Saturday, 6 February 2016

Review: The Great Hunt by Wendy Higgins

Title: The Great Hunt (The Eurona Duology #1)
Author: Wendy Higgins

Release date: March 8th 2016
Publisher: HarperTeen
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Format: eARC
Pages: 282

Source: Edelweiss

Kill the beast. Win the girl.

A strange beast stirs fear in the kingdom of Lochlanach, terrorizing towns with its brutality and hunger. In an act of desperation, a proclamation is sent to all of Eurona—kill the creature and win the ultimate prize: the daughter of King Lochson’s hand in marriage.

Princess Aerity understands her duty to the kingdom though it pains her to imagine marrying a stranger. It would be foolish to set her sights on any particular man in the great hunt, but when a brooding local hunter, Paxton Seabolt, catches her attention, there’s no denying the unspoken lure between them…or his mysterious resentment.

Paxton is not keen on marriage. Nor does he care much for spoiled royals and their arcane laws. He’s determined to keep his focus on the task at hand—ridding the kingdom of the beast and protecting his family—yet Princess Aerity continues to challenge his notions with her unpredictability and charm. But as past secrets collide with present desires, dire choices threaten everything Paxton holds dear.

Inspired by the Grimm Brothers’ tale, “The Singing Bone,” New York Times bestselling author Wendy Higgins delivers a dark fantasy filled with rugged hunters, romantic tension, outlawed magic, and a princess willing to risk all to save her people.

Wendy Higgins has done it again! She's totally captured my heart with this fantastic start to the series. Aerity and Paxton are my new favourite OTP and I cannot wait to see what's in store for them later.

Lochlanach is plagued by a terrifying beast that comes for its prey in the night and is practically unstoppable. As the king, Aerity's father needs to come up with a plan to have the beast killed once and for all. The soldiers are scared too, and not many are brave enough to face the beast willingly. As a last resort, the king proclaims that he will hold a hunt, and the killer of the beast will have Aerity's hand in marriage, thereby gaining a kingdom.

I for one definitely did not agree with the king's decision. Yes, the beast needed to be killed, but couldn't he have promised land or gold or something? Promising the winner his daughter means that he stripped her of her choice, and I think that was wrong. Also, any barbarian or idiot could've had the luck to kill the beast and then would marry Aerity and become a prince? That's a risk the king shouldn't be willing to take! Sigh. Apart from this though, I did really love the story.

I figured Aerity would be one of those spoiled princess types (like Paxton thought), but she really surprised me. She knows she won't be able to marry for love like the others in her family, but she's brave enough to accept this and do her duty for the kingdom. Aerity cares more about her people and her loved ones than for herself, and her compassion and selflessness really got to me. She's also really courageous, and we get to see a lot of that too.

I obviously adored Paxton, despite his prickly personality and his deeply hidden secrets. He has a lot to lose, as he enters the hunt along with his younger brother, Tiern. I loved Tiern too, by the way. Hilarious and goofy, Tiern is the sunshine to Paxton's darkness. Paxton has a reason for the way he behaves, though. He's descended from one of the Lashed, the name given to people with magic. Magic is outlawed in Lochlachan, and the Lashed are punished and killed when discovered. They're also treated like dirt by most people. So yeah, Paxton keeps that quiet. But Aerity gets under his skin and he can't help caring about her, more than he should. He doesn't want the crown, though. He's in the hunt to kill the beast and that's it, at least until Aerity gets past his defenses.

There are a lot of people we meet in this book, people in the hunt as well as outside watching it. Aerity's cousin is one side character I loved, as well as her sister. Then there are certain ones I disliked from the beginning, and one or two I'm just not sure about. We get Paxton's point of view as well as Aerity's, of course, since we need to know what's happening in the hunt. It's interesting to see things from two very different perspectives - Aerity's cheerful, trusting one and Paxton's cynical one.

There's a lot more to this book than just the hunt for the beast, but I don't want to get into that. Let's just say it keeps things suspenseful and mysterious. And gosh, there's so much romantic tension between Paxton and Aerity! But they don't really act on it much, so it's quite frustrating. Even worse, I think they will be apart for a good part of the next book, but I hope not.

The ending had me practically begging for the sequel! Don't worry, it's not a cliffhanger. But that doesn't mean I didn't need to know what comes next. There's a surprising development in the end that would lead into the events of the next book, and I can't wait to find out what happens. To all the fantasy lovers out there - The Great Hunt is one you cannot miss out on!

*Thank you to HarperCollins for providing me with an eARC for review*

Rating: 4/5

1 comment:

  1. Awesome review Richa :D Yay for enjoying this book a lot. I'm unsure about it, but you do make it seem pretty exciting :) I hope you will love the sequel just as much. <3

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