The Great HuntSeries: The Eurona Duology #1
by Wendy Higgins
Published by HarperCollins, HarperTeen on March 8th 2016
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy
I received this book for free from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
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.
Why, oh why, doesn’t anyone write a stand alone anymore? Please, can we just wrap up the story in one book? Why do I have to enjoy a story so much only to be eventually let down at the “non-ending”? At least duologies have been invented because, yeah, those never existed before.
I really enjoyed reading the adventure that was The Great Hunt. Even not having a clue about any of the story it was based on or anything it related to, I got lost in this fantasy land with Kings, Queens, arranged marriages, and duty to your country over living out your personal dreams. And there was lots of blood and gore, lots and lots of blood. I loved it!
You see, there’s this “beast” roaming the countryside randomly killing people (check out the amazing map above – nice world building, eh?). It may be one person one night, or a couple of people the next night. At first, it was only people in the countryside outside the Royal Lands getting “mauled” to death. Then someone close to the royal family was killed and the King finally took notice. When nothing short of a ‘Great Hunt’ will see this beast’s demise (see what I did there? I’m so clever…) all sorts of manly riff raff from all the kingdoms come to camp on the castle’s footsteps.
And you just know someone is going to get googly eyes for the Princess.
The romance was done so well that the mom in me totally approves. Subtle and sweet, the kind of love that is meant to be (swoon). Even the side characters had a swoon worthy romance that had me thinking that their book would be the next book in the series.
See where my need for closure clouds my every day? For some reason, I was just reading along, utterly enjoying this book and WHAM! I hit face first at the surprise ending and I didn’t like it. No sirree Bob, I did not.
I did say this would be a biased review, right? I take no responsibility for that and blame it all on the weather, cabin fever, my meds, and my utter lack of creativity.
I do want to go on record and say that I WILL be continuing with this series because my driving need for closure will compel me to pick up the next book.
Final thoughts: I think Ms. Higgins is a talented writer and I enjoyed her world building immensely. She can bring blood and gore with the best of ’em. I just hope she doesn’t find out where I live if she reads this “review”…
Note: I rate this book 4 stars because UNBIASEDLY, it’s easily a great book I can love. I would easily recommend it, with my personal caveats. Just thought I’d put that nugget out there. I don’t feel it’s fair to “ding” an author because I’m having a bad day, week, or season.