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Hunter and Fox (A Shifted World Novel) Paperback – June 26, 2012


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Editorial Reviews

Review

Weaving a tale of a world on the cusp of physical and social upheaval, Ballantine tells a story of mighty magics, pacts made and broken, betrayal, sacrifice and redemption. Hunter and Fox is a worthy feat of world-building, with Ballantine cleverly giving new clothes to old fantasy tropes...
- The Miami Herald


...she has more to offer than the usual fantasy author. A very complex back story is partly revealed in this book...and the characters have more nuance than in most stories set in pre-industrial worlds with plenty of magic...it's possible Ballantine will continue to take her characters, and readers, in unexpected directions...
-Mercury News


I find Ms. Ballantine characters to be some of the most believable, memorable, driven characters in fiction today. She is a harsh mistress and one should never become too attached to any of her creations as I personally believe that none of her characters are sacrosanct. Hunter and Fox is no different in this regard.
-View From Valhalla


...a fascinating new sword and sorcery fantasy using the metaphor of chaos to explore questions of human identity....Writing in a rich prose style, Philippa Ballantine has created some memorable characters who must explore who they are and decide what they can become.
--Tulsa Book Review


Ballantine draws readers into a fascinating new world, peopled by characters you will genuinely care about. In this first volume of the Shifted World series, she draws from classic fantasy traditions but makes them wholly her own. This world is literally alive, mountains shifting up out of plains with little warning...Talyn is a heroine to cheer for and treasure.
-RT Book Reviews

Praise for Phillapa Ballantine:

"I really enjoy this author's work! She's pretty much on my must-buy list. . . "
-Felicia Day, Creator, writer, and star of "The Guild" the web series

"Ballantine's world-building is subtle. Instead of spoon-feeding or info-dumping, Ballantine gives readers exactly the amount of information they need at a particular moment. . . . I feel the urge to wave the book around and shout, 'Hey, writers! Here's how you build a world without showing all of your work on every single page!' The characterization is fantastic."
-Fantasy Literature

About the Author

New Zealand author Philippa Ballantine, is a fantasy writer and podcaster.
Her multiple series--Books of the Order, the Shifted World, and the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences (co-written with her husband Tee Morris)--span many speculative fiction genres.
Her works have won an Airship, a Parsec, and a Sir Julius Vogel Award. They have also appeared in the Locus Bestseller list, and been in the Goodreads Top Science Fiction books of 2011.
She currently resides in Manassas, Virginia with her husband, her daughter, and a mighty clowder of cats. Visit her online at pjballantine.com or follow her on Twitter @PhilippaJane.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 275 pages
  • Publisher: Pyr (June 26, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1616146230
  • ISBN-13: 978-1616146238
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,447,679 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

New Zealand author Philippa Ballantine, is a fantasy writer and podcaster.
Her multiple series--Books of the Order, the Shifted World, and the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences (co-written with her husband Tee Morris)--span many speculative fiction genres.
Her works have won an Airship, a Parsec, and a Sir Julius Vogel Award. They have also appeared in the Locus Bestseller list, and been in the Goodreads Top Science Fiction books of 2011.
She currently resides in Manassas, Virginia with her husband, her daughter, and a mighty clowder of cats. Visit her online at pjballantine.com or follow her on Twitter @PhilippaJane.

Customer Reviews

SPOILERS!* The central romance also didn't really feel convincing.
Kriti Godey
And in the end . . . Ballantine's got a good story going here and I'm looking forward to reading the next book in the series.
Donna C
Pip does an outstanding job of telling a story through the world and characters.
MelHay

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Makepeace Clan on June 6, 2012
Format: Paperback
Imagine an outdoor market filled with cultures from around the world. The scents, sounds and colors would be intoxicating. Hunter and Fox is all that and more. I couldn't get enough of the peoples and cultures of Conhaero and the mystery of the White Void from which they came. As I read Hunter and Fox I found myself scrutinizing the details and always yearning for more. Philippa Ballantine is easily a master world builder but it's the richness of her characters too that held my gaze, pulled on my emotions and kept me up all night.

I enjoy reading Fantasy, but it's not always my first choice. Too often I feel like I'm reading the same books, only with different titles. Not so here. When I give a Fantasy novel 5 stars-as I did Hunter and Fox-then you know it's a cut above the rest. I immediately identified with the character Talyn the Dark. She's strong and ruthless, and does the Caisah's bidding. She's not a heroine. Or is she? Everything is open to interpretation and you soon learn there is more to Talyn's story, and everyone else's too. She's not alone in her struggle. There are many things hidden in Conhaero and they all begin to take shape at once. If I say anymore I'll start spilling spoilers!

Hunter and Fox is only the first book in the Shifted World series, so don't expect everything to be resolved at the end. It's like an episode of Game of Thrones, you'll be gasping at the end and wondering how the book could end there!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By W.M.M. van der Salm-Pallada on July 26, 2012
Format: Paperback
I've read or listened to in podcast form a lot of Philippa Ballantine's books. I've reviewed the first two books of her Books of the Order series, Geist and Spectyr, here on the blog and I've listened to her Chasing the Bard and Weather Child as podcasts, the latter even having me in tears on my bike ride to work because of its ending. So you might say I enjoy Ballantine's work a lot. So when PYR contacted me about reviewing Hunter and Fox, I was really pleased and agreed right away. However, while I enjoyed the book a lot, this time I was a little disappointed as the book wasn't as smooth a read as Geist and Spectyr were or as affecting as Weather Child was.

The book was strangely uneven, both in pacing and in characterisation. While the story was in itself interesting and the concept of the Chaoslands very cool, its execution left a bit to be desired as the wealth of characters, locations and storylines were at times a little confusing and left little time to explore them a little deeper than possible in the relatively short span of this novel. For example, The Harrowing, which is the event that deprived the Vaerli of their powers, is never really explained. How did they lose their powers? Did the Caisah throw a spell at them; destroy something central to their powers? And how come Talyn gets to keep some of her powers? Nothing is really explained and while I usually enjoy it when the author lets the reader discover more about the world through the narrative instead of exposition, in this case I would have liked some of the latter as it functioned more as a distraction than an enticing mystery. Similarly, there is the why and the how of the Caisah binding Talyn to him as his Hunter. Why Talyn?
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By bookworm on July 6, 2012
Format: Paperback
'Hunter and Fox' is the first book in the Shifted World series and I was really surprised how much I liked this book! - Why? - Because I usually avoid High Fantasy novels. I am just not that into completely strange Fantasy worlds. I tend to read stories with more familiar settings - like in Urban Fantasy. The good thing with Philippa Ballantine's writing style is - she never throws every information in at the beginning - so you learn about the world in 'Hunter and Fox' step by step. That way also a non-Fantasy reader can relate pretty good because it's never too much information at once.

The story is mostly told from the POV of the three protagonists - 1. Talyn the Dark - the Hunter of the Casaih (she's an adorable anti-heroine), 2. Finn the Fox - a talespinner and 3. Byreniko aka Byre - brother of Talyn the Dark - which is important to understand fully the complete story and it adds to the diversity of the story.

The worldbuilding and the different species are well developed and much more interesting than the average vampire/werewolf/fae worlds I usually read about... I loved to read about those really interesting species - for example the creepy centaur Drynis. So, this was a nice change and Philippa Ballantine might be able to convert me to a High Fantasy lover...

The book ends with a cliffhanger... now I have to wait (which I am not good at) to know how the story continues... so, Philippa Ballantine, pretty please... write faster!! =)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By MelHay on June 22, 2012
Format: Paperback
In a world full of chaos, and now disrupted from its normal patterns, there are people on their own missions who will collide with others in their doings. One may disrupt all the others have done, but all have the intentions of helping their own kind, and even the once powerful Vaerli who are now lonely people beaten when found.

Talyn, the ruler Caisah's bounty hunter, hunts people for golden puzzle pieces that Talyn is told by Caisah once complete will give her the secret and truth to help her people, of which she's been working at for all 300-some years. She's a Vaerli whom can not come in contact let alone close to another of her kind, thanks to a curse bestowed on the Vaerli from her Master, when close they will burn to death, and lost all but two of the seven magical gifts of the race. She's not happy with her ruler of 300+ years and wonders if ever she could kill him, after she has the secret. Then one day things start to change as she feels the excruciating pain of her brothers painful torture and sends for someone to find him for her. Now one of the lost five gifts has returned.

Finbarr the Fox tells a story, on a subject the Caisah is not pleased with. The story he tells is of a time before Caisah and after the Vaerli races came to Conhaero. Finn too, has a special gift, he talks to a boy, Ysel, through a thread pattern game his fingers weave with a thread. Ysel dreams at times of Finn to be in trouble, and tries to warn him when he can. Finn tells tales of the forbidden, of the Vaerli before the Caisah took control hundreds of years ago, hoping to warn of what could happen to anyone and bring about a successful rebellion.
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