Huntress

Huntress

by Malinda Lo

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780316039994
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication date: 06/12/2012
Pages: 416
Sales rank: 116,467
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.30(d)
Age Range: 15 - 18 Years

About the Author

Malinda is the former managing editor of AfterEllen.com, and an award-winning journalist for her work in LGBT media. Malinda graduated from Wellesley College in 1996 with a BA in Economics and Chinese Studies, and she worked with Joe Blades at Ballantine. She earned MAs from Harvard (Regional Studies—East Asia) and Stanford (Cultural and Social Anthropology) universities. She now lives in San Francisco.

Read an Excerpt

Huntress


By Lo, Malinda

Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Copyright © 2011 Lo, Malinda
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9780316040075

AUTHOR’S NOTE

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.

PART I

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.



Continues...

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 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 56 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
amberwitch on LibraryThing 22 days ago
Huntress is a mediocre Japanese inspired fantasy, set in a preindustrial world. The world building is at best perfunctory, and uninspired. The characters are simplistic, and their interactions never more than approximations. The plot becomes increasingly unbelievable and immature, at the end it is remarkably bad.The start of the story seems interesting enough, and the lack of background is fine at first, making the book seem more mature than it is. Later on when it becomes obvious that the author is unable to provide any details or complexity to neither the worlds or the characters, it makes the ineptitude of the author obvious. The inner voice of all the characters are interchangeable, and the very occasional shift to a 3. Party is really not helping at all.The obvious Asian inspiration makes the book stand out from the gazillion European medieval inspired fantasy novels out there, as does the lesbian romance subplot. The vision that foreshadows the story, as the first violent encounter foreshadows the climax, is well done, but the last part of the book is truly atrocious.
krau0098 on LibraryThing 29 days ago
I loved Malinda Lo's first book Ash and was excited to about Huntress. I got this book through Book it Forward ARC tours. It was a wonderful book. The story was more complicated and expansive than Ash. It again features a romance between two women, there is also a lot of adventuring and some magic.Kaede and Taisin are two girls in their late teens. Kaede is the daughter of a the King's Advisor and more knowledgable in fighting and handcrafts than the magic at that the academy she iattebds. Taisin is a progidy at the academy and has a vision involving her and Kaede and a castle of ice. The land the two girls live in has fallen on hard times and the situation is dire if winter is not brought to an end. The two girls end up being sent along with the King's son on a journey to visit the Fairy Queen in hopes that the Fairy Queen will be able to help them end the long winter that is gripping the land.This book is written much in the style of Ash; so if you liked that book I think you will enjoy this one. Lo writes at a deliberate pace with beautiful descriptions that create lush images in your mind. The romance in the book is keep somewhat innocent and sweet, as it was in Ash. The two characters that fall in love are both women, but it isn't the same sex issue that makes their love star-crossed, it is more an issue of class and occupation. Lo gives us a wonderfully sweet and adventurous story that features these two women, each strong in their own way, and doesn't really make a big deal about their sexuality...which is how it should be.There is a lot more action in this book than there was in Ash and a lot more adventure. Rather than being blunt about magic this book has more a tone of magical realism about it. This book is supposed to be the prequel to Ash; but, although the world is the same, the customs of the characters are distinctly Asian and the cultures have a very different feel to them. You definitely don't need to read Ash to enjoy this book.Both Kaede and Taisin are admirable characters, they are strong and yet have a lot of moments where they doubt themselves. I enjoyed reading about them and found them likable. I love Lo's writing and while the pacing is slow at some points, especially when the characters journey through the Woods, I think that the pace is appropriate in that it helps the reader get a sense of their grueling journey.The book ends well, although I think some readers will be a bit bothered by it. I personally enjoyed the ending, is wasn't fairy tale happy but it was realistic and kept with the tone of the rest of the story.Overall a wonderful new book from Lo. I will continue to read Lo's works. Lo gives us deliberately paced novel, with beautiful description, heart-pounding adventure, and a sweet romance. If you loved Ash you will love this book. Fans of classic fantasy adventure with a thread of romance through it will find lots to love in this book.
senbei on LibraryThing 29 days ago
Ingeniously and beautifully written, it is truly unfair that Huntress has not received further awards and accolades. Being no stranger to the genre, I nevertheless found Huntress to be a wonderfully crafted coming of age story with surprisingly fierce ¿Woman Against Nature¿ structure.Academically perhaps Huntress's most alluring quality lies in its setting: an amalgamation of Warring States Period Iron Age Chinese culture with European Fairy mythos. Although ultimately the Fae elements proved dominate, this combination of seemingly dispirit anthropology and folklore combined to create a wholly believable, compelling and startlingly teleological schema. Though given its bold move to incorporate ancient Chinese anthro into the mix, one might expect (in my case hunger for) more Tao proverbs, codes and ritual than what the reader is treated to. The burial rituals and protection spells were a nice touch though.In addition, I¿m blown away by the choice to create a plot that¿s driven by Predestination Paradox. Seemingly very original for the genre (generally only seen in science fiction time travel stories), the plot hook which could have felt totally contrived actually feels appropriate and just plain cool.Yet, the heart of Huntress lies not in its setting, but in its characters. Unlike Ash Lo¿s second book in the ¿series¿ (for lack of a better word) offers the reader a fully-fleshed out understanding of both the protagonist and her love-interest. In fact all the primary characters are given their own small say as POV shifts continuously throughout the book (an odd but understandable choice). Naturally our heroine and huntress, Kaede, is given the primary focus of the story and her description and appreciation of natural beauty do not let us down. Yet, it¿s really her... ¿companion¿ (not strong enough, more like her raison d¿etre) Taisin who undergos the most dynamic character development. Taisin is a gifted young cleric who¿s often unsure of herself and antisocial. Taisin lives in fear of a destiny she¿s precognatively aware, but with enough hopes and dreams to allow Kaede to slowly draw her out. Eventually this bond helps Taisin realize her potential and decide who she is and who she wants to be. In the broadest sense the relationship represents a growing teamwork, as the girls come to recognize each other¿s complimentary gifts. Through their internal psychological and psychic trials and external near-death journey together Kaede and Taisin eventually move beyond teamwork to something much greater and find destiny need not be avoided at all costs.Additionally, I¿d like to elucidate for a moment the ways in which Huntress is a natural progression from and improvement on Ash. In its ending (I do not intend to spoil), Huntress demonstrates how Lo has recognizes that a happy-ending is not always the most effective or desirable closure to a fairytale. As previously mentioned, Lo has chosen to offer the reader a better understanding of her characters¿ hopes and fears and mental state. Also, by placing Huntress in the far past in relationship to Ash, Lo was allowed to greater explore who the Fae are and what species still existed at that time (the only detriment I can perceive by placing Huntress in the past is the loss of the lovely Renaissance diction and accent). Although it has recently become unfortunately endemic in young adult lit, the Wild Hunt is given form and the reader is treated to far fuller and more rewarding understanding of the Fairy Queen and fairy society (I wouldn¿t have expected Taninli to so closely resemble Baum¿s Emerald City, but whatever...). In terms of form, where Ash appears to follow a storybook/folktale fantasy aesthetic, Huntress has diverged into an adventure/suspense fantasy. Though both are wonderful reads, one gets the sense that Lo is moving slowly moving away from storytelling and incorporating more novel-like elements.Yet, if Lo recognized the need for more character development,
pocketmermaid on LibraryThing 29 days ago
I enjoyed Malinda Lo's "Ash" well enough to be excited for this companion novel. Lo only reuses the setting for this novel; it has nothing to do with "Ash" or any of its characters as it takes place long before."Huntress" has a lot going for it, since I enjoy reading YA, adventure, fantasy, magic, and LGBT characters/romance, I thought I would adore this book. Unfortunately, this book suffers from a lot of really amateurish writing flaws. The pacing was extremely off. It meandered the first three quarters, then suddenly the action picked up. Then it was immediately over. Yet the book continued. The story also had a severe lack of descriptive writing. I struggled to envision anything about the setting or the characters, like I was trying to focus in on a blurry dream.But the worst offender is the constant head-hopping POV change. Trying to keep up was dizzying. I was never pulled into the story because I was too busy being kicked out of it. I have read interviews with Lo in which she mentions not liking to write in the first person. That's fine. But if you're going to use the third person, especially in a story where the main love interests are the same gender, please use POV correctly. It's incredibly frustrating (and unnecessary) for the reader to keep up with what every character is thinking. One chapter in particular that starts off in a stranger's head (whom we never see again), then skips to one of the girls, then to the other. SERIOUSLY. The writing was such a jumble.This book could have been amazingly awesome. Instead it was a huge let-down for me.
Candacemom2two on LibraryThing 29 days ago
Huntress had been on my wishlist for so long that I think I had forgotten what it was about. I knew it was a fantasy with Chinese influence and that's it. I think going into a book not knowing what to expect is good. Then every twist can be a total surprise. And I had plenty of surprises in this one! Good surprises! This book was definitely a fantasy and I thought it was actually light on the Chinese influence (I was kind of comparing to Cindy Pon's books) which was fine. Not a big deal. It was definitely very different from Cindy's books, but almost as good (I still liked Cindy's books just a bit more, but they are so different that comparing really isn't fair ;). I thought that the story line was really good and only had a few issues with the book.My first issue was POV. It was told third person and Malinda actually did a good job relaying the emotions and turmoils of the characters. A very good job, actually. But there were times, mostly in the beginning, that the POV changed so abruptly to relay what another character was thinking or feeling that it was a bit disjointed. It threw me just a bit. In the whole scheme of the story it really was a minor thing, especially since later that mostly cleared up. And I really was impressed with her ability to show each characters inner feelings so we were able to connect with them on a deeper level. That doesn't happen all the time with books in third person.Another issue, minor issue really, was that the last bit of the book, the final conflicts, were really fast. Now the big conflict, that was okay. I mean I was wanting it to hurry cause I was about to have a hernia from holding my breath. But then there's one more little thing that has to be done for everything to be okay and that felt maybe a bit rushed. I think maybe a bit more suspense could have been thrown in. However, maybe she knew we were all getting light headed from holding our breath, so she decided to have it go more quickly ;)This book has LGBT themes. I was surprised because for some reason I didn't know that, but I liked it. I liked how it was done and it felt natural and right for the story. I liked that it wasn't an issue in the book, it just was. I was glad that it was there and I think that it's important for teens to feel like it's just natural. Overall I really liked this book. It was a fast read for a fantasy and it has a map (major bonus points!) which is nice to be able to follow where they go. It had adventure, (the whole thing was basically a long trip to the fairy lands) it had scary creatures and magic and the author wasn't afraid to take things in scary places. I definitely recommend!
BookAddictDiary on LibraryThing 29 days ago
Huntress was my introduction to Malinda Lo. In fact, I only decided to put the book on my wishlist after I stumbled across it on Twitter and looked it up on Amazon. I hadn't even heard of Malinda Lo before, but the description of Huntress, not to mention the stellar reputation Lo seems to have among readers and fans, drew me in. After I found the book at my local library a few weeks after it came out, I had to pick it up.Huntress tells the story of Kaede, a headstrong young woman who is training to be a sage. After finding a struggle was brewing, Kaede and Taisin are chosen to journey to the city of the Faerie Queen, where they encounter powerful magic, wonderful adventure and even romance. As they draw nearer to their mission, ultimately given to them from the Faerie Queen, the two girls are thrown into an unforgettable adventure.Huntress was everything that I hoped for -an exciting, edge-of-your seat adventure brimming with action, magic and fabulous mythology. Overflowing with Chinese influences, Lo builds a fascinating world inhabited by unique characters. From the very beginning, I was draw into Kaede's quest and I wanted to know more about what was going to happen to her. More importantly, Lo's mythology is sold, unique and downright fun to read. Recommended for fans of young adult adventure and fantasy. Huntress is a solid read that's worth the ride!
IceyBooks on LibraryThing 29 days ago
Unicorns, fay, ancient China - put them all together, and you have Huntress. Malinda Lo's second novel is a definite pick-me-up with its gorgeous cover and writing full of metaphors. I loved the magical, realistic storyline in Huntress. The characters were perfectly sculpted to fit the suspenseful plot. The descriptions were lush and vivid, though at times, there were too many descriptions, and I felt like the sentences were dragging on. Malinda Lo's writing style is unique in young-adult fiction. I found myself comparing her writing to some short-stories I had to read for school in my English class. Its professional and falls perfectly under classics. The only thing I regret - I didn't feel as many emotions as I expected to. But nonetheless, there was that edge-of-your-seat-suspense in many places. I have not read Lo's first book, Ash, so I wasn't entirely sure what to expect of Huntress. Now I just have to pick up Ash! If you're looking for a read that weaves in hints of a different culture and a masterful plot, Malinda Lo's Huntress is definitely for you.
usagijihen on LibraryThing 29 days ago
I really love Lo¿s world she created in ¿Ash¿, but she¿s gone to an entirely new level in this companion-prequel, ¿Huntress¿, which takes place several hundred years before ¿Ash¿ does. Either way, the imagery, the setting, and most importantly, the romances, are on entirely new level of storytelling compared to the earlier work.I loved ¿Ash¿, but to be honest, I think I love ¿Huntress¿ more. Everything feels so much more honed and heightened compared to the previous work, and while they take place in two totally different time periods, they¿re still in the same world. And the romance between Taisin and Kaede is fraught with ¿oh no, this is so not going to end well¿, unlike the happy ending given to us in ¿Ash¿. I love how Lo is completely unafraid to give us an gay romance AND also unafraid to tell us that sometimes, ultimately, there are no happy endings.Regardless, this is the story of how the position of the King¿s Huntress (as seen in ¿Ash¿, the girl she ends up with in the end) is established. This is Kaede and Taisin¿s story ¿ of two girls separately treading two very different paths, and how those paths will meet and merge and split again and again. There¿s not enough of this reality in YA romance lit as it is ¿ sometimes there aren¿t always happy endings, but there is a happy now you can take advantage of even if the ultimate fate of your relationship is doomed to fail. I applaud Lo for reminding the YA audience of this really unpleasant reality, but even more so in presenting it in a LGBTQ-friendly way. There¿s definitely not enough YA LGBTQ-friendly paranormal lit out there as it is, either.I can¿t wait to see what Lo does next, and I hope she stays within this world she¿s created. I¿d like to know what happens to Kaede and Taisin after the events in ¿Huntress¿ ¿ maybe a few years later or something. Will Kaede stick to her post, and Taisin to hers? Lo seemed to leave this open-ended, and while I love stories with open-ends (if you could call them that), I¿d still like another story/novella/anything to take the audience closer to Ash¿s time period and tie all of the loose ends together. I guess I¿m a bit OCD like that about my stories.Looking for a refreshing summer read where you don¿t need to read the first novel first? Pick up ¿Huntress¿, and immerse yourself into a world long gone but fondly remembered.(crossposted to goodreads, shelfari, and witchoftheatregoing.wordpress.com)
storiesandsweeties on LibraryThing 29 days ago
Stunning. Adventurous. Beautiful. Romantic. Lushly descriptive. Rich in culture and magic. High fantasy at it's very best. All of the above.I could not wait to step back into the beautiful world that Malinda Lo built in her debut, Ash. In Huntress, we go back 200 years before the story of Aislynn and Kaisa, to see how the very first Huntress came about. Two students of the academy where sages are trained are called upon to make a perilous journey and meet with the Fairy Queen, hopefully to find out what she knows about the changes in the seasons that are destroying their lands. They are opposites, one is a devout student and a gifted seer who intends to become a sage. The other is a bit of wild child who will do anything to escape the fate her father has planned for her. Both of them were easily relatable, complicated characters. On this journey, they found bravery, adventure, strength, loss, friendship, and love.The love story was perfect: tense and unsure, forbidden because all sages must take a vow of celibacy, they resist but dare to hope. They had this intense connection, each seemed to strengthen the other. As it played out, it was both heart-pounding and heart-breaking.The language and flow and descriptions were just beautiful and completely effective in drawing up perfect visuals of what was happening in the story or the way something looked or sounded. One perfect example is this passage from the story:The words were in another language---something brutal and dark, like a knuckle scraping against stone. She felt light-headed as her blood drained from her, making a slight hissing sounds when it struck the mixture in the clay pot. She couldn't look at the cut anymore, it was a mouth on her arm; it screamed at her.One thing I did find slightly distracting was the quick changes in point of view. There were times when the POV would change so fast that I had to backtrack a few lines to be absolutely sure of who's head I was in, but it didn't take away from the story as a whole at all. I wouldn't have wanted it written any other way---all the different perspectives definitely added to the richness of the story.This was another stunner from Malinda Lo---and I can only hope that she'll be writing these wonderful stories for a long time to come.
ilikethesebooks on LibraryThing 29 days ago
This book was very different from anything I've read before- and in a good way. Huntress takes place in an ancient, mythical version of China were two girls, Kaede (kay-dee) and Taisin (tie-sin), along with Prince Con Isea Tan (Con Ee-say Tan), Con for short, embark on a long, mysterious adventure. Years ago, before any of their parents were born, the King of the Kingdom and the Fairy Queen had signed a treaty that stated that humans and fay must stay in their own territory, and one wishing to cross the boarder must be given a formal invitation. When the current King receives an invitation from the Fairy Queen, the first in centuries, Kaede, Taisin and Con are the ones chosen to fulfill the task. The journey is long, dangerous and tiresome and more than one life is lost in the process. Struggling with the incredible task of surviving, as well as the girls' journey in deciding between embracing or rejecting their sexuality, these young travelers find themselves face-to-face with much more than they bargained for. Huntress is exciting, filled with magic and beautifully written, all the while laced with the journey of sexuality that people still struggle with today.I really, really enjoyed this book. I have not read Ash, Malinda Lo's first novel, so I didn't know what to expect. But after reading Huntress you can bet Ash has secured a spot on my to-read list. This was my first venture into Chinese, or any type of Asian inspired fiction, and I really enjoyed it. I also appreciated the pronunciation guide listed in the front that names all of the characters and towns as well as the correct way to pronounce them. One of my favorite aspects of this novel was the fact that one of the main characters was gay and another was struggling between submitting to her feelings and becoming a Sage, a high honor which requires a vow of celibacy. I liked this so much because, yes, it was different, but also because it was very real in this novel. It wasn't one of those novels that flaunt gay characters just to prove that they have gay characters. The lesbian characters in this novel added to the plot without being in your face. Lo wrote their relationship delicately, neither drawing the reader's attention to the fact that they are gay or letting their minds completely skip over the fact. I was very impressed by how natural it all seemed do me. I would definitely recommend this novel as it constantly kept my heart beating and my hands feverishly turning the pages. If you like magic, action or chinese fiction, Huntress is a book you don't want to miss!*Thanks to Little Brown Books for Young Readers for supplying me with a finished review copy
stephxsu on LibraryThing 29 days ago
Taisin¿s vision leads her and her classmate, Kaede, to accompany their kingdom¿s prince, Con, on a journey to visit the Fairy Queen in her faraway city of Taninli. A strange winter has settled over the kingdom, people are starving, and unrest is brewing. They believe that the Queen may have answers to their kingdom¿s perils.But the journey to Taninli and beyond is a dangerous one. As they encounter mysterious magical creatures, Taisin and Kaede also attempt to fight their attraction to one another. Love has no place, either on this journey or in their lives: Taisin must take a vow of celibacy if she is to achieve her lifelong dream of being a Sage, and Kaede¿s father wants to arrange a political marriage for her. But the connection they fight may be just the thing that might save them when they finally learn what they are facing.Malinda Lo¿s beautifully written debut novel, Ash, was one of my favorite books of 2009, and I awaited the release of HUNTRESS with trembling anticipation. HUNTRESS turned out a little differently than I had hoped, but it was still a book that had me reading with bated breath and tearing up at the end.The strongest part of HUNTRESS is, in my opinion, the romance between Taisin and Kaede. Their romance starts out hesitatingly: both girls are scared to acknowledge their growing feelings for each other. As the story progresses, however, their romance blossoms into an innocent and utterly beautiful thing, what they aptly describe as a warm gift in the middle of all their danger and worry. Taisin and Kaede¿s relationship really makes you believe in the power of love without taking it over the edge and into unbelievability.HUNTRESS is told in a sort of old-fashioned fairy tale narrative style, which employs omniscient third-person narration. The constant shirt in point of view may be a bit jarring, but it¿s not wrong, especially considering the fact that books written in the nineteenth century used this literary technique all the time. However, I think it did contribute to my feeling of distance from most of the characters. I wanted more from all the characters: the constant switches in POV made it so that there didn¿t seem to be a particular main character, and as a result everyone felt like a supporting character, with the potential for but not the actuality of depth.Overall, however, HUNTRESS was a wonder-inducing fantasy read that spans time and distance. Don¿t miss it particularly if you were a fan of ASH.
renkellym on LibraryThing 29 days ago
Summary: Kaede has been chosen, along with sage-in-training Taisin, to journey to the land of Taninli. There they will find the Fairy Queen, a mysterious creature who has called to them for assistance. The world is deteriorating, and Kaede must be brave enough to do what needs to be done to stop the world from dying. My thoughts: I must admit¿I have yet to read Malinda Lo¿s debut novel, Ash (it¿s always checked out from my library, which really speaks to its popularity). I wasn¿t sure what to expect going into Huntress, but I¿m incredibly glad I gave it a shot. As with most high fantasy stories, Huntress starts off gently, introducing the world in which the story is set and developing the characters. About halfway through the book, things really start to pick up, and the last hundred pages or so flew by at lightening speed.It was easy to invest in Kaede and Taisin. Both are likable characters, but together they truly shine. Their relationship builds slowly and sweetly¿the way I think relationships should develop (no insta-love here!). Both girls have completely different personalities, and their strengths and weaknesses were believable and well thought-out.I only have one complaint about Huntress, and that is the narration style. The perspective jumps erratically between all the characters, which quickly becomes annoying. Still, the writing is otherwise fantastic: Malinda Lo¿s words are full of imagery and beauty.Overall, Huntress is a lovely high fantasy. The Asian-influenced world that Malinda Lo crafts is stunning, and her characters are just as intriguing. Even more noteworthy is the journey that Kaede and Taisin embark upon; they encounter many obstacles, all of which leave the reader breathless. Huntress is an excellent addition to the fantasy section of YA, and I would recommend it to anyone interested in an introduction to the genre.
foggidawn on LibraryThing 29 days ago
Huntress is a well-written fantasy featuring two young women who travel to the realm of the Fairy Queen with the king's son, because the Fairy Queen has issued a mysterious invitation, the first in generations. Of course, the journey is full of dangers and hardships, and on the way the two young women find themselves attracted to one another, though they are from different stations and have different aims in life (one intends to be a sage, which requires a vow of celibacy).I enjoyed the story, though it's a fairly typical hero's quest, and I wouldn't be surprised if the details don't stay etched in my memory. The romance stays fairly innocent, and even the fight scenes have a delicate and dream-like quality. I'd recommend it to fans of Silver Phoenix by Cindy Pon, which has a similar feel to it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed the world that Lo created in this book. This is the first I have read of hers and it was definitely a light read, meaning.. not heavy on nonsense to fill the pages; however, I was left with a feeling of peices missing to a puzzle. I loved the soft romance between the two girls and Lo kept it to a PG rating but I again was left with the feeling that there should have been a tad bit more. She came up with fantastic ideas but only seemed to touch them at arms reach with a feather. The ending was the most dissappointing to me. It felt like the author was rushed or frustrated and just wanted to wrap things up and pump the book out. It saddened me because it was truely a fantastic journey... it all just needed a little bit more potatoes with the meat if you kniw what I mean ;). With everything said, I would recommend you give the sample a go and see how you feel about it. It will more than likely suck you in to its captivating world.
Katie_breathofbooks More than 1 year ago
This book has a different POV than any I've ever really read before. A lot of what I read is 1st person, but I have read other 3rd person books and this is in 3rd person. The ones that I've read before, though, have usually shown one character's POV in the whole book or in different sections, while this book changed POVs from paragraph to paragraph. This was interesting because I got to be in the heads of lots of characters. Also, the sexual tension between Kaede and Taisin was very strong throughout the book. It quickly became clear that the feelings they had were mutual, but neither would admit it for a long time, and I was just waiting for them to finally kiss. I shipped this ship a lot.
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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.