Thursday, August 25, 2011

Review: Huntress


I'd like to quickly explain that I haven't been posting much since I moved and getting Internet connected was an awful experience. (On the phone for an hour everyday for two weeks and still they manage to mess up our order!) But all that matters is I'm back and I've got some interesting reviews and books to review. :) I did manage to catch up on my reading though.


Author: Malinda Lo
Pages: 384
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Source: Library
Challenge: Ultimate Reviewers' Challenge
Synopsis: Nature is out of balance in the human world. The sun hasn't shone in years, and crops are failing. Worse yet, strange and hostile creatures have begun to appear. The people's survival hangs in the balance.

To solve the crisis, the oracle stones are cast, and Kaede and Taisin, two seventeen-year-old girls, are picked to go on a dangerous and unheard-of journey to Tanlili, the city of the Fairy Queen. Taisin is a sage, thrumming with magic, and Kaede is of the earth, without a speck of the otherworldly. And yet the two girls' destinies are drawn together during the mission. As members of their party succumb to unearthly attacks and fairy tricks, the two come to rely on each other and even begin to fall in love. But the Kingdom needs only one huntress to save it, and what it takes could tear Kaede and Taisin apart forever.

The exciting adventure prequel to Malinda Lo's highly acclaimed novel Ash is overflowing with lush Chinese influences and details inspired by the I Ching, and is filled with action and romance.

Huntress was a good romantic story full of fairies, love, and life. There were many unique aspects to it that I enjoyed. I do feel the need to stress the "fantasy" part of the story though. I'm not too into fantasy/quest stories but Huntress was a good one.

The story was told in the alternating perspectives of Taisin and Kaede. Don't worry, all names in Huntress were written in the pronunciation guide! Anyway, these two girls both go to the Academy of Sages. Taisin is gifted, but Kaede... Not so much. They're summoned though to go on a quest to the Fairy Queen with three guards and Prince Con. As characters, their (Kaede and Taisin's) romance didn't make too much sense to me, but I could accept it. Both girls were different and they found in each they traits they lacked and admired. They complimented each other. That being said, I never thought of their love as the "forever" kind (which I'm glad! Imagine finding your soulmate at 17?!) Their story wrapped up well.

There were lots of good stuff in Huntress. Con was as sweet as sunshine; the Fey were described with justice. They were beautiful, mesmerizing, and inhuman like they should be. The myths and folklore used was also very fun to read of.

I did expect some of the twists in the end, but the ending was satisfying nonetheless. There was good pacing and something was always happening. The one thing I didn't like, and that's a personal preference, was the amount of description. I love action and stuff happening so I'd get impatient and lose interest with the descriptions, though they were written beautifully.

My favourite thing about Huntress was the struggles the characters faced. The internal ones. They felt lifelike. It's too often that a protagonist throws everything away for love as it's also too often that murder is done without a thought or concern in books. I appreciated the way Malindo Lo changed that.

Overall, Huntress was an enchanting prequel with a compelling blend of magic, action, and romance. An original story filled with positive details. 3.5 stars,

*** &1/2 *

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