The Great Hunt
Release date: March 8th 2016
When a beast starts attacking people in the Kingdom of Eurona, a declaration is sent to all its citizens. Join the hunt, kill the beast, marry the princess. Princess Aerity always thought she would marry for love but she knows her duty to the kingdom and will abide by her father’s decision if it means the beast is killed. With the hunt being so dangerous and with so many men, she would be foolish to focus on just one, but Paxton Seabolt catches her eye. Paxton cares nothing for marriage, or for the royal family, but joined the hunt for the challenge and to stop the beast. He never expects for Princess Aerity to be so different than he thought. As more men fall to the beast, Paxton’s biggest secret threatens to be revealed, a secret that would not only take him out of the hunt, but it would mean his life.
This book started off with a huge bang straight away and I ended up getting sucked in so easily and so quickly. It slowed down almost immediately after, giving enough time to introduce the characters and some world building before quickening back up. The whole concept was intriguing and I was excited to see which, if any, hunter would kill the beast. I know who I was rooting for and who I would be alright with, and who I definitely didn’t want to succeed.
I really liked Princess Aerity’s character. She was strong and willing to do whatever was necessary of her, whether that meant minding and distracting the younger kids of the royal family or marrying a total stranger. She was very open-minded about the people the kingdom called Lashed Ones, magic-users. I liked that she was willing to judge a person on who they were and what they did instead of going by the same beliefs as everyone else. Her interactions with other characters were great, from Paxton to Paxton’s brother, to her cousin ,Wyneth, and her sister, Vixie. It was easy to tell her family bonds were strong and she would be protective of anyone she cared about.
Paxton was also a great character. I loved his relationship with his brother, Tiern, and how he was always trying to both protect him during the hunt and try not to undermine or embarrass him in front of the other hunters. He was definitely more of the silent, brooding type than his open, friendly little brother, but no less caring of those he loved.
I have never read ‘The Singing Bone’ but this book made me want to track down the original. There was a lot of action during the hunting scenes and I enjoyed that they were off-set by scenes of Aerity interacting with the hunters to keep their spirits up and having fun. The transition between the tense scenes and the more light-hearted scenes were well done and it didn’t feel jarring at all. It was smooth.
The romance was a slow one that I enjoyed. There was fascination between the two pretty quickly but that I could understand. Neither of them acted in a fashion the other was expecting so it made sense that it would draw the curiosity of the other. They could admit they found the other good-looking without needing to declare they were instantly in love. It was nice and it left room for Aerity to still interact with the other hunters instead of wanting to only talk to and think about Paxton all the time.
It was a great book on its one but I am glad there’s a sequel coming because I really need to know what’s going to happen with these characters.
*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.