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Huntress Hardcover – April 5, 2011

4.2 out of 5 stars 98 customer reviews

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About the Author

Malinda Lo was born in China and moved to the United States as a child. She grew up in Colorado and has since lived in Boston, New York, London, Beijing, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. She is a graduate of Wellesley College and has master's degrees from Harvard and Stanford Universities. She now lives in Northern California with her partner and their dog. Ash, her first novel, was a finalist for the William C. Morris YA Debut Award, the Andre Norton Award for YA Fantasy and Science Fiction, and the Lambda Literary Award. Huntress is her second novel. Visit her website at malindalo.com.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers; 1 edition (April 5, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780316040075
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316040075
  • ASIN: 031604007X
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1.2 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (98 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #482,813 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
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.
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Format: Hardcover
In Malinda Lo's Huntress, the human world has entered a period of never-ending clouds and rain. With crops dying and people starving, the Kingdom selects two girls to undertake an unprecedented and hazardous journey to find the Fairy Queen in hopes of putting an end to the natural devastation. As the search party travels north and encounters dangerous threats, feelings between the two girls, Kaede and Taisin, begin to grow. With attacks against their party increasing and stakes raised, Kaede and Taisin realize that their new bond may be tested and ultimately destroyed if they are unable to complete their quest.

After reading Lo's Ash last year and being impressed with her writing, I was eager to read this prequel novel, HUNTRESS. The author's clear and descriptive writing provides a palpable sense of place and mood throughout the story, especially in the scenes where the characters are travelling through the forest and encountering the Xi. Another strength of the book is its blending of elements from multiple traditions, including the Chinese I CHING and British fairytales. Similar to her first book, HUNTRESS also presents LGBTQ relationships in the context of the story as normal and not worthy of fanfare. The novel also concludes with a finished, complete ending that was unexpected but that showed the depth of understanding and love between the characters involved.

Like my experience with ASH, however, I never found myself invested in the characters of HUNTRESS or their struggles. The relationships were so understated that I never got caught up in them.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is the prequel to Ash, which I have shorthanded as "the bisexual Cinderella story". My mental title for this book was "Ask More Questions".

We have two viewpoint characters: Taisin, a farmgirl with magical talent, and Kaede, a nobleman's daughter fighting against her conventional marriage-of-convenience fate because she is not attracted to men and because she wants to decide her own destiny.

They set off on a journey to meet the Queen of the Fairies and try to save their world from an endless killing winter. The quest narrative rolls on, but there are some unexpected turns. They lose members of their party. Kaede, in particular, has to come to terms with her calling to kill fae. She is a reluctant killer, and it bothers her, but I think the book could have benefited from Kaede deciding whether she was going to be used for other people's purposes, or because she is making reasoned decisions. She seems unduly trusting of the Fairy Queen's word about what's going on in the world. She never seems to want confirmation that the people she is sent after need to be killed.

There is a sweet star-crossed lovers romance, and I applaud Lo for not going with some lazy love-conquers-all ending. There are more complications than that, even though both women acknowledge they love each other. They are not having problems because of some contrived miscommunication, they have real and legitimate conflicting interests. I like how they appear to be resolving it.

In the end, Kaede goes on a quest with the Queen's Huntsman. I wanted to know more about the Huntsman, and how he came to love the queen, and what he thinks of his job. One of the problems with YA is that there is not usually room in the books for three extra chapters to develop a minor character.
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