Where has this book been all my life?
The Great Hunt by Wendy Higgins is the epitome of my kind a drama – a fight to the death (possibly) for the princess’s hand in marriage. This trope makes me practically giddy and Higgins pulls it off splendidly.
“Aerity…” Her father paused as if the words he was forming pained him. “I must ask you to sacrifice the promise of love for the sake of our kingdom.”
She could only stare back, frozen.
When a strange beast terrorizes the kingdom of Lochlanach, fear stirs revolt. 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 knows her duty to the kingdom but cannot bear the idea of marrying a stranger…until 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 the marrying type. 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—but the princess continues to surprise him, and the perilous secrets he’s buried begin to surface.
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, and a princess willing to risk all to save her kingdom.
This is the first book I’ve read by this author and I was impressed. The slow build of the romance, the steady climb of anticipation, it was effortless. Gosh, it was just such a joy to read.
I particularly loved the duel POV with this story. Aerity is self-sacrificing and loving. Paxton is rough around the edges but loyal to a fault. Seeing their reaction to each other through both sets of eyes made this slow-burn connection work. It was so realistic given the shortened timeline. I also enjoyed Paxton’s fierce protectiveness for his younger brother. That added another layer to Paxton that made me love him even more.
Even though Aerity was the only female up for grabs in this great hunt, it was surprising to see additional romances growing in the wings. I’m not going to lie, I was all for it. I wanted to play matchmaker for each of the young women vying for affections.
The hunt is a huge part of the plot, and it played a big part in the story, which was cool. I loved hearing about the hunting, the anticipation and anxiety, the sharpening of arrows and the preparation to kill the beast. That could easily have been brushed aside but I enjoyed that extra bit of violence.
By the end, I was only disappointed once I’d turned the final page. I wanted more. I wanted to see what happened next. The Great Hunt is the first in a duology, and the next book, The Great Pursuit, won’t be out until March 2017.
If you’re a fan of slow-burn romance and exciting action in a fantasy world, this book is for you.
STARS: 5 out of 5