ARC Review: The Great Hunt by Wendy Higgins

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The Great Hunt by Wendy Higgins
Genre: YA Fantasy, Magic, Retelling
Publication: March 8th 2016 by HarperTeen
Series: Eurona #1 (of 2)
Length: 416 pages
Format: eARC from publisher

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.

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, outlawed magic, and a princess willing to risk all to save her people.

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Thank you to HarperTeen for providing this book in exchange for an honest review.

So far, 2016 has been full of really good retellings, so when I came across THE GREAT HUNT, I was quite interested. It is based off a Grimm’s fairy tale (one I am actually not familiar with), and I was curious to see what it would bring. Unfortunately, this book did not live up to my expectations.

THE GREAT HUNT follows the story of a kingdom in which a great beast is terrorizing the lands. Hence, the king makes a proposal: kill the great beast and marry the princess, thus promising royal blood. Although this novel had a quite interesting concept, I felt as if the plot was not focused; it seemed more focused on the romance that the actual plot seemed to pale in comparison.

Instead of focusing on the development of the plot, this novel seemed to put a lot of emphasis on the romance between Paxton, a hunter, and Aerity, the princess. But although some novels with a primary romance conflict with some fantastical concept in the background (I really enjoyed REIGN OF SHADOWS by Sophie Jordan!), this book isn’t one. In a way, I felt as if the writing tries to focus on the fantasy/retelling element but ultimately ends up back at the romance.

Moreover, I did not enjoy the romance. I felt as if it was forced, and it depended too much on common tropes. Paxton was not someone I would enjoy being around; I understand that he has a tragic background and he has his pride, but he seemed so rude and arrogant that I could not stand to read about. He was also quite a jerk to Aerity; in one scene, she has to greet all the hunters, but Paxton deliberately leaves and ignores her when she tries to talk to him (first of all, don’t you know that if that actually happened and Aerity wasn’t immediately infatuated with  you that your butt would be kicked out?)

In terms of writing style, it was quite alright. The story contains primarily dual POVs but there were other minor character POVs interspersed throughout, which, to me, seemed unorganized. It was easy to follow along but it did get a bit messy towards the end. Also, if you do plan on reading this, watch out for a slight cliffhanger at the end! I don’t know if I’ll be reading the cliffhanger, but I do enjoy resolved endings so perhaps I will.

Overall, if you’re into annoying love interests and a primary romance plots with some fantasy elements in the background or retellings, check this one out!

★★½ /5

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Have you read this book yet? Are you planning to? Let me know in the comments below!






9 thoughts on “ARC Review: The Great Hunt by Wendy Higgins

  1. I enjoyed your review. I am excited for this book!!! I think it is really great that Wendy took a Grimm’s tale that is not as well known. So excited to see how she does this, I was interested to see your thoughts.


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