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Ever the Hunted (Clash of Kingdoms Series #1)
     

Ever the Hunted (Clash of Kingdoms Series #1)

3.8 9
by Erin Summerill
 

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Fans of Sara J. Maas' THRONE OF GLASS, Kristin Cashore’s GRACELING, and Susan Dennard's TRUTHWITCH won’t want to miss this enchanting and mesmerizing novel, the first in a series.

Seventeen year-old Britta Flannery is at ease only in the woods with her dagger and bow. She spends her days tracking criminals alongside her

Overview

Fans of Sara J. Maas' THRONE OF GLASS, Kristin Cashore’s GRACELING, and Susan Dennard's TRUTHWITCH won’t want to miss this enchanting and mesmerizing novel, the first in a series.

Seventeen year-old Britta Flannery is at ease only in the woods with her dagger and bow. She spends her days tracking criminals alongside her father, a legendary bounty hunter—that is, until her father is murdered. The alleged killer is none other than Cohen Mackay, her father’s former apprentice. The only friend she’s ever known. The boy she once loved who broke her heart.  
     She must go on a dangerous quest in a world of warring kingdoms, mad kings, and dark magic to find the real killer. But Britta wields more power than she knows. And soon she will learn what has always made her different will make her a force to be reckoned with.  
 

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
10/10/2016
Not long after the death of her father, a renowned bounty hunter for the king of Malam, 17-year-old Britta Flannery is arrested for poaching and sentenced to death herself. When Britta is offered her life in exchange for tracking down her father’s murderer, she accepts but is shocked to learn that his alleged killer is Cohen Mackay—her father’s apprentice, her best friend, and her first love. Britta’s quest takes her to the neighboring kingdom of Shaerdan, home to female magic-weavers known as Channelers, as well as Britta’s unknown maternal relatives. Debut author Summerill makes use of familiar story elements—avenging a parent’s death, a potential betrayal by an estranged first love, a main character with unrealized power—but incorporates them into an richly described world populated by engaging characters. The mystery of who killed Britta’s father is disappointingly transparent, but Britta’s grit and tense interactions with Cohen make her journey to find answers gratifying. Plenty of questions remain in the final pages, setting the stage for the next book in the Clash of Kingdoms series. Ages 12–up. Agent: Josh Adams, Adams Literary. (Dec.)
From the Publisher
"With masterful world building, Summerill takes the reader on a journey to another time, where two kingdoms are on the verge of war... This is a story about love, family and determination that leaves the reader excited for the next volume."—DESERET NEWS

“Ensnaring… With a lush setting and intriguing political conflicts, this fierce tale is the story of Britta Flannery, an expert hunter, who must find the man who killed her father.”—THE DAILY HERALD (UT)

Ever the Hunted blends magic, politics, and revenge into an exciting read from a fantastic new voice.”—PASTE MAGAZINE

“Summerill builds a rich… fantasy world filled with both mystical powers and realistic political conflicts... Romance lovers will be happy with the simmer relationship between Britta and Cohen.” —BOOKLIST

"A solid choice for fantasy readers who prefer a large helping of adventure with their romance." —KIRKUS

"Richly described world populated by engaging characters." —PUBLISHER'S WEEKLY

“Those who enjoy fantasy adventure will love this novel and immediately want to continue with the next.” —SCHOOL LIBRARY CONNECTION

"With a resourceful and cunning heroine, a compelling and nuanced romance, and a truly fascinating system of magic, Ever the Hunted ensnared me from the very first pages. Absolutely marvelous." Sarah J. Maas, New York Times-bestselling author of the Throne of Glass books

"Britta's fierce tale of love lost and family found, combined with the lush setting and intriguing world-building, make for an unforgettable read." Ally Condie, #1 New York Times Bestselling Author of the Matched Trilogy

"A fascinating world, intriguing characters, and an adventure with plenty of thrilling twists and turns will keep readers turning pages long into the night." C.J. Redwine, New York Time's best selling author of The Shadow Queen

"Erin Summerill showcases stellar worldbuilding in her debut novel Ever the Hunted. She uses artful prose to tell a captivating story that is emotionally engaging and hard to put down. I can't wait to read the sequel!" Charlie N. Holmberg, author of The Paper Magician series
School Library Journal
11/01/2016
Gr 8 Up—Britta Flannery is an expert tracker and hunter, but after her father's death forces her to hunt on the king's land, she is arrested for poaching. As an alternative to execution, Britta is offered a deal: find the man who killed her father and she will be pardoned of all wrongdoing. The teen sets off with a trio of the king's guard to find Cohen McKay, who is assumed to be her dad's murderer. He was also her father's apprentice and remains the only person Britta has ever called a friend. This debut fantasy offers an engaging quest through a well-developed new world. The mystery elements keep the plot moving at a steady pace, and the narrative is punctuated with occasional action sequences. The heroine, an outcast from her society, is the best developed of the characters, with much of the novel devoted to her internal monologue. Fans of epic fantasy quests, such as J.R.R. Tolkien's "The Lord of the Rings," Christopher Paolini's Eragon, or Kristin Cashore's "Graceling" trilogy, will love this outing. VERDICT This series opener is a must-purchase where epic fantasy quests are popular; an additional purchase everywhere else.—Jenni Frencham, Columbus Public Library, WI
Kirkus Review
Aug. 30, 2016
On a quest to save her life by finding her father’s killer, a teen girl discovers conspiracies between kingdoms on the verge of war.Outcast Britta Flannery, distrusted in Malam because her mother was from neighboring enemy country Shaerdan, has no income source and is about to lose her father’s land back to the crown after his death. He, the king’s bounty hunter, has been murdered. Caught poaching, Britta’s given a choice: instead of execution, she can use her tracking skills to bring down her father’s killer, revealed to her as Cohen Mackay, her father’s former apprentice and her best friend—whom she secretly loves. Devastated, she agrees. Soon, though, her mission to find her father’s killer takes her over the border into Shaerdan, where she learns a lot more about magic (forbidden and punishable by death in Malam—Britta herself has a secret ability, telling truths from lies), her family, and the dark power drawing the two countries into conflict. All characters seem to be white. Archer Britta is a familiar type of heroine, and the majority of the predictable plot twists happen right on schedule, but the writing quality is good. The strong climax sets up a cliffhanger for the sequel, which will not be unwelcome. Though not terribly innovative, still a solid choice for fantasy readers who prefer a large helping of adventure with their romance. (Fantasy. 12-18)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780544664456
Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date:
12/27/2016
Series:
Clash of Kingdoms Series , #1
Pages:
400
Sales rank:
663
Product dimensions:
5.70(w) x 7.80(h) x 1.60(d)
Lexile:
HL740L (what's this?)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

Read an Excerpt

CHAPTER  1

TO SURVIVE THESE WOODS, A MAN HAS TO BE strong as the trees, Papa had said. The memory is a whisper compared to the attention my cramping stomach demands.
     I try not to think of him or my trembling legs as I dust my boot prints from the path with a broken branch. Every starved scrap of me begs to stop and hunt here on the foot trail in the Ever Woods. Only the danger of getting caught propels me onward, boots stumbling over rocks and dirt.
     Weak as I am, I won’t make it through the craggy Malam Mountains to where King Aodren’s land edges the lowlands. It’s a two-day walk. Two long, grueling days. Spots dance in my vision. Seeds, I need food. Papa’s old training spot will have to do. The king’s guard, the eyes over the royal city of Brentyn, aren’t likely to catch me there. Through a pinched, rocky canyon, the remote site has only been used by Cohen, Papa’s former apprentice, and me. A spasm racks my insides, and the decision is made. To the practice clearing.
     The sun’s halfway to its peak when I stumble into the glade. Heady, sweet pine scents the brisk air. The leaves on the white-barked quaky trees around the nearby lake glow like embers, fiery gold and auburn against the evergreens. The sight is a warm welcome home.
     Though starved and here to hunt, I cannot stop myself from finding our tree and tracing the carved names: Britta & Cohen.
     Nor can I swallow the emotions that lump in my throat.
     Since Cohen left last year to work for the king and Papa was killed two months ago, I’ve kept the pressing loneliness mostly at bay, managing it in little pieces. But this morning, it’s like isolation up and walloped me in the face.
     I swipe a sneaky tear away and ready an arrow to my bow.
     My body resembles a freckled skeleton for how thin I’ve become. Not much will change my paleness, but catching a squirrel or grouse will satisfy my hunger. Something to strengthen me. Later, I’ll bag a larger beast. Winter’s not far off, and I desperately need a decent kill to trade for lodging. The king’s guard will soon seize my land—​no, Papa’s land—​now that my mourning is over.
     Bludgers will be pounding on my door in a couple days, foaming at the mouth over my cozy, one-room cottage. I pull back on my bowstring, testing the pressure, needing to shoot something. Anything. To keep a Malam tradition—​home isolation for two months of mourning—​I nearly starved, and now must break the law, since no one brought food after Papa died. Never a kindness for me—​Britta Flannery—​daughter of a Shaerdanian and, therefore, an outcast.
     A year before my birth, the king regent closed the border between Malam and Shaerdan. Since then it seems all of Malam contracted amnesia; nobody remembers the good that came from the neighboring country. Once, we prospered from Shaerdan’s trade and relied on Channelers’ healing salves. Now we shun them for their strange Channeler magic. We fear what they can do.
     With a huff, I push down the anger and focus on the hunt.
     That’s when I discover the print of an elk hoof, two half circles with pointed ends. The moisture puddling inside the tracks reveals that the elk was here recently. My pulse quickens at the promise of a good catch as I stand stiller than a tree to listen for the elk’s movement. Birds whistle; leaves swish. All normal sounds of the Ever Woods, but something is off. That something abruptly tugs inside me, and an invisible finger skitters unease up the back of my neck.
     I’m not alone.
     My eyes ricochet from the branches to the shrubs to the sky, seeing everything and nothing. I spin around, expecting to meet the red coats of the king’s guard, and only find pine trees. I bite my lip. Swipe ghostly blond strands of hair out of my face.
     Who else could be here?
     No one dares hazard a hunt in the king’s Ever Woods. Hunting is only permitted where royal land ends near Lord Devlin’s fiefdom. That’s two days west in the Bloodwood firs or three and a half days south. On a rare day, poaching will get a man whipped or tortured. Most days, death.
     I clench my bow and push myself to search for signs of an intruder: broken tree limbs, prints in the soil. It’s frustrating to abandon the elk hunt, but safety ensures survival—​Papa’s first lesson.
     An hour of combing the underbrush passes before the strange sensation disappears. Which in a way is more unsettling, since my instincts have never led me astray. Perhaps hunting without Papa has me on edge. Perhaps being alone—​
     A shadow shifts a few lengths ahead.
     I dash behind a rotted trunk. My fingers contract and relax around the bow’s well-worn grip. Flex. Release. Papa would clap my ear for acting like a skittish girl. Stay in control, he’d say. Focus is a weapon as much as your bow.
     I draw a breath, slow and calm, and force myself to lean away from the decaying wood to get a look.
     Whatever I was expecting to see, it wasn’t a six-point bull elk. A king of the forest, he struts into the glade. Proud shoulders, sturdy haunches. It takes a beat to remember this elk means my survival. From where I’m crouched, the angle makes for a tricky shot. One knuckle-width too high or low will hit bone or cartilage, seriously wounding but not killing. Torturing, if my aim is off.
     I shoot. The arrow thunks deep into the bull’s chest, impaling the vitals in a killing blow. The elk starts, jerks to a run, staggering a few steps before his eyes roll white. He thuds to the needle-covered ground.
     I stare blindly at the beast, my bow arm falling to my side. A touch of sadness, a trickle of unworthiness beats through me as blackbirds flap out of the branches. An absurd reaction for a hunter, I know. His husky, labored breaths echo around us, to which I whisper shapeless, calming words as the beast accepts death. The life left in the animal struggles, a ravaged soldier fighting his way off the battlefield, having no hope of survival.
     My hunter’s instinct always recognizes the cusp of passing. The awareness you possess is a talent only the best hunters develop, Papa said. Except, how can it be a talent when it’s only ever felt like a curse? I give the elk a quick end, slitting his throat.
     My grip tenses over the intricate etchings on Papa’s dagger, my knuckles a match to the ivory handle. I force the blade to the animal’s belly to begin gutting and quartering. Stick to the task. Cut through the fur. Slice the skin. Roll out the innards. I’m good at pressing forward, always moving onward.
     While some elk is curing and drying, other pieces roast over a small fire. It’s the same way Papa prepared the meat from my first kill ten years ago. He laughed when I took a bite and grimaced from the gamy taste. Nothing better than this dinner right here, he’d said. Because you caught it. Now I know you can do it again. His praise didn’t come as often as his lessons. When it did, I treasured every word.
     I chew the last sinewy bite and pull my threadbare blanket from my satchel. The cloak of night cinches around the forest. Chilly air sneaks through the blanket’s weave and nips at my arms. And still, the evening is better than any I’ve had since Papa passed. Stomach sated, I settle onto a bed of needles. If only he could see me now, surviving on my own.
     Sleep steals me away in seconds.

I’m standing outside. Behind me, the coarse stones and thatched roof of my cottage are stained bluish black from the night.
     Stars sprinkle the sky like salt spilled across a well-oiled table. My hair, which is usually bound in a braid, falls past my shoulders, a veil of pale blond that shines silver in the moonlight.
     Where our pasture meets the Evers, something moves. It’s the shape of a young man.
     My eyes narrow, and then I smile. Since the incident, he’s only come once—​earlier that day he traveled the half league from Brentyn to visit our cottage. My heart gallops as I force myself to walk to where he stands in the shadows until the darkness swallows me whole. There, his whispery breath breaks the stillness.
     Hair the rich color of soil after a rainstorm. Sharp hazel eyes. A face too handsome for the angry scar that mars his cheek. The guilt is overwhelming as my fingers itch to trace the shiny red mark. I want to touch him and tell him how I feel about him. How he owns my heart.
     All that comes out is “Cohen, I’m sorry.”

The howling wind wakes me. Cohen vanishes, replaced by the gray shaded trunks and the pine limbs stretching above like specters. I curl my legs in tight and cinch the shoddy woolen blanket snug around my shoulders. The dreamt memory has left me disoriented, and it takes two inhales and two exhales to ground myself. To calm my pulse.
     When I was twelve, Papa no longer took me on regular bounty hunts for King Aodren. Alone in the cottage, I felt the quietness eat at me. I pretended the creaking woods or my own breaths were other voices. Company to pass the night. Ridiculous, but it helped me fall asleep.
     Those old tricks won’t work tonight. Not when Cohen’s face lingers in the darkness. Always, I see his scar first—​an injury suffered weeks before he left. Starting just under his eye, it leads to the strong line of his jaw that’s covered in sparse sable scruff, because at eighteen, when we were last together, he was too boyish to grow a full beard. Perhaps that’s changed now that he’s twenty, two years and a pinch older than me.
     I like the idea of an older, rugged Cohen. More than I should admit.
     A year and three months have passed since Cohen completed his apprenticeship and became one of the king’s court, taking up the title only my father, my grandfather, and all Flannery men before them held. As one of the king’s two bounty hunters, Cohen is allowed to travel through Malam’s fiefdoms and cross the borders. It’s unimaginable to me. I’ll never have the chance to leave Malam.
     When Cohen left without a goodbye, I hoped he would visit. Except he didn’t return; not even for Papa’s wake.
     Using the heels of my hands, I try to rub him out of my mind. A useless endeavor. Cohen has taken up too much space in my heart and head for the last five years to dismiss so easily. As always, my thoughts turn to his long absence. And I wonder if he never returned because he realized there’s no future for us.
     As the king’s bounty hunter, Cohen is in a league above commoners. Ten leagues above me. Like Papa, he’ll be revered for his position in the king’s court. He’ll be considered nobility and be given lands. And if he chooses, he’ll marry the daughter of a lord.
     A noble marriage, let alone any union for that matter, is about as likely for me as the king himself proposing. I snort at the idea.
     All that came with Papa’s honored title, home, and land returns to the king, since Papa has no living relations except me. And I’m ineligible to inherit. Though my parents married in Shaerdan, the law only recognizes unions made before a priest of Malam. Before they could do so, my mother was accused of selling secrets to Shaerdan and killed.
     In the law’s eyes, I’m illegitimate. To most of Malam, I’m Shaerdanian. But to some, the gossipmongers in Brentyn, I’m a traitor’s daughter.
     None of that matters to me, though, because like my father, I’ll always be a Flannery, and I can take care of myself.

At sunrise, I walk to the crystal-clear lake and splash water on my face. Brisk morning air fills my lungs and prickles my skin. It isn’t until I’ve patted dry with my tunic that a disturbance along the muddy shore seizes my attention. Fresh boot prints. A man’s—​by the size of them.
     I leap to my feet, spinning wildly to search the clearing. Like yesterday, nothing stands out. Nothing more than evergreens and the glassy blue water spread beneath the cloudless sky. Even so, there’s no question now.
     I’m not alone.

Meet the Author

Erin Summerill was born in England. After spending years bouncing between Air Force bases in Hawaii, England, and California, her family finally settled down in Utah. When Erin doesn’t have her nose in a book, she’s busy chasing after her four kids, two dogs, one cat, and five chickens. 

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Ever the Hunted (Clash of Kingdoms Series #1) 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 12 reviews.
ruthsic 11 days ago
Ever the Hunted started off pretty well - here's our protagonist, Britta, who is an excellent tracker/hunter, now being forced to hunt down her father's killer, who also happens to be her crush. She finds him but realizes he is innocent (obviously) and then the hunt for the real killer begins. Now, this premise had a lot of potential, you know, with her moral dilemma of his life for hers. He was a childhood friend and also one she loved, so it is difficult for her to do this, but she will because if she does, she has a chance at life. Unfortunately, the story takes a turn downhill when they meet. Let me start with the how and why. Firstly, the overall plot/world-building can be summed up in one word - generic. Two kingdoms - one with magic users and the other without (and where it is illegal to be a magic user)? Hmm, I can think Poison Study off the top of my head; Throne of Glass comes a close second. Five elemental magic - Vampire Academy comes to mind, especially because of the Spiriter thing. Also, the pull she feels? So close to the shadowkissed bond in VA. Male love interest who for some reason goes away and breaks her heart? Nearly every angst-y novel ever! Special snowflake heroine who doesn't know about her powers/was hidden from her heritage? Confusing court politics? No clear demarcation between the two kingdoms yet they know each other on sight? *sigh* Do I need to go on? Basically, while there is nothing overall wrong with the book, the fact that, when you have read so many YA novels, and then you pick up a book that feels like all of them were put in a blender and served to you, it can get annoying really fast. Britta's narration doesn't help either - she knows she has an ability but doesn't realize until mid-way in the novel that she is a *gasp* Channeller? Also, girl, I got tired of your sniffing Cohen like a bloodhound. If a man has gone days(!) without bathing, he is definitely not smelling good - no matter how much you love him! Also, I didn't get the bigotry when it came to Malam citizens' hatred towards the other kingdom - there is no difference mentioned between them (i.e., skin color, hair color, eye color, body shape, whatever) yet they somehow know she has dual heritage? How? Was it just to gain early sympathy for the heroine, or to give her unnecessary insecurity about the relationship with Cohen? And that bond thing - I think it is just setting up for book 2. There is now going to be a love triangle, isn't it? Overall, I would say that since this novel is average, I have given it an average rating.
Barb-TRC 17 days ago
Ever the Hunted by Erin Summerill is the first book in her new Clash of Kingdoms series. This is a fantasy novel with wonderful world-building by Summerill. In this world there are two factions that are at war with each other. The story revolves around our heroine, Britta, whom we meet at the start. She lives alone after the death of her father, who was murdered. He was an elite bounty hunter for the King of Malam. Britta knows that soon her home will be confiscated, and she will have nowhere to go. Desperate for food, she enters the Ever Woods to hunt prey, and after she succeeds, she is captured by the Kings guards. To save her own life, she makes a deal with the King’s Regent to help three guards track down the murderer of her father. The problem…..the man they say who killed her father was his former apprentice and her childhood crushe…Cohen McKay. In any new fantasy world, things do start off slow, as the author will show us the world we are now in. The two factions are Malem, which is governed by the King and the Channelers, who have magic and powers, but are prosecuted by those from Malem. Summerill does a good job creating a nice flow, as we learn about the two kingdoms, but the storyline is still very much centered on Britta. As one of the best trackers, Britta and the three guards (Captain Omar, Leif and Tomas) follow the trail that she finds to bring them closer to Cohen. In a short period, Britta will come face to face with Cohen, and realize that he is innocent of the murder charges. Together they escape the guards and try to find the real murderer. What follows is an exciting, action filled and intense story that will bring both heroes to the brink of death. Along the way, there are many twists and turns, as well as betrayals that put them further in danger. Britta will learn more about her life that her father hid from her, and meet someone who will tell her the truth of her past, and how to use her ability. Most of all, this is a sweet romance between Britta and Cohen, that was wonderfully written by Summerill. What starts out as a childhood friendship, family dynamics and hidden feelings becomes a love that was so nice to watch grow. As I have noted in previous fantasy first books, the key to a successful start of a series is to have good characters that you care about. In Ever the Hunted, we not only have Britta, a wonderful heroine, who has just begun to harness her powers; Cohen, a great hero, who loves Britta with all his heart; and some other truly great characters; Leif, one of the good guards; Enat, a Channeler, who is more than a teacher to Britta; and even Captain Omar, who was cold and unforgiving early on. This turned out to be a very nice fast paced story line, well written by Summerrill, with great characters and many surprises along the way. Ever the Hunted is wonderful start to a new series, which I recommend that you read. I look forward to the next book in the Clash of the Kingdoms series.
blamethebooks 17 days ago
Britta is an outcast. Her entire life she has only had one friend, Cohen, her father's apprentice. Britta's father teaches her everything he knows, training her and Cohen to be the best trackers in the land. After a tragic accident, however, Cohen leaves, and Britta is left friendless and with no one to rely on except her father. Unfortunately, when we meet Britta at the start of Ever the Hunted, her father has been murdered, and as an orphan who is viewed as illegitimate, she is about to lose everything. Until she receives a proposal that could change her life - track and capture her father's murderer and she can keep her land and remain free. The only problem - Cohen killed her father. Doesn't this sound like an awesome plot? I thought so; I was so excited for Ever the Hunted and was ready to go on a wild adventure. However, the book fell very flat for me. The entire synopsis happens within the first 50 pages of the book, and then...not much happens after that. There was a little bit of excitement that developed in the plot about 200 pages in, but that's a very long time to wait for action. So, if there wasn't much going on in the plot, what was happening for the entire book? For that answer, we have to discuss the characters (namely, Britta). Britta is the most special of the special snowflakes. She has magical powers that she didn't know about until one day she suddenly performs magic. But Britta doesn't seem the tiniest bit concerned about the magic she just created, because she spends the ENTIRE book wondering why Cohen doesn't like her. She is supposed to be tracking her father's murderer, and yet on every other page, she is getting distracted by Cohen's smell of masculinity. Yes, that is actually how his scent is described - whatever that means. Britta is weirdly obsessed with Cohen's scent, which is described about a hundred different ways throughout the book. And she is constantly doubting herself and wondering what she did to keep Cohen from liking her, when he is CLEARLY in love with her. It seriously could not be more obvious. Britta's constant whining really bothered me as I was reading and kept me from caring about the characters or what was going on in the plot. Ever the Hunted was well-written, but it's nothing we haven't seen before. It is full of classic fantasy tropes that we see over and over again in YA fantasy. That doesn't make it bad, it's just not very unique. It could still be an entertaining read, as long as you don't go into it expecting to be taken on a wild ride. Ever the Hunted is focused way more on the romance aspect than on the fantasy adventure. If you like kissing books, you may like this one a bit more than I did. I wanted an epic story, and I got angst, angst, and a heck of a lot more angst. There is something else I need to mention that I noticed as I was reading. Ever the Hunted has a complete lack of diversity. Every single character who has their skin described is white. The only mention of any skin that wasn't pale was one little comment about the people living further south having slightly tanned skin because of the sun. That's it. Everyone is white. There was also a point at which a character scoffed at the idea of women being together. Full disclosure: Britta had asked if two Channelers (people with magic) could produce a powerful child. She was laughed at because all Channelers are women, so they obviously could not be together. Of course, it is true that two women cannot produce a chi
TheThoughtSpot 18 days ago
Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review. Thanks to NetGalley and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for the opportunity to read and review Ever the Hunted by Erin Summerill! This fantasy story contains a refreshing new plot idea and wonderfully complex characters. The main character, Britta, has lost her father and after her allotted two months of mourning, will now lose her home. She has been told that her one true friend, Cohen, killed her father. Britta has the gift of knowing what is truth and what is a lie. She feels that Cohen did murder her father. She has been given an offer to catch Cohen and then she can keep her father's home. She ventures out to find Cohen and discovers him and so much more about her past and her family. The believable characters and the clever and cohesive world building make this book one of my favorite reads and I am anxiously awaiting the sequel that comes out December 2017! I give Ever the Hunted a 5 star rating for a highly recommended fantasy read!
CarolineA 18 days ago
Ever The Hunted is the story of Britta, a teenage girl who is shunned by her people due to the fact that her mother was from a country that her kingdom is at war with. A mother killed for being a traitor. When Britta’s father dies, she’s left with absolutely nothing. When desperate times come to desperate measures, she ends up poaching and is caught by the kings guards. And now our story begins… In exchange for being allowed to live, Britta must help the king’s guards track down her fathers accused killer. Her former friend, Cohen. The boy she was in love with before he left and never came back. I think the problem with this story for me was too much time spent tracking Cohen. I was just bored. I felt like I was reading military fiction, I just wanted things to get moving. Once she separates from the guards the pacing picked up and so did my interest. The magic introduced in the second half of the book helped too. In the end I did enjoy this story, I just didn’t love it. I know this is the first in the series and I think the next book will probably pick up as far as pacing so I’m not counting this series out just yet. I will most likely read book two and I look forward to seeing what’s in store next for Britta. Special thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for providing an e-galley in exchange for an honest review.
Arys 19 days ago
**4.5 Stars** Ever the Hunted by Erin Summerill is a young adult fantasy novel filled with danger, mystery, magic, adventure, and romance. Ms. Summerill puts us right into the thick of things from the start with the main character, Britta Flannery, weak from hunger and desperate enough to poach on the king's land for food after her father's murder. The author's descriptive imagery and well-written narrative are what really captured my attention from the start. From the first page, we already begin to learn about Britta and the world she lives in as she hunts and how she hunts. Caught for poaching by the royal guard, she's offered a way out from the hangman's noose- find her father's killer, Cohen McKay, her father's former apprentice and the boy who broke her heart. With little choice, Britta sets out to track down Cohen in order to save her life, but she quickly learns not everything is as it seems and she is soon on the trail of finding who really murdered her father and learning the reason why. What I loved about this novel is the build-up in the adventure and mystery as Britta goes to search for her father's murderer. The story is rife with intrigue and reveals about Britta, her family, and Cohen. I appreciated that Ms. Summerill brought up each new bit of information gradually and as it naturally fit within the story instead of just as a flood of information. For example, when describing Britta and Cohen's relationship, she starts by just mentioning the significance of it by italicizing the word "our" in reference to a tree and the carving of their names. Before continuing on with Britta hunting. Then later continues to bring in a little bit more about the couple, interwoven through the action taking place, through Britta's musings or dreams. My only complaint about this novel would be that the end felt a little rushed, especially after all the build-up and danger. Although the very end was good and segues to a future installment quite well, it seemed to finish on a off-note for me personally. I loved the progression and development of Britta and Cohen's relationship throughout the novel. So I think I could have had it end a few pages earlier and been content. Overall, Ever the Hunted by Erin Summerill is a fantastic novel that is completely engaging and just pulls you in. I enjoyed it very much and happily recommend. (I voluntarily reviewed an ARC of this book I received from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for my fair and honest review.)
brittanysbookrambles 20 days ago
4.5/5 Stars Ever the Hunted is a charming and adventurous story with a sweet romance. Erin's writing is truly enchanting. She cast me under her spell of her beautiful, sweeping imagery and lively dialogue. I was so incredibly happy while reading that my cheeks hurt from smiling. Although plot-wise, there isn't a ton of action and it's sometimes predictable, Ever the Hunted is wonderfully executed, especially given the fact that in my opinion, it's really more of a character-driven book. Britta and Cohen's relationship—although complicated—is undeniably the core of the story. It also doesn't hurt that I happen to adore both characters. Ever the Hunted is a story that's laced with sorrow and betrayal, all of which is fantastically balanced out with an adorable romance and a rich setting. And that ending?! My god, I cannot wait to see what Erin has in store for us in the sequel! Read my full review here: http://www.bookrambles.com/2016/12/ever-hunted-clash-of-kingdoms-1-by-erin.html
Myndia 20 days ago
Overall, a pretty good story. I liked the characters, dug the romance aspect, and I’m always all in for magic. The writing was decent enough. I had to keep reminding myself that it’s YA and the range of YA can be huge in terms of writing style. At first, I really struggled because this book felt like it was geared towards the very young end of the YA range, and I tend to prefer more mature YA (perhaps because I’m, um, 40?). However, as the plot thickened (and it did), I found myself quite lost in the story and the writing style/age range was no longer a factor. It also did feel like a lot of other YA fantasy. It was perfectly fine, but nothing stood out for me. And the ending was entirely too satisfactory for the beginning of a series. There’s a teaser of course, but not a big enough to hook to be chomping at the bit for the next one. If you enjoyed The False Prince by Jennifer A. Nielsen, this book is likely to be right up your alley. P.S. Beautiful cover! Note: I received this book from the publisher via NetGalley. I pride myself on writing fair and honest reviews.
Alyssa75 20 days ago
***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog*** Ever the Hunted by Erin Summerill Book One of the Clash of Kingdoms series Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers Publication Date: December 27, 2016 Rating: 4 stars Source: eARC from Edelweiss Summary (from Goodreads): Seventeen year-old Britta Flannery is at ease only in the woods with her dagger and bow. She spends her days tracking criminals alongside her father, the legendary bounty hunter for the King of Malam—that is, until her father is murdered. Now outcast and alone and having no rights to her father’s land or inheritance, she seeks refuge where she feels most safe: the Ever Woods. When Britta is caught poaching by the royal guard, instead of facing the noose she is offered a deal: her freedom in exchange for her father’s killer. However, it’s not so simple. The alleged killer is none other than Cohen McKay, her father’s former apprentice. The only friend she’s ever known. The boy she once loved who broke her heart. She must go on a dangerous quest in a world of warring kingdoms, mad kings, and dark magic to find the real killer. But Britta wields more power than she knows. And soon she will learn what has always made her different will make her a daunting and dangerous force. What I Liked: I feel like I'd been waiting to read this book for forever! I remember seeing the cover reveal, and then obtaining an electronic galley early in 2016. But I put off reading the book because it was too far in advance. Still, I was excited. I've seen the publisher compare this book to Kristin Cashore's books - could it be that good? I'm a huge fan of Cashore's books, and I personally think no books compare. And while I stand by this statement, I will say that Ever the Hunted is definitely a book that Kristin Cashore fan would enjoy! Britta's father was murdered, and as a girl, she can't inherit his property or cottage. Forced to poach in the king's land or starve, Britta has few options. When she's caught poaching, she's given a choice: track her father's killer, or hang. Britta is an excellent tracker, but the man who the King's high lord says to be Britta's father's killer is not someone Britta wants to track - Cohen McKay, Britta's childhood best friend who joined the King's ranks as a bounty hunter almost two years ago. Britta must find him, but as she tracks him down, she begins to find out that her father's murder was not as it seems, and neither is she. Britta has a power that she discovers, but it may be too late before someone finds out. This story starts off slow, but gradually picks up speed and really hooks you after a certain point. For me, that was once we actually meet Cohen (you knew that was going to happen). This occurs fairly early in the story. Britta is forced to track him, accompanied by the King's captain and two guards (i.e. her jailers). She escapes them when Cohen "kidnaps" her from them... and that's really when I started getting into the story. Britta is a likable heroine, and I could see a potential comparison of her to some of Cashore's heroines. She's tough and headstrong, determined and willful. She's also compassionate and very selfless, and all of these qualities make her a strong and capable young woman. She isn't perfect, nor is she a cliche kickbutt YA heroine. Read the rest of my review on my blog, The Eater of Books! - eaterofbooks DOT blogspot DOT com :)
book_junkee 20 days ago
3.5 stars? I was intrigued by the premise of this and even though I usually shy away from fantasy, I couldn't resist. I think it was the hint of a BFF to more plot point. I liked Britta well enough. We're in her head and yet, I still didn't feel like we got to know her. Same with her gift. I chalk all of that up to her not really knowing her ability and us going along for the ride. And yet, somehow it made me not really connect with her. Her relationship with Cohen is tangled up and getting those pieces slowly revealed was frustrating and delicious at the same time. There is a bit of a special snowflake/chosen one aspect to the story and I'm not sure how I feel about it. The world building was a bit confusing for me, as it seems like there are a lot of small towns {perhaps countries?} and every single one of them were mentioned. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed the story, but still feel like there was an aspect missing. I'm interested to see what happens next. Especially after that ending, because I have theories. **Huge thanks HMH Books for Young Readers and Edelweiss for providing the arc free of charge**
onemused 20 days ago
"Ever the Hunted" is an incredible YA fantasy with a touch of romance. The story begins with Britta, starving and alone since her father was killed, hunting (poaching) for something to trade for lodging. As a person who is half Shaerdanian living in Malam, she is already ostracized by the locals who will not trade or help her and cannot inherit her father's land and/or home. Shaerdan and Malam are on the verge of war. Since she was a baby, Malam has closed its borders and made laws, for which the penalty is death, against the Channelers, women with powers to alter one aspect of nature. Britta's father, Saul, protected her to an extent as he taught her to do his job, tracking, and stealth as a bounty hunter. He also trained Cohen, who was to be an apprentice and Britta's only friend. Britta hasn't seen Cohen in a long time, as even though he said he would meet her the next day after she confessed her love for him, he never appeared or returned. Britta is captured for poaching, for which the penalty is hanging, and is offered that she would be freed and her father's house and land given to her if she hunts down her father's killer, who is believed to be Cohen. Britta reluctantly agrees and sets out to find Cohen with guards breathing down her neck. However, things are not so simple or clear as they seem and who Britta, her father, and all the characters who seemed so black and white before are gets muddied. Britta must unravel the truth before it is too late for her kingdom and those she cares about. I really loved this book. It was a bit slow moving at first as the scene is set and the characters developed, but once it really got going (about a quarter of the way through), I was completely hooked. I'm a sucker for medieval style adventures with an epic romance, and this was so well written that I was completely captured by Britta and Cohen and this whole other world. The fantasy elements felt just about perfect- they didn't overtake the book and mysteries of her father's death and kingdom's fate- but they certainly added a unique quality to the story. The romance between Britta and Cohen was incredible and I was cheering for them the whole way- there's a lot of unresolved sexual tension though (you have to withstand a lot of it, but then it makes the idea of their romance even sweeter). There are a few big twists that I didn't see coming, and I really loved following them all the way until the end. As a note, the end does have a little bit of a cliffhanger, so be forewarned. I am so sad not to have the next book of this amazing series to keep reading right now. The author has built an incredible world, and I loved every step of this amazing journey. Britta really matures throughout the story, and she is the perfect character with which to explore this unique kingdom and fantasy adventure. This book is a wonderful twisty, mystery, fantasy, romance adventure, and I can't wait to read more. Please note that I received an ARC from the publisher through netgalley. All opinions are entirely my own.
Anonymous 3 months ago