Where I got it: ARC from publisher
Rating: 4 stars
Cover Rating: 5 stars (I love the symmetry of the cover and the fact that the model is distinctly Asian. I also love that you can't really see her face even though it's weird she would be holding a bow like that.)
Genre: Young Adult
Publication Date: April 5, 2011
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Page Count: 371 p.
The Kingdom which many humans inhabit is under attack. This is not a war of weapons, but a war of nature failing. The sun hasn't shone in many years and crops can not prosper in the never-ending grey. The Sages cast the oracle stones and call upon Taisin and Kaede to embark on a journey with an unknown ending. All the girls know is that the kind received an invitation to the Fay Kingdom and his son will go in his place while he takes care of his people. The two girls hardly know each other, but a deep connection brings them closer together on this perilous journey. The road they travel is not an easy one, and many of their crew fall victim to the evils that lurk inside the dark wood. Their mission must be completed however, otherwise life may cease to exist along with the warm sunshine.
So for those of you who follow me on Twitter or Goodreads, you may know that I struggled with this book, due to the fact that it is written with third-person omniscient narration. I prefer first person narration or at least third-person limited. Regardless of the fact that I did not like the style of narration this story had plenty of redeeming qualities that made me glad to continue reading. Kaede was such a like-able and plain character. She did extraordinary things, but you could feel yourself as being similar to her. Unlike, Taisin who is a sage, Kaede is not magical—though she is quite gifted with a dagger. I enjoyed watching their relationship grow and bloom. Malinda Lo knows how to write good LGBT lit. She didn't include shame or uncertainty about what they felt. No one looked down on their relationship. It was refreshing to have a solid love story between two girls without the taunting voices of their peers. Almost this entire novel consisted of Taisin, Kaede and crew's journey to the Fairy Queen. Which makes the extra journey at the end seem insignificant and unnecessary. The ending just seemed very rushed and I would have liked it to have ended sooner, not that it was a length issue—I felt the novel was wrapping up and then it was extended with another adventure. I liked the story though, and got very attached to many of the characters and was sad to see them go. I loved the element of magic so deftly woven into the world that Malinda Lo created. There was danger and adventure, love and loss, magic and fay, all a perfect combination for an amazing novel. If you buy one book this April make it Huntress.
First Line of story:
"She saw a beach made of ice, and she felt her heart breaking."
"He doubled over, his life spilling from his chest, mingling with the rain that still fell, unceasingly, from the sky."