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Review: The Great Hunt by Wendy Higgins

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

The Great Hunt
Wendy Higgins

Genre: YA fantasy
Hardback: 416 Pages
Publication: March 8, 2016
by Harper Teen

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.


The Great Hunt by Wendy Higgins was just what I was looking for: an entertaining read that didn't ask me to think too deeply.

The story is told through multiple perspectives, the primary ones being Aerity and Paxton. This type of narration works perfectly for a novel like The Great Hunt, in which there are important events taking place at different locations and in places other characters can't access. For example, Aerity gives us insight into going ons among the royals while Paxton gives us insight into the hunt. Other minor characters step up for a chapter or two to show us what's going on elsewhere . . . like the change that is coming over Eurona. While these perspectives didn't quite flow smoothly into one another, I enjoyed peering into the different characters' minds and learning more about the world in which these characters live. In fact, I wish that more time was taken world building because this is a fascinating world.

Aerity has the qualities that I look for in a princess protagonist. She is family oriented, bold and independent, yet also willing to sacrifice herself for her people. The last one is especially important to me in a princess protagonist because I believe that leaders are here to serve the people. Aerity's willingness to put the needs of her people before her personal desire shows great courage, humility, and leadership. Furthermore, though Aerity agrees to act as the prize for the hunter who slays the beast, she does not lose heart or simply accept everything that comes her way. Admittedly, most of her concern is centered on Paxton from the moment she lays eyes on him, but she takes the time to visit the hunters, she acts as a translator as needed, and she continues to otherwise go about her daily routine. The latter is something that I imagine must be incredibly difficult to do during this trying time in her life. (That said, as much as Aerity's parents have worked to create change in their country, I wouldn't have expected the royal children to be doing acrobatic tricks. This is one aspect of the story that I'm still having trouble swallowing.)

The Great Hunt is meant to be read more for the romance than the action. While there is a fierce hunt for a beast, the most development I saw with the hunt was more and more men dying at the mercy of the beast. I knew the men were battling for their lives, but I didn't feel any excitement as they fought. The times that the story really came to life were the romance scenes, in particular the scenes featuring Aerity and Paxton. (There were some scandalous scenes between her cousin and a certain someone, but he's a scoundrel who really just forced himself on her. I honestly don't understand what she sees in him after all that. It's sexual harassment and far from romantic.) I also wish that more was done to explore the history with the Lashed and the discrimination they suffer because of the actions of a few radicals.

All that said, my interest is piqued enough that I'll be reading the second book to this duology. I enjoyed reading Sweet Evil (I STILL need to get around to finishing the series!!), and I look forward to seeing what Wendy Higgins brings to us next!

For some similar reads that have more action and world building, I recommend Cry of the Icemark by Stuart Hill and Snow-Walker by Catherine Fisher. For similar reads that also have a more romantic focus, I recommend Fallen by Lauren Kate and The Selection by Kiera Cass.

A copy was provided by Harper Collins for review

Rating: 3.5 stars

  1. The Great Hunt
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Similar Books
  • Cry of the Icemark by Stuart Hill
  • Fallen by Lauren Kate
  • The Selection by Kiera Cass
  • Snow-Walker by Catherine Fisher
  • Some explicit language
  • Making out
  • Deaths (not super explicit)