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by Malinda Lo

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Nature is out of balance in the human world. The sun hasn't shone in years, and crops are failing. Worse yet, strange and hostile creatures have begun to appear. The people's survival hangs in the balance.

To solve the crisis, the oracle stones are cast, and Kaede and Taisin, two seventeen-year-old girls, are picked to go on a dangerous and unheard-of journey to

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Nature is out of balance in the human world. The sun hasn't shone in years, and crops are failing. Worse yet, strange and hostile creatures have begun to appear. The people's survival hangs in the balance.

To solve the crisis, the oracle stones are cast, and Kaede and Taisin, two seventeen-year-old girls, are picked to go on a dangerous and unheard-of journey to Tanlili, the city of the Fairy Queen. Taisin is a sage, thrumming with magic, and Kaede is of the earth, without a speck of the otherworldly. And yet the two girls' destinies are drawn together during the mission. As members of their party succumb to unearthly attacks and fairy tricks, the two come to rely on each other and even begin to fall in love. But the Kingdom needs only one huntress to save it, and what it takes could tear Kaede and Taisin apart forever.

The exciting adventure prequel to Malinda Lo's highly acclaimed novel Ash is overflowing with lush Chinese influences and details inspired by the I Ching, and is filled with action and romance.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Two teenage girls—Taisin, a sage who has visions, and Kaede, a brave fighter from a powerful family—must travel to see the Fairy Queen to try and save their land. A persistent winter has settled over their kingdom for two years, halting not only trade and harvests but the natural course of life itself, and threatening the survival of Taisin and Kaede's fellow citizens. The journey to the city of Taninli, home of the Fairy Queen, is treacherous, and along the way Taisin, Kaede, and their travel companions face many dangers and tests of their abilities, not least of which are Taisin and Kaede's growing feelings for each other. Lo's storytelling and prose are masterful, and her protagonists will fascinate, particularly Taisin and her relationship to death and its accompanying rituals, her visions, and the way she can occupy another's mind. As with Ash, Lo's characters are emotionally reserved, which makes the unfolding of romance between Kaede and Taisin all the more satisfying. Fans of Garth Nix's Abhorsen trilogy will love this. Ages 15–up. (Apr.)
School Library Journal
Gr 10 Up—Set in the same world as Ash (Little, Brown, 2009) but centuries earlier, this stand-alone novel tells the story of Kaede, a 17-year-old studying at the Academy of Sages. When climate changes cause terrible storms resulting in the loss of crops and livestock, she, along with Taisin, another sage-in-training and seer; Con, the king's son; and some trusted guards are sent to renew an ancient treaty with the Fairy Queen, hoping that together they might restore order to the land. After many arduous weeks of travel, they arrive only to discover that the fairy realm is in straits nearly as dire as those they left behind in the human lands. Together, the three young people embark on a desperate mission to destroy the being responsible for draining the fay of their magic and wreaking havoc on the land. In spite of the prohibition against sages forming intimate relations, feelings develop between Kaede and Taisin, and the two girls must decide whether to follow their hearts or their destinies. Lo has created a wonderfully detailed world, and this dynamic and moving story of love that must find a way against nearly insurmountable odds will be as well received as Ash. Select where historical fantasy and GLBT fiction are popular.—Jane Henriksen Baird, Anchorage Public Library, AK
Kirkus Reviews
Set in the same universe as, although many centuries earlier than, Ash (2009), two 17-year-olds at the Academy of Sages find their destiny and each other. Taisin already has visions, which she cannot parse. Kaede is at the school because her powerful father wished her there, but she is not magically gifted. Their lands suffer under a never-ending winter, and people are starving. When an invitation from the Fairy Queen of the Xi arrives, both Taisin and Kaede travel there with the king's son. They hope the Xi know why nature is out of joint. On their journey, the party is attacked, and Taisin's visions grow fiercer and less clear. But it is Kaede who must cross to a tower of ice and face the evil that threatens Xi and human alike. There is far too much telling rather than showing, far too many feelings described without being displayed and the mythos of its place is not well delineated. The lovely thing about this fantasy, however, is the completely natural sweetness of the attraction between Kaede and Taisin, which is unremarkable in their culture and which finds a bittersweet resolution but not an end. The promise of sequels seems obvious—Ash's fans will hope they hew to the tightness of craft of the former, not this companion. (Fantasy. 14 & up)

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Product Details

Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.30(d)
Age Range:
15 - 18 Years

Read an Excerpt


By Lo, Malinda

Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Copyright © 2011 Lo, Malinda
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9780316040075


Huntress is set in the same world as Ash, but it takes place many centuries earlier. There are some significant cultural differences between the time periods.


Clouds and thunder arise: The sage brings order. Those who chase deer without a hunter Lose their way in the Wood.

Book of Changes

Chapter I

She saw a beach made of ice, and she felt her heart breaking.

The ground where she stood was frozen white, but twenty feet away, cold blue ocean lapped at the jagged shore. Someone there was climbing into a rowboat, and she knew that she loved this person. She was certain of it in the same way that one is instantly aware of the taste of sweetness in a drop of honey. But she was afraid for this person’s life, and the fear raised a cold sweat on her skin and caused a sick lurch in her stomach, as though she were on a ship during a violent storm.

She opened her mouth to call the rower back—she couldn’t bear the loss; it would surely cripple her—and at that moment she realized she could hear nothing. All around her was an eerie, unnatural silence. There was no sound from the ocean. She could not even hear herself breathing. She felt her tongue shaping the syllables of the person’s name, but she did not recognize what the name was until the rower turned to face her. Kaede.

The rower was Kaede, and she looked back with dark, troubled eyes. Loose strands of black hair whipped around her pale face; there were spots of red on her wind-roughened cheeks. Her lips parted as though she would speak. But then Kaede reached down into the boat and lifted out a long oar, dipping it into the azure sea to propel the small craft away from the shore. The droplets of water falling from the blade of the oar were tiny stars, extinguished as quickly as they burned into being. The boat cut through the water, leaving the shore behind, and just before the destination came into view, the vision ended.

She was wrenched out of the icy landscape and back into her body, where she was sitting in the empty practice hall, alone on her cushion.

She opened her eyes, blinking against the light of the single candle she had lit on the altar. Her heart was pounding, and there was an acrid taste in her mouth. Her hands, folded in her lap, were trembling and chilled. A trickle of sweat ran from her temple down her cheek.

She drew her knees up and hugged them close, burying her face in the crook of her elbow, and because there was no one to hear her, she let out the sob that reared up in her throat. The sound echoed in the vaulted ceiling of the practice room, and for once she gave in to the overwhelming feelings rushing through her. She felt gutted. She felt powerless.

She had never seen so clearly before, and her teachers would praise her for it. But she felt no satisfaction, for she could not rejoice in the vision of someone she apparently loved departing on a journey to her death.


Excerpted from Huntress by Lo, Malinda Copyright © 2011 by Lo, Malinda. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Huntress 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 41 reviews.
pagese More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed Lo's debut book Ash. So, when I saw this one, I knew I had to read it. I knew it was a prequel, and I was excited to step back in the world that had been created. The time frame is a bit odd. I don't think I was able to every pinpoint exactly when this story was taking place in regards to events in Ash. It was just safe to assume, it was a number of years (if not centuries) before. The world felt the same though. Only we learn that they fey don't have much of a presence in the human world. They're a legend told that no one is really sure to believe. Until an invitation comes from the Fairy Queen that the human King can not ignore. Enter in Kaede and Taisin. What's funny, is these to girls actually reminded me a lot of Ash and Kaisa. I wish we actually learned more of Taisin. She seems like a very powerful girl who is just learning how to harness her powers. Because of this, I think we as the readers are never fully able to understand what she can do. She's quiet, but the Fey especially never underestimate her. I also liked Kaede. I don't think she fully understand herself. All she knows, is that she refuses to be a pawn in her father's political schemes. She doesn't want to accept the role presented to her. Which was another point of the story I found interesting. Typical female/male roles aren't really seen. The guards sent on the mission aren't all male, the cook is male instead of female, the prince is in love with the guard. And most important, marriages aren't always arranged between males and females. It's just the way of the world. I actually found the story to be slow moving but beautifully constructed. We spend half the book journeying to the Fairy Queen's castle. The descriptions of the journey, the woods, and the Fairy city itself was great. But, I had a really hard time changing pace when we reached this point. All of a sudden we're off on an assassination mission to the ice island. Which is the source of all that is off in both the human and the fairy worlds. And then we're back in the fairy city, but things have gone from bad to worse and we need to go hunt down a unicorn. It was way to fast after the slow build up. But, I really enjoyed how Kaede's involvement is what lead to the creation of the Fairy Queen's Huntress. She was the first. I'm curious to see if the story can continue from here. I would like to see what happens to Kaede and she becomes the hunterss. It seems she's had to give up a lot to get there. Which brings us to the last point. Lo is know for the LGBT tone in her novels, and this is no exception. It doesn't feel out of place at all, but almost like a point she's trying to make. That the herione of the story doesn't need to fall in the love with the prince to make a picture perfect ending. And, I'm totally ok with that!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read madeline lo's first book ash and instantly fell in love with her work. This book did mot dissappoint it really kept me really into the story. I love how descriptive the settings were i really felt like i was traveling in the forest. Great book will recommend it to anyone!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
malinda's writing is engaging and very beautiful. the romance isn't hasty, (a pet peeve of mine) but rather set at a gradual, believable pace. i preferred her debut ASH (set in the same world at a different time) but HUNTRESS was a great read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am obsesed with this book. Everytime my parents say to stop, I always have trouble. Every page is so fruitful. Therfore I gave it a 5 star
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wordforteens More than 1 year ago
Before reading Huntress, I hadn't read Ash. I've wanted to - I still do - but since this was a prequel, I knew I didn't have to, so I dove right into it without any idea of the world or the story or the writing style. For some strange reason, I wasn't expecting much out of Huntress - yes, it sounded good, but I expected it to be one of those books I read and then forget about a week later. It's not the most fantastic read, but the characters are going to cling to my brain a lot longer than I anticipated. I'll be the first to admit that, as pretty as Malinda Lo's writing is, I'm not a huge fan. Do I love the description? Yes. Did I think she can plot well and really get inside a character's head? Of course. But I'm one of those people who needs their narrator to stick to one type of narration. I don't mind being in two characters heads - I loved learning about both Kaede and Taisin; like I said, the characters are going to stick with me for a while. But every now and then we'd get a few lines in some other characters head, or we'd get to see something they didn't see, and as interesting as it was, it irked me a little bit. I didn't need to see those things, and for a few lines I was sucked out of the story. That's my biggest complaint with the story, though. It moved rather quickly - no lingering on tons of camping scenes or on extraneous details - and I loved the way the plot was set up. I'm very picky with people who can see the future, but I thought it was handled extraordinary well in this particular story. And the characters! I loved them. Each was well rounded - there were no perfect characters, and even the villains had their reasons for doing what they did. I thought the romance between Kaede and Taisin was adorable and very well handled; I liked their romance as much, maybe more, than some of the other stories I've read lately. (And no, I don't mind that I'm a straight girl reading about two girls falling in love. It worked for this story. Love is love.)
lois_must_die More than 1 year ago
I read Ash from Malinda Lo and this book came as a recommendation after. What a great recommendation!!! I love Lo's style of writing. I love the idea of setting gay relationships in another era. These two books are completely different from most lesbian books and the writing is much better. I honestly recommend them to anyone even slightly interested in lesbian books or even fantasy books. I'm excited to read both books again.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you have read Ash, the first book by this author, I would definitely read Huntress. In my opinion, her writing style grew so much. You get to see into all the characters. I love her choice of descriptive words. They really moved me. The story gets right into the problem and throws you right in.
FireStarBooks More than 1 year ago
First of all, 3rd POV! WOOT! LOVE LOVE LOVE! The cover reminded me of a Japanese Mulan. Also I ADORED how every chapter, the first letter is intricately decorated. The map is beautifully drawn with great details but was also the simplest map I have seen. All the other maps I've seen always confuses me but this one actually made sense! :) WOOT! This book started out great because of how the parts were separated by a quote from The Book of Change. This totally reminded me of The Relic Masters series (and I LOVED that series) so Huntress had a fantastic start. If you love The Seven Realm series and the Grey Wolf Throne series, you will love this. I love the writing style of Malinda. The words just form in such poetic way. It is so magical and captivating. The story is magical and mystical. The words seem to hypnotize me and dragging me deeper into the book. The world building is just amazing. I love how this book ultimately is a fantasy adventure book but there just a hint of romance. I think these types of book are my all-time favorites. It totally reminded me why I love the fantasy genre. The chapters are divided into little chunks that I adore. When I read, I read in small chunks. The mystery of the whole thing keeps you within the book. The creatures are like the Spiderwick Chronicles. The weirdness like the experiments from Fullmetal Alchemists. I love the Chinese and Japanese traditions in the book. I love the development of the characters. Taisin, and Kaede's relationship grows at a sweet gentle pace. I wish all romances in books can develop so nicely. Most books just rush at the romance but leave everything else hanging. This book is just perfection. Taisin and Kaede's personalities are different but they cohere together very well. They are like a pair of duel blades, together in harmony, one without the other. Shae, Con, Tali, and Pol were well developed. Shae and Con were strong and intelligent, and I ship them! They looked so cute together, a prince and a king's guard. <3333 OTP! I get the feelings while reading this book. Yes, those! It is similar to the ones when I watch FMA/ FMA:B. *shivers* The one thing that stopped me from giving this a 5 out of 5 is because there were parts that I didn't like reading some parts. It was weird because moments ago I loved the story then I was bored. Those parts reminded me of the Iron King by Julie Kagawa (which I only thought was an okay book).
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Malinda Lo has become an even better writer than before. Beautifully written and wonderfully romantic. Ash was fantastic, The Huntress blows it away.
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Decided to pick this up after someone suggested it and im very glad i did. I couldnt put it down once i started reading.
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