I was completely unprepared for this book by Naomi Novik. I wanted something to read on the train to Manchester, not something that would blow my mind and make me read it in the changing rooms when I should have been trying on my bridesmaid dress (sorry mum!)
This book is a fantasy, and it is described as a sort of mythological fantasy. I was intrigued before I even read that, the cover is stunning. In the beginning, I thought I knew what this book was going to be like, the 'silly, underdog girl' is saved and falls in love with the all powerful man. THIS BOOK IS NOT LIKE ANYTHING YOU HAVE EVER READ. This book tosses aside any cliche romances or tropes you see in most fantasy fiction. This is action, adventure and non-stop good versus evil. It takes on your fairy tales of princes, kings, dragons and evil and gives them life and gives a realistic view of what it is like to fight evil.
This writing in this book is magic in itself. I was wholly swept up in the lyrical, mesmerising world of good, evil, magic and adventure. I feel like I went into the woods and came out a different person. I didn't realise how much I love books filled with action until I read this book. The battles were graphic and captivating, and I could barely breathe through most of them. I just wasn't prepared. The beginning of the book is quite slow and just gently introduces you to this world and then without realising you are part of this world and you are invested in the intricacies of the kingdom and fighting evil.
I could go on about how amazing this book is for a very long time. The scope of Naomi Novik's imagination is incredible. I haven't felt like this about a fantasy book since I read The Name of The Wind by Patrick Rothfuss. It was truly an epic journey that I went on with these characters. I have to admit I did get a little lost in the end because it was all happening so fast but I reread it, and it made sense. But apart from that, this book goes up there in the best books I've read this year.
I really can't wait to read more from this author and I'm going to start her other books straight away. If you are looking for a superb fantasy book influenced by folklore and mythology, then you will not go wrong with this thrilling installment from Naomi Novik.