The Great Hunt
Summary: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.
I’m not much of a fantasy reader. I like books rooted in realism and plausibility, and fantasy in general simply doesn’t do that. Yet, I found myself hooked by the premise of The Great Hunt and was curious enough to give it a try. And I am so glad I did because this is a thrilling and entertaining fantasy, with superb characterization and a satisfying dash of romance.
A strange beast is prowling the kingdom of Lochlanach, devouring and killing villagers left and right. In a state of frenzy, with no other options available, the King makes a proclamation: the person who kills the beast will be awarded his daughter, Princess Aerity’s, hand in marriage.
Aerity narrates the story, and her characterization is both impressive and realistic. Despite the awful circumstances she’s thrown into – being forced into a marriage to a man she’s never met – she keeps her chin up and is willing to make the sacrifice, seeing that it’s for the good of the kingdom.
Aerity is fierce and witty, intelligent and capable. She may not be the stereotypical kickass heroine that’s so common in YA fantasy, but the sacrifices she makes out of loyalty to her kingdom is more than enough to make me to want to root for her.
The romance comes in the form of the brooding Paxton Seabolt, one of the hunters who comes to compete in the contest for Aerity’s hand in marriage. The romance between Paxton and Aerity is beautifully written, and filled with tons of emotion and an extreme amount of swoon.
The ending I wasn’t completely sold by, and there is a tad bit of info-dumping here and there; but everything else is virtually perfect. I cannot wait to see what Higgins has in mind for the sequel.