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Huntress by Malinda Lo

Huntress (edition 2011)

by Malinda Lo (Author)

Series: Royal Huntress (prequel)

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6864823,071 (3.64)27
Seventeen-year-olds Kaede and Taisin are called to go on a dangerous and unprecedented journey to Tanlili, the city of the Fairy Queen, in an effort to restore the balance of nature in the human world.
Authors:Malinda Lo (Author)
Info:Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (2011), Edition: 1, 384 pages
Collections:Your library

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Huntress by Malinda Lo



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» See also 27 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 47 (next | show all)
I really wish I liked this book more than I do. It has pretty much everything that I could ever want or identify with in a novel: queer characters, Asian characters, positive female characters, fantasy elements, worldbuilding. As a queer Asian-American lady, I can dig that! Positive media representation is fantastic!

But despite everything that should have made me fall in love so hard with this book, I just couldn't. Now, I realize that this is a YA novel. I realize I can't be expecting David Foster Wallace levels of prose here. And I wasn't. But the writing here was so lackluster that I had to put the book down a good half-dozen times so that I could find something more invigorating to read, like, say, a technical manual.

This novel also suffers from the same poor pacing and uneven plot development that Lo's previous novel Ash suffered from. That is to say: things drag miserably for the first two-thirds of the book, and then everything happens within the final third in such a way as to seem improbable and strained.

Final verdict: 1.5/5 stars ( )
  gleipnir | Jun 20, 2020 |
There is a disturbance in nature – it's been years since the sun shone last and the crops are failing more heavily each year. As if that wasn't bad enough, strange creatures have been sighted within the kingdom's borders. But a glimpse of hope appears when the King recieves an invitation from the Fairy Queen, the ruler of the Xi. She requests a meeting in her city, Tanlili on Midsummer's Day. But as the King is busy with the crisis of his people, and no one has actually gone to Tanlili before; his son goes in his place, along with Taisin and Kaede; both sages in training at the Academy.

The choice to bring Taisin along isn't odd in any way; she's a thriving sage-in-training with magic flowing through her very soul – but Kaede, on the other hand, knows she will never actually become a sage despite her several years at the Academy. But according to Taisin, she had a vision of their journey and Kaede was present.

It's a dangerous adventure as nobody knows what to expect at the end station but together with the Prince and three of his guards, the two girls are drawn towards each other as they journey into the unknown; something that terrifies Taisin. Because according to her vision, her heart will soon belong to Kaede. Kaede who, according to her vision, she might lose forever.

I don't read fantasy that much and the main reason for that is the lack of diversity; especially when it comes to lgbt characters. So, seeing this one was like a blessing from above. Both Taisin and Kaede are interesting, complex characters that I easily found myself caring for – the same goes for the other characters too, especially the Prince. But what truly spellbound me was the interesting world they live in; I constantly wanted to know more about it and it made me sad to realise Huntress is a stand alone book; I easily could have read ten more.

Their relationship was interesting to explore and I felt excited as I noticed the bond between them grew stronger and stronger. They were truly cute together and it was tough not to root for them. But the dynamics in general, not just romantically, were interesting and I appreciated all friendships (and romances) in the book; it truly felt like the characters cared for each other which was heart-warming.

I did, however, feel like there was a lot left to be desired plot-wise. Mostly because the journey took up around seventy-five percent of the book which meant the last fifteen were the most intense and action-packed and because of that, the actual action felt very rushed. It was interesting to read about their journey too as it helped establish the characters and their relations to each other; but I would've preferred more adventure and less travelling. ( )
  autisticluke | Nov 14, 2019 |
Ice Queen plus a little YA romance. ( )
  cindywho | May 27, 2019 |
I want to love Malinda Lo so bad since she sort of THE ya wlw writer but ... this is the third book of hers I've tried. So far, this book, like the previous two have just been sort of ok. I think I just have to accept she's not for me! ( )
  ireneattolia | Sep 3, 2018 |
So this was kind of out there. It was more about love and connection than anything. Connection because everything really came full circle with the land, the fay, and love. So many blushing moments! Kind of didn't want that much blushing/awkwardness because it felt too much and it was all about destiny even if they took destiny into their own hands. ( )
  AdrianaGarcia | Jul 10, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 47 (next | show all)
Two teenage girls—Taisin, a sage who has visions, and Kaede, a brave fighter from a powerful family—must travel to see the Fairy Queen to try and save their land. A persistent winter has settled over their kingdom for two years, halting not only trade and harvests but the natural course of life itself, and threatening the survival of Taisin and Kaede's fellow citizens. The journey to the city of Taninli, home of the Fairy Queen, is treacherous, and along the way Taisin, Kaede, and their travel companions face many dangers and tests of their abilities, not least of which are Taisin and Kaede's growing feelings for each other. Lo's storytelling and prose are masterful, and her protagonists will fascinate, particularly Taisin and her relationship to death and its accompanying rituals, her visions, and the way she can occupy another's mind. As with Ash, Lo's characters are emotionally reserved, which makes the unfolding of romance between Kaede and Taisin all the more satisfying. Fans of Garth Nix's Abhorsen trilogy will love this. Ages 15–up. (Apr.)

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Royal Huntress (prequel)
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To Amy Lovell
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"Clouds and thunder arise: / The sage brings order. / Those who chase deer without a hunter / Lose their way in the Wood." / -Book of Changes

She saw a beach made of ice, and she felt her heart breaking.
The ground where she stood was frozen white, but twenty feet away, cold blue ocean lapped at the jagged shore. Someone there was climbing into a rowboat, and she knew that she loved this person. She was certain of it in the same way that one is instantly aware of the taste of sweetness in a drop of honey. But she was afraid for this person's life, and the fear raised a cold sweat on her skin and caused a sick lurch in her stomach, as though she were on a ship during a violent storm.
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