In Kara Barbieri's Goblin King, the stunning sequel in the Permafrost series which began with White Stag, Janneke must find how far she's willing to go to save her world from destruction--even if it means sacrificing everything she's fought for. The Hunt is over but the War has just begun. Against all odds, Janneke has survived the Hunt for the Stag--but all good things come with a cost. Lydian might be dead, but he took the Stag with him. Janneke now holds the mantle, while Soren, now her equal in every way, has become the new Erlking. Janneke's powers as the new Stag has brought along haunting visions of a world thrown into chaos and the ghost of Lydian taunts her with the riddles he spoke of when he was alive. When Janneke discovers the truth of Lydian and his madness, she's forced to see her tormentor in a different light for the first time. The world they know is dying and Lydian may have been the only person with the key to saving it.
Goblin King (Permafrost, #2)Featured
They set off on a quest with danger around every corner, and every step bringing new challenges. The alternative is the end of the world, and they must persevere. Although I thought this would be the end of the series, this book ends with a bit of a cliffhanger, setting the stage for another sequel.
This book is just as dark and gritty as the first. However, this one is more filled with action and less of the character deep-dives that really made me love the first. Regardless, I found it highly readable and moved through the book quickly. I enjoyed particularly the scenes where we go deeper into the psychology of different characters, though I found them to be shorter than I would have anticipated. On the flip side, this does make the book move faster, so this would have more appeal for some readers.
This sequel does a great job of recapping the first book, so it is easy to pick up after some time. I would definitely recommend reading it, as it is fantastic. There is some complexity and very dark elements to the story as Janneke is wrangling with the feeling that she needs her former torturer to achieve her goal of stopping Ragnarok (the end of the world).
Overall, I found this to be a faster-paced sequel to an intriguing YA dark fantasy series. Would recommend for fans who want to continue Janneke's story, through this does focus more on the action vs character insights.