Series: The Great Hunt #1
Published by HarperCollins on March 8th 2016
Genres: Young Adult, Love & Romance, Fairy Tales & Folklore, General
eARC provided by HarperCollins
Wendy Higgins, the author of the New York Times bestselling Sweet Evil series, reimagines a classic Brothers Grimm fairy tale with The Great Hunt, a dramatic, romance-filled fantasy with rugged hunters, romantic tension, and a princess willing to risk all to save her kingdom.
When a monstrous beast attacks in Eurona, desperate measures must be taken. The king sends a proclamation to the best and bravest hunters: whoever kills the creature will win the hand of his daughter Princess Aerity as a reward. The princess recognizes her duty but cannot bear the idea of marrying a stranger—she was meant to marry for love—until a brooding local hunter, Paxton Seabolt, catches her attention. And while there’s no denying the fiery chemistry between them, Princess Aerity feels that Paxton’s mysteriousness is foreboding, maybe even dangerous.
Paxton is not the marrying type. Nor does he care much for spoiled royals and their arcane laws. He is determined to keep his focus on the task at hand—ridding the kingdom of the beast—but the princess continues to surprise him, and the secrets he’s buried begin to surface against his wishes.
The Great Hunt is a retelling of the Grimm Brother’s fairy tale The Singing Bone.
“A certain country was greatly troubled by a wild boar that attacked workers in the fields, killed men, and tore them to pieces with its terrible tusks. The king of the country had offered rich rewards to anyone who would rid the land of this terror. But the beast was so huge and ferocious that no man could even be persuaded to enter the forest where the animal made its home.
At last the King made a proclamation that he would give his only daughter in marriage to any man who would bring the wild boar to him, dead or alive.
There lived two brothers in that country, the sons of a poor man, who gave notice of their readiness to enter on this perilous undertaking…”
~Excerpt of “The Singing Bone” from GRIMM’S COMPLETE FAIRY TALES
The Great Hunt is told in two POVS, one of the princess, Aerity, and the other of the boy who steals her heart, Paxton. Paxton is a reluctant hero because he has a big secret. Paxton is part Lashed. Lashed are the only magical people in this place and being Lashed means you are a threat to the kingdom. All the Lashed people are treated badly. Magic is outlawed in this kingdom, so the Lashed are hunted and killed. The only Lashed allowed to live in peace is the one who serves the King. The beast that comes to terrorize the people of this Kingdom is another matter altogether. The threat of this beast is real throughout this whole book. Of course, everything is not what it seems.
I have to warn you that there is a bit of immature swooning on the part of Aerity toward Paxton. She is a young girl and for her Paxton makes the most sense. I think He is not one to romanticize the situation, unfortunately for Aerity. No one knows who will actually kill the beast, so there is tension throughout the story. I rooted for Paxton and his brother, right along with Aerity.
Aerity has a close cousin in this story and a sister who has her back. I loved how they were together. Aerity, her sister, and cousin are so swoony for boys in this story. A good looking boy the call a “skirt raiser”. As annoying as that sounds I think the friendships and interactions were well done. I mean, I didn’t even mind the immature banter. Aerity is surrounded by people that care about her, and her parents love her. The king did what he had to do to keep his people safe by putting up his daughter. Aerity is a feisty princess and she break the rules in order to try to get close to Paxton. What kid doesn’t break the rules though? Paxton is really close to his brother and his parents as well. Paxton’s childhood and situation is much different from Aerity. I enjoyed learning his story, especially the flashbacks to his grandmother.
This is a fun fairy tale. I enjoyed reading about the kingdom, Aerity, and Paxton a lot. I found this book a fun read and hard to put down. I will definitely be checking out the sequel. I have to find out what happens next!