This review contains no spoilers.
A tip to any readers, the main character’s name, Agnieszka, is pronounced ag-NYEHS-kah (it’s explained in the acknowledgments in the back of the book, but I went through the entire book referring to her as Aggie before reading that).
I really struggled over what to rate this one. I wasn’t certain if it deserved 4 or five stars. I really, really loved it, I truly did, but I didn’t like the sex. It felt like the story stopped, the sex happened, and then the story picked back up again where it had left off.
Other than that, it was a great and very engaging read, that I will probably read again. It had a distinct feel, rather reminiscent of Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow or Nutcracker, by which I mean there was a very European feel to it, but more of an eastern Europe, Russian feel to it, and not the typical Brothers Grimm-esque feel of many fairytales and fantasy books. I really did enjoy it, quite a bit in fact, but I felt the relationship between Aggie and the Dragon was a little forced, as though the author was afraid she had to push it more to make it obvious (though, this may have been the publisher). The character interactions were wonderful, and it really felt like a great, diverse world in which all these strange people were living and interacting and Kasia was one of my favorites, and the dynamic between her, Aggie, and her mother was well written.Aggie’s relationship with the Dragon is something I’d like to add a little more on, because I feel like it’s become a trope that the ‘strong female’ character has to loose her virginity on her terms because that makes her strong and in control.
In the end, it was truly heartbreaking, but in a wonderful way and I never expected it to end the way it did, but I also didn’t expect it to end at all, because it felt so real and as though it should just keep going because real life doesn’t just end!!