells the story of Janneke/Janneka a young girl stolen away from the mortal world 100 years ago, into the Permafrost, after the death of her family. For 100 years, she has lived among goblins. She has suffered a lifetime of hurt and continues to struggle, but she also to fight. All with the hope of one day returning to the human world, until she learns that she is changing and it may be too late to go back.

White Stag chronicles the journey of
Helena of Eretz ✰
I’m so sorry, Tabi, but ... I didn’t like it all that much. 😭 I REALLY WANTED TO THOUGH!

Look, I REALLY ENJOYED the first chapter!!! It was dark and action-packed and I thought it set the tone for the book. But it didn’t.

And then, it went downhill from there. 😔

The modern speech in this wintry, historical fantasy setting really threw me off. And once I got to the hunt...I just lost interest in the book ugh. I kept putting this down in favour of other things, so I think that’s a sign that I didn’
♡ Half Blood  Prince ♡
this was a buddy read with my old pal, the emissary for the abyss of Death, the Guardian of Silence, Sailor Saturn Tomoe Hotaru. her review already says it all, so i won't add much other than to say this was a case of great idea, poor follow-through.

it read very fanficky, is one thing. the main character, janneke, is a mutilated, traumatised, kidnapped slave pretty much, yet the whole thing revolves around her. people bend over backwards either trying to kill her or get in her good graces. every
Here we have a story that's part fantasy, part recovery-from-trauma, and all around SAVAGE. But also loved up. So ... yay?

I'll admit, it threw me a little. The story kinda starts in the middle which I normally enjoy (usually means more action) but it bothered me that it never went back to properly explain things. This feels like one of those times where the author held this story in her mind for so long that some of it got trapped there and never made it to the actual book. There's plenty happen
Ardent Reader
Another goblin story which is a little bit similar to wintersong, but violent and dark.

trigger warning : violence, rape and murder
Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede
I was a bit worried about reading this book after seeing friends of mine DNF the book on Goodreads. However, I'm glad to say that the book did work for me. Up to a point. Yes, I have some issues with the book, but that has nothing to do with the rape or any abuse Janneke had to deal with. I know that it's a trigger for some readers. But, in this case (unlike some other books I've read that really got to me), did it not bother me. And, that's because the characters were not developed enough for m ...more
New release Tuesday!

I’m so excited to ring in the new year by participating in the blog tour for White Stag!

Janneke has spent 100 years as a thrall (basically a human slave) to the young goblin lord Soren. Previously, she “belonged” to Lydian, Soren’s cruel and sadistic uncle, and before that, lived in her family’s village before Lydian burned it down. When the goblin king dies, the hunt begins to have a new power on the throne, and Janneke is determined not to let Lydian become the new Erlking.
Raw, gritty and brutally bold, WHITE STAG by Kara Barbieri is a fabulous foundation for a dark fantasy about a young woman whose life was stolen away as she became the prisoner of a sadistic goblin, bent on dehumanizing her in every way possible before sending her on to his nephew.

Janneke was always different, raised as the son her father never had, the sole survivor when her village was burned to the ground, she still has no place to call home, no place to feel safe. Wracked by survivor’s guilt
Lucie V.
Sep 19, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, kindle-ebook
3.5 stars

Some elements of this book reminded me of the Fae culture we've seen in many books, yet it was weaved through aspects of Norse mythology and since I know almost nothing about it, I really enjoyed this part.

It was nice to read something different than Fae books because even though I immensely enjoy them, it was beginning to all feel the same. This book has a cruel and animalistic touch to it. The goblins can be so inhumanely beautiful, but they also have a barbaric and violent side that
+e-Arc gently provided by Netgalley and publishers for an honest review+

2.6 iced stars

Trigger warning: rape and PTSD. Tons of angst.

Janneke was abducted by a goblin, Lydian, at age 17, and was brutalized, raped and tortured, by him. Then, and no one explain the reason, she was delivered as a slave to his nephew, Soren. One hundred years later, the Erlking dies and the ritual hunt of the White Stag begins.

I have a question: how can they say that this is Y.A. when the protagonist is the youngest w
Jun 11, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, romance, ya

This review and others like it can be found on my blog, Vicariously & Voraciously

ARC received via Netgalley for a fair review.

The death of the Goblin king has spurred The Hunt for the white stag and Janneke finds herself in the middle of it. After being a thrall for the goblins for 100 years now she seems to be losing more of her humanity and becoming more like the monsters they are. During this hunt, the goblin who controls her uses it as an opportunity to encourage her to accept what she has b
Jan 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
White Stag, the first novel in the Permafrost fantasy series by self-publishing success story Kara Barbieri, is a dark, brooding and superb read; in fact, it's difficult to believe that this is a debut, let alone a book written in the authors teen years. If this is the first, I am already ridiculously excited for the upcoming series instalments but also what comes after the too. Brutal and beautiful in equal measure, this is an intricately plotted story with some wonderful worldbuilding.

The atmo
Luupi "The Reading Queen"
2.5 stars

TW: Slavery and rape.

You know when you didn't like a book but then you sit to write a review and you don't really know the reason why? That's me right now.

To begin this with I have to say I found our main character, Jenneke, really entertaining to read about. She was so well fleshed out, I could feel her pain and fear but also her need to survive and to not give up on her life. She was so strong and she never backed up from a fight, of course she did it because otherwise the goblins wou
Apr 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
I picked this to be a change of pace after the brilliant intensity of 'Rosemary's Baby' by Ira Levin. I'd been meaning to read it for a while, and the cover caught my eye while I was wondering what to read next. I did not re-read the blurb, which would have reminded me that it's not exactly a light read. Here are the words that jump out at me as I scan it now:
'brutally stunning... burned to the ground... only survivor... taken captive... malicious... merciless monsters... ancient hunt...'
So thi
♠ Tabi⁷ ♠
Sep 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
RTC after a re-read when the 2nd book comes out but this is up there with The Cruel Prince type of fae stories and thus I super love it. ...more
Y'all, I am so torn about this book! There was so much I LOVED but there were also quite a few things that I thought needed some work.

First of all, this is a book about sexy goblins. Yes, that's right. But this shouldn't be a stretch for anyone who's seen Labyrinth:

White Stag opens in a palace in the Permafrost, where the Erlking is seated on his throne next to a white stag, surrounded by Goblins paying respects to their king. A fight between two powerful Goblins erupts and during the battle the
Nov 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
"White Stag" is a really fantastic YA fantasy that I was absolutely pulled into and found it hard to put down. We mainly follow Janneke/Janneka (male/female declension as she was raised to be a male heir), a human who was captured and brought into the Permafrost by a goblin. Since then, she has been a thrall (slave) to goblins. The first goblin (Lydian) who enslaved her tortured her (see warnings below) before giving her as a gift to his nephew (Soren). Soren has treated her quite differently, a ...more
Irena BookDustMagic
Dec 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
White Stag is young adult fantasy that made notice even before it was released, and now when I read it, I can see why.

This is the first fantasy about goblins that I have ever read, and I can tell you that I have enjoyed learning about these creatures that I knew so little about before (basically, my whole knowledge before this book came from Lord of the Rings movies).

The world was fascinating, and I wish we got to see more of it. Since this is only first book in the series, I hope we will learn
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Kara Barbieri is a twenty-two year old author with a love for the weird and mystic. She enjoys weaving ancient mythology into her stories and writing characters who are strong yet vulnerable at the same time. In her free time she trains with the same weapons her characters use, studies as a linguistic major, and generally tries her hardest not to be normal.

Other books in the series

Permafrost (2 books)
  • Goblin King (Permafrost, #2)

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