Review: The Great Hunt (Eurona Duology #1) by Wendy Higgins (YA)

Book Blurb

“Aerity…” Her father paused as if the words he was forming pained him. “I must ask you to sacrifice the promise of love for the sake of our kingdom.”

She could only stare back, frozen.

When a strange beast terrorizes the kingdom of Lochlanach, fear stirs revolt. In an act of desperation, a proclamation is sent to all of Eurona—kill the creature and win the ultimate prize: the daughter of King Lochson’s hand in marriage.

Princess Aerity knows her duty to the kingdom but cannot bear the idea of marrying a stranger…until a brooding local hunter, Paxton Seabolt, catches her attention. There’s no denying the unspoken lure between them…or his mysterious resentment.

Paxton is not the marrying type. Nor does he care much for spoiled royals and their arcane laws. He’s determined to keep his focus on the task at hand—ridding the kingdom of the beast—but the princess continues to surprise him, and the perilous secrets he’s buried begin to surface.

Inspired by the Grimm Brothers’ tale “The Singing Bone,” New York Times bestselling author Wendy Higgins delivers a dark fantasy filled with rugged hunters, romantic tension, and a princess willing to risk all to save her kingdom.


Toot's Review by Stacy Sabala

Lady Wyneth lost her fiancé to the Great Beast one night before he was to sail. The Beast starts wreaking havoc through the kingdom. The King sets a curfew for the people and keeps the royal family locked away in the castle for safety purposes. The royal guards attempt to catch and kill the Beast. Unfortunately they are unsuccessful and the Beast keeps killing. The King is at his wits end. He doesn’t want to go with this plan but he has no choice.

He invites hunters to participate in a Great Hunt and whomever kills the beast gets to marry Princess Aerity. Princess Aerity is devastated at the turn of events. She has to give up her happiness for the good of the kingdom. She will be the only royal not allowed to marry for love.

The large group of hunters arrive. Paxton and Tiern join the hunters in the competition. Harrison also joins to avenge his cousin’s death. Pax is there to kill the beast not wed the princess. Many others make up the group that hope to wed the princess.

The hunt is intense and the Beast is almost unstoppable. No one knows the truth behind what the Beast is. They are all fighting to save the kingdom and survive the fight.

This book was a unique story that I really liked. There was a lot of suspense and danger caused by the Beast. The fear was felt across the land as more and more people were killed. The fear was coupled with prejudice against the Lashed people. These people live in hiding and fear. The book is full of tension, heartbreak and bravery.

The characters were fun to read about. You feel instantly for Wyneth as she loses her fiancé and her heart shatters. Then you also feel for Aerity for the sacrifice she must make. Both girls are strong female characters and refuse to give up. They were both my favorite characters for making the story even more fabulous.

Another great part of the story was how Aerity’s mother was a commoner and a circus performer. Her father fell in love with her as the prince and married her against his parents’ wishes. Now the royal family is allowed to marry for love. Not commonly seen in this type of life. Aerity and her siblings also have interesting hobbies since their mother was in the circus. That was extremely interesting to read about. I love the tricks they performed throughout the story.

I, of course, love Paxton. He was surly and refused to be swayed by a princess. He kept himself apart and was adamant about why he was there, just for the hunt. You knew he was going to fall. The question was when.

Unfortunately the end was not what I expected. I am hoping the story continues. I’m not thrilled about how things ended. I give it a 4 out of 5.

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