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The Great Hunt (Eurona Duology Book 1) by…

The Great Hunt (Eurona Duology Book 1) (edition 2016)

by Wendy Higgins (Author)

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Title:The Great Hunt (Eurona Duology Book 1)
Authors:Wendy Higgins (Author)
Info:HarperTeen (2016), 416 pages
Collections:Your library

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The Great Hunt (The Eurona Duology) by Wendy Higgins



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Completed 11/3/18 ( )
  ERose207 | Nov 3, 2018 |
Contrary to what the description says, this is not a retelling of the Singing Bone. In the original tale, the older brother (Paxton) was wicked and killed the younger brother (Tiern) after he killed the boar (terrible creature) and then the older brother (Paxton) took the boar and claimed the hand of the princess as his reward. Years later a shepherd sees a bone and uses it to make the mouthpiece of his horn, but whenever he plays the horn it sings a song about how the younger brother killed the boar, only to be killed by his older brother. The king eventually hears the horn singing and questions the older brother who doesn't deny that he killed his younger brother and is, himself killed and buried in unhallowed ground while the younger brother's bones are found and buried in the churchyard. Except the fact that there is an animal and whoever kills it will get the hand of the princess, and there are two brothers involved, there really isn't much in this book to claim that it was inspired by the Singing Bone. And granted this is only the first book of a duology, but given the fact that neither of the brothers killed the beast, and they are on good terms with one another, I find it extremely doubtful that the second book will be able to convince me that this story is a retelling of that story.

The good: I thought that Aerity was a good character. Most of the time when female characters are faced with an arranged marriage they whine, sulk or run away. Aerity, for once looks at the problem, weighs the good an arranged marriage will do for her people to the pain it will cause herself, and chooses to accept the burden. I also liked Tiern. He was a sweet and unassuming character who genuinely meant well. Unfortunately, he had almost no reaction to learning that his brother was a lashed, and I didn't think that was normal character behavior. Speaking of the lashed, I found the idea very interesting, and it was the one world-building portion of the book that I thought worked well. I also thought that the first scene was very moving, and it made me feel as thought Wyneth had just lost the love of her life.

The hunting scenes were enjoyable. I was convinced that the men knew what they were doing, and the boredom, followed by a few moments of action seemed believable.
The bad: Wyneth spends a couple of weeks mourning for the man who, in only a few minutes (reading via audiobook) I had been convinced she loved deeply, then a pushy jerk of a guy admires her, and pushes a little to hard to convince her to be in love with him or start an affair with him. I would have thought that was an interesting twist in the story if she hadn't reciprocated, but because Wyneth is immediately cast into something of an America Singer (from The Selection series) character ("My heart is broken...but I'm in love with this guy who I just met who is a little too possessive of me...but my heart is broken,") and that kind of ruined both her character, and the good first scene.

I hated Paxton. Yes, he is lashed, which is a difficult thing to be right now. No, he's not interested in having children and potentially giving them the magic that makes his life so difficult, but does he have to be such a blasted jerk? His first interaction with Aerity is to leer at her, and in almost every interaction after that he is a complete jerk, and she still falls in wuv with him. Given how unpleasant he is, but also how cute he's supposed to be, my only guess is that Aerity is deeply in lust with him, because even when people have instalove, the other person has to be at least a little bit nice first. Then Paxton spends most of the book being mean to Aerity, but then suddenly decides that he's in wuv with her too.

The end was frustrating. Not because of the sequel setup or the fact that Aerity ended up being engaged to the creep who has fallen in lust with her cousin, and her cousin has fallen in wuv with, in fact I thought that was a good set up. Aerity was being forced to truly give up something she wanted for her people, rather than being just lucky enough to get what she wanted, and the premise of a man who was interested in someone else in the castle, and too pushy to be considered a gentleman, being the man Aerity married is, in fact, a very interesting one. But the end fight scene felt forced somehow. Aerity catches up to them, and manages to stab the beast in it's vulnerable spot, but it doesn't die, and instead bats her and knocks her out and breaks her ribs. Then it kills Tiern, and Paxton gives up killing the beast, and his chance to be with the girl he wuvs, who also wuvs him, to "save" Tiern, but Tiern is already dead and Paxton brings him back to life. If Paxton could bring his brother back to life, why wouldn't he have waited a little longer and killed the beast and then done it? It would have made so much more sense if Tiern had been almost dead, instead of dead. Also, for some reason, after all of the tracking and hunting, and fighting with the beast, the fight seemed too fast. It went from, even after having discovered the beasts vulnerable spot, a large group of hunters and warrior women still couldn't kill the beast to three men and one strong-in-character-and-body-but-not-very-practiced-in-fighting girl were able to kill it. And even though Tiern died and Aerity was knocked out, for some reason, the fight still didn't seem dangerous.

I don't have high hopes for the romances, or the fairy tale this book was supposedly based after. Still I did enjoy parts of the book, so I'll give the second book a chance to prove me wrong. ( )
  NicoleSch | Jul 29, 2016 |
That was sooooo difficult to read. It was like a soap opera most of the time. There were a few redeeming moments, and the very end did set up for an interesting sequel, but ugggghhhh no. ( )
  dani_reviews | Jul 22, 2016 |
Received via Edelweiss and Harper Collins Children in exchange for an completely unbiased review.
Also posted on Silk & Serif

So whats the easiest way to describe The Great Hunt? Kill the dragon, get the girl.

The Great Hunt begins with a frightening beast terrorizing the kingdom of Lochlanach through death and mayhem. The king commissions a great hunt filled with the kingdom's best hunters to kill the best and end of beast's reign of terror. In exchange, a winner will marry his beautiful daughter and stand as next in line to the throne. Meanwhile, Princess Aerity struggles with the knowledge that instead of the marriage of love she has been expecting since she was a child, she must enter into a marriage contract of obligation. Unfortunately, in enters the devilishly handsome Paxton Seabolt who steals the Princess' heart who only complicates the young royal's obligation to her family and country.

Paxton Seabolt is a strong, mysterious boy with plenty of secrets to keep hidden, but when he hears the call for hunters to take down the beast threatening his family he cannot turn his back. He vows to kill the beast and doesn’t want to marry a princess or care about the proclamation. That is, until he meets Princess Aerity and realizes she’s more than what meets the eye.

Every time I read a Wendy Higgins book two things happen:

  1. I end the novel properly satisfied or excited to read the next book in the series.

  2. Awed by the new leaps an already skilled author has made in her writing craft

I swear, Higgins can write any book well without relying too heavily on a formulaic plot. She's written novels about Irish faeries, demons, sins and now a story about a medieval princess in a tough situation.

The romance! What can I say? I rooted for Aerity and Paxton. I loved how stubborn Paxton was and how he strives to protect those he loved making him the stereotypical hero. Aerity was also the stereotypical strong, new age Princess, but largely these stereotypes helped to develop an enjoyable read. She gave up her chance to marry for love to save those she loved and honor her birth right with minimal complaining. I was a bit concerned once it became obvious Aerity was used to a very different life style, that a majority of the book would be wrought with complaints and self-pity. It wasn't. I also loved that I thought I knew how this novel would end based on the stereotypical nature of the characters..don't be fooled, you're in for a typical Higgin's ending!

It’s refreshing to see a romance that isn’t insta-love or based on attraction alone: Aerity and Paxton become friends before they seriously fall for one another!

True to Higgin’s usual style we are given a unique world of magic, intense world building and strong characters. I didn’t wallow in boredom while we worked through necessary but dull parts of the story. The Great Hunt is a one sitting read with plenty of fantasy elements and political struggle to keep you interested between Pax and Aerity's romance scenes. We get to see things from secondary character’s POV which is incredibly helpful in gauging other people’s understandings of event s and adding some really fantastic side stories to the mix.
Unfortunately, I feel this book doesn’t have the ability to garner wide appeal from the masses. The Great Hunt is primarily a true-blue young adult romance with fantasy elements. The entire story is about Pax and Aerity falling in love and the struggle to kill the beast. There isn’t a whole lot of deeper meaning in the scenes or in interactions beyond what is revealed, but it’s a wonderful novel if you’re in the mood for some emotional reading.

I cannot wait for book two! So many things have happened and there are still plenty of mysteries and massive plot developments to wrap up.

My biggest complaint is that all the characters began to pair off mid book which was rather annoying. I found that none of the female characters were strong enough to be on her own for long, looking for love in the hunters rather than being confident. I understand this is a period piece where women exist to marry off..but if its following a modern twist on marriage for love, we can have independent women as well.

Otherwise, The Great Hunt was a beautiful and fun read that took very little effort to read. It was extremely enjoyable and light-hearted regardless of a vicious beast terrorizing the kingdom and some brutal death scenes. This is a great example of why I cultivated a love for young adult because it is simple, enjoyable and in some ways following a formula that is comfortable like old shoes.

The book will appeal to readers of true young adult novels, slow burn romance lovers and fantasy enthusiasts. I wouldn’t suggest this to readers who are looking for more than a sweet, first love sort of romance because this theme permeates every aspect of this novel. I definitely recommend this as a must read for any Higgins fan, though. ( )
  trigstarom | Jul 9, 2016 |
With a nice fast pace and interesting storyline, THE GREAT HUNT was an intriguing fantasy with plenty of action and romance to complement the darker elements throughout.

Things I Liked: I actually really liked Aerity as a characters. She was willing to sacrifice her happiness for her kingdom. That isn't a small thing and I thought that she had a really good grasp on the reality of the situation her family and kingdom were in. Paxton was really moody, but he is loyal to his family and the kingdom he lives in. I can respect that.

A few other likable things. THE GREAT HUNT had a good amount of mystery to it. I love a good mystery. There was a great cast of secondary characters that helped keep things interesting. The world was great and well built.

The Issues: The romance ticked me off more than it made me swoon. Although I liked Paxton, he acted like a true arse to Aerity and did a lot of things to push her away even though he was attracted to her and wanted her. But the worst part was that Aerity actually liked it in some ways. Uggh, what is with that? Not cool.

Another issue. There was a lot of sitting around the castle. Even with the neat action scenes there was an equal amount of 'nothing going on' moments.

Even with the issues, I still enjoyed THE GREAT HUNT and wouldn't mind continuing with the next book to see how things work out for Aerity and Paxton.

* This book was provided free of charge from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. ( )
  STACYatUFI | Mar 27, 2016 |
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When a savage beast attacks in Eurona, the king proclaims that whoever kills the creature will win the hand of his daughter, Princess Aerity, but things get complicated when Aerity grows fond of a specific, royals-eschewing hunter, Paxton Seabolt.

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