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Huntress by Malinda Lo

Huntress (edition 2011)

by Malinda Lo

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5194119,506 (3.72)25
Authors:Malinda Lo
Info:Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (2011), Hardcover, 384 pages
Collections:Your library, To read

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Huntress by Malinda Lo



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Showing 1-5 of 41 (next | show all)
There is one reason I tried to read Huntress and this is it:
I was tired of saying "I want more f/f not-coming-out romance" and seeing Malinda Lo's books recommended to me.

I liked Ash quite a bit, but more for what I put into the story than what was actually on the page. I was happy enough to see the worldbuilding and a f/f romance in fantasy that I was willing to overlook the serious flaws. But I knew that I would never want to read Huntress, unless Lo became leaps and bounds a better writer.

Unfortunately, the book is terrible. I say unfortunate because it has so much going for it and due to being one of a very small number of books with those features, it ends up on What To Read lists all the time. It's the f/f romance, of course, and fantasy, and clear Asian influences in the setting. In fact, from a distance, if you squint, the story and worldbuilding are incredibly appealing (if you like traditional fairy tale quests, which I do).

Someone else on LibraryThing summed up on the problem with the book very well, so I paraphrase: it's just off. The characters don't work. The romances are pushed but unearned. The technical aspects of the writing are just plain bad.

I got about a third of the way in before I gave up and started skimming, then just stopped at the halfway mark because nothing was grabbing my attention to delve back in. I would like to know how the quest ends and what all the Xi/faeryland stuff is about, but not enough to endure the terrible pacing and bouncing back and forth between POVs and the constant clunky explanations in POV of things that don't need explanations. ("She felt that" "He realized that" etc.)

But I guess now I can stop feeling aggrieved that everyone keeps telling me to read a book I don't want to read, and instead I can feel insulted that everyone keeps praising such a bad book simply because it's one of a very small number. ( )
  keristars | Dec 25, 2016 |
Taisin, who is full of magic, and Kaede, who has no talent for magic, are chosen for a dangerous adventure to restore the balance of nature in the human world. They begin to fall in love, but it seems the kingdom only needs one huntress. This is a prequel to Ash by Malinda Lo.
  mcmlsbookbutler | Dec 7, 2016 |
This book is so off. The pacing is weird. The POV is weird. The relationships are weird. I didn't feel like the main characters spent any time together to form a romance, but the reader is told they have, instead of shown. The quest's conclusion happens in a handful of pages, crammed in hastily at the very end. I was so bored by this book, I cringed at the thought of finishing it. ( )
2 vote AvengingExile | Jun 14, 2016 |
Kind of a 3.5. I loved the story and characters, but the writing did a lot of telling and not enough showing. ( )
  glitzandshadows | Oct 12, 2015 |
I wasn't sure if I wanted to read this book, because I was a bit bored when I read Ash. I definitely liked this book a lot better. The plot was fast-paced and the characters were much more interesting. Despite the long length of the book, the plot felt like it moved fairly quickly and kept the reader engaged. The story does not follow the traditional exposition-rising action-falling action-climax-resolution setup, but rather contains continuous climaxes as new problems are introduced.

At the start of the book, there is a pronunciation guide, which was helpful, given how much I hate not knowing how to say a characters' name.

And the characters themselves were so much better than in Ash. Here are characters that actually do things instead of waiting around for others to tell them to do something. I found the characters likeable, although a little annoying once the childish love element comes in.

But one of the things that really left me wanting more was explanations of some of the Chinese and Japanese traditions used in the story such as I Ching and qigong. References are made to oracle stones and meridians with no real details on what these traditions are or what they entail. I would have liked to see more details on such practices in the text instead of vague references.

Another thing that made this book a bit difficult was the constant shifting of narration. The entire book is in third person, but the focus of the omniscience narrator switches between characters so quickly that it is often difficult to follow and I had to reread sections to figure out who they were referring to.

In the edition I have, the short story The Fox, is included. I'd give this story three stars, because while the writing was nice, it was reminiscent of Ash in that not much happened and it left me wondering why I even read it.

Overall, I think Huntress was well-written with good characters and an interesting plot. ( )
  CareBear36 | Aug 18, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 41 (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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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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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 031604007X, Hardcover)

Nature is out of balance in the human world. The sun hasn't shone in years, and crops are failing. Worse yet, strange and hostile creatures have begun to appear. The people's survival hangs in the balance.

To solve the crisis, the oracle stones are cast, and Kaede and Taisin, two seventeen-year-old girls, are picked to go on a dangerous and unheard-of journey to Tanlili, the city of the Fairy Queen. Taisin is a sage, thrumming with magic, and Kaede is of the earth, without a speck of the otherworldly. And yet the two girls' destinies are drawn together during the mission. As members of their party succumb to unearthly attacks and fairy tricks, the two come to rely on each other and even begin to fall in love. But the Kingdom needs only one huntress to save it, and what it takes could tear Kaede and Taisin apart forever.

The exciting adventure prequel to Malinda Lo's highly acclaimed novel Ash is overflowing with lush Chinese influences and details inspired by the I Ching, and is filled with action and romance.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:25:19 -0400)

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.

(summary from another edition)

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