Review: The Great Hunt by Wendy Higgins

The Great Hunt - Wendy HigginsPublisher: Harper Teen (March 8th 2016)
Hardcover: 416 pages
Source: Edelweiss
Series: The Great Hunt #1
Add on: Goodreads
Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars

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.

Review:

This is my first Wendy Higgins and I’m happy to report that it was pretty successful for the most part! I really liked the concept. Based on the Grimm Brothers’ tale, “The Singing Bone”, there’s a beast that’s attacking the kingdom of Lochlanach. Desperate, the king declares whoever can kill the beast will win the hand of the princess. Bring on the hunt!

The story starts off a bit slow as everything gets sets up including the dynamic between the “regular” people and the Lashed, people with the talent for magic. I like that there’s some history being established and that it ends up being incorporated into the bigger plot. There’s a bit of darkest woven in the story that I enjoyed.

True to fantasy-lite, the story is told from multiple POVs. I would say the main characters are Princess Aerity and Paxton and for the most part I liked them. My only reservation is they’re your very typical cardboard cut-out characters.  Aerity is a good princess and I like that she’s self-aware of her limitations and of the kingdom. I do wish she was a teeny-tiny more badass. Paxton is your brooding hero with a secret. He wants to kill the beast to save the town, not to marry the princess, but of course there’s this instant attraction between them despite their instant dislike.

“Truly, Aer. I thought at first you were going to smack him, and then just as quickly it looked as if you might kiss the lad!”

The romance(s) is … I’m undecided. There’s not really any love triangle, but the situation is more nuance than just simple attractions.

Side characters. It’s a mix and match of like and meh. I really enjoyed the cheerful Tiern, Paxton’s brother and I did really like some of the relationships, like Pax and Tiern, and Aer and Wyn ( Aer’s cousin). There’s also Lord Alvi. I’m undecided about how I feel about him currently.

Overall, The Great Hunt it was a pretty enjoyable story and a establishes a good introduction to this duology. The characters and style is pretty typical fantasy but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

{Thanks to Harper Teen & Edelweiss for providing an eARC in exchange for an honest review.
……

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Author: Cyn

noun. a bum a student again. A master’s student…oooh. procrastinator. reader. eater. sleeper. music listen-er. movie go-er. Loves food too much.

13 Comment

  1. Admittedly I am curious and like that it is free of a triangle and a duology.

    1. I’m definitely happy that it is a duology! It is triangle free so far, but it’s complicated still, too haha.

  2. I completely agree with you 110%. This was such an entertaining story, and I’m glad you felt the same way. Thanks for sharing and, as always, fabulous review! <3

    1. Glad to hear you enjoyed it, too! I hope we both enjoy the sequel 😀
      Thanks, Zoe!

  3. I read this one last week and really enjoyed it as well, Cyn. It was definitely very entertaining. Some of the relationships were my favorite parts of the book.
    I’m glad you found this to be enjoyable, Cyn! 🙂
    Great review!

    1. Yay, glad to hear you enjoyed it, too! I loved the friendships 🙂
      Thanks, Nick!

  4. It’s weird that there’s so many fantasy lite stories coming out, because I always associated fantasy with something deeper. It sounds like it was definitely entertaining, but with a few flaws. Lovely review Cyn!

    1. Yeah, I feel like there’s a lot of YA books that sort of fit the fantasy genre but isn’t quite as intense as true fantasy, hence fantasy-lite! haha. It was an enjoyable despite the flaws!
      Thanks, Jeann!

  5. Nooo, I was expecting something badass, shame. Still sounds good though (and I haven’t come across that Grimms tale yet) so something new! Buuuuuuuuuuut, the characters, cardboard cut-outs = nono. 🙁 Though do like how the history is incorporated into the plot, which is why I loved Rebel of the Sands so much despite not getting into it until halfway.

    1. Unfortunately it’s not quite as badass as I hoped, but still entertaining! Nice characters, just a little typical is all.
      Oh man, so excited for Rebel of the Sand!

  6. I was pretty disappointed with this one. I know Higgins writes better. Also the original tale was much shorter and brutal as well.

  7. My first Higgins book as well! I’m not interested in her debut series. This one was good, but I think you’re spot-on with the rating. I kind of REALLY wish the romance were more straightforward and clean, but urgh, Higgins makes everyone work for it. -_- Oh well! The torturous wait for book two is on.

    Lovely review, Cyn! 🙂

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

  8. Literary Feline says: Reply

    I am glad you enjoyed this one even with its flwas. It is one I really would like to read at some point.

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