Author: Wendy Higgins
Publication Date: March 8th 2016
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. Inspired by the Grimm Brothers’ tale, “The Singing Bone,” New York Times bestselling author Wendy Higgins delivers a dark fantasy filled with rugged hunters, romantic tension, outlawed magic, and a princess willing to risk all to save her people.
It is pretty common knowledge among my blogger friends now that I am a huge Wendy Higgins fan, and when they told me that The Great Hunt was on Edelweiss I knew I just had to request it. The Great Hunt is a whole other world then compared to what Higgins fans are use too. But with that said, I really enjoyed the world we were thrown into.
I really admired Princess Aerity's strength throughout the book. With a beast terroizing the citizens of their kingdom Aerity's father, the King promises his daughter's hand in marriage to who ever can kill the beast. The King believes in his children finding love on their own, but he is desperate and desperate times call for desperate measures. Though Aerity doesn't like the idea, she agrees so she can save the kingdom she will one day rule. I admired that Aerity knew what was expected of her and owned up to the responsibility for what she needed to do. I read a lot of fantasy princess's and Aerity is among the ones that I really do like. My own heart breaks for her having to marry someone she doesn't love, but my hope at the Higgin's will work it out in the next book. (I have faith that she will!)
Paxton is a Lashed. Lashed are people that have magical abilities. One upon a time they were allowed to live in peace, but 100 years ago after a uprising in a neighboring kingdom they are now feared and forced to register as a Lashed. In the beginning of the novel we meet a lashed man, and the disdain and the disgust that the people held for him because of what he was. Though Paxton's abilities aren't revealed right away, there was a suspect that something was off about him. Paxton enters the hunt along with his brother, but Paxton has no desire to marry Aerity. At first Paxton appears cold and distant. But over time he opens up to Aerity, and as you learn more about him you begin to love him.
There is a third POV in The Great Hunt, that I admit at first I was a little hesitant about. But as the story moves on, it makes sense. Especially in the end.
The romance is very slow for obvious reasons. But I went into this book with the mindset of Sweet Evil and expected steaminess and teenage angst that wasn't there. But standing back and looking at the story it makes sense, and I like that there was romance but not too much. It didn't take away from the story like some romances tend to do.
I took a star off for the pacing, I find it a bit slow at moments and dragging with information. But beside that fact, I really enjoyed this book. I am excited to see what Higgins has planned for the next book considering the painful end of this one.