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Huntress by Malinda Lo
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5644317,647 (3.71)26



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Showing 1-5 of 43 (next | show all)
Kind of a 3.5. I loved the story and characters, but the writing did a lot of telling and not enough showing. ( )
  eaduncan | Sep 14, 2017 |
A quintessential YA fantasy of the fairy tale sort, featuring a mix of ancient cultural settings, an appropriately paced set of romances (including a lesbian one), real character destruction, an understandable villain, and an ending in which teenagers opt for their careers over their few-week love affair. These themes are a breath of fresh air and very engaging to me -- I seem to quite like Malinda Lo. (My literary diet rarely includes fantasy, though, so this appreciation is twice exceptional.) ( )
  pammab | Sep 6, 2017 |
This was everything I wanted in an adventure book. Heroic girls, long journeys full of bonding with companions, magic, myths come alive and so much yearning that ached with everyone. Fantastic fairytale. ( )
  AjaxBell | Aug 24, 2017 |
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. ( )
1 vote 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 |
Showing 1-5 of 43 (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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"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.

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