Narrator: Saskia Maarleveld
Published by HarperAudio
Published on 8 March 2016
Genres: Fairy Tales, Folk Tales, Legends & Mythology, Love & Romance, Young Adult
Source: my local library
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Wendy Higgins, the author of the New York Times bestselling Sweet Evil series, reimagines a classic Brothers Grimm fairy tale with The Great Hunt, a dramatic, romance-filled fantasy with rugged hunters, romantic tension, and a princess willing to risk all to save her kingdom.
When a monstrous beast attacks in Eurona, desperate measures must be taken. The king sends a proclamation to the best and bravest hunters: whoever kills the creature will win the hand of his daughter Princess Aerity as a reward. The princess recognizes her duty but cannot bear the idea of marrying a stranger—she was meant to marry for love—until a brooding local hunter, Paxton Seabolt, catches her attention. And while there’s no denying the fiery chemistry between them, Princess Aerity feels that Paxton’s mysteriousness is foreboding, maybe even dangerous.
Paxton is not the marrying type. Nor does he care much for spoiled royals and their arcane laws. He is 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 secrets he’s buried begin to surface against his wishes.
I actually had a hard time believing this was published in 2016 since it seems to be a direct response to Twilight in the brooding boy/star-crossed girl romance. I was sure it had been published in 2008 or so, as a direct response to the emotionally abusive Twilight relationship. Paxton is just so damn rude to Aerity, and she is a princess. Not only a princess, but his future queen. If he treats her like rubbish, imagine how he treats other girls.
So while I enjoyed large parts of this book, ultimately I came away disappointed for one major reason: the fact that Aerity, who seems like such a lovely person, was just such a horny freak for a boy who openly disrespected her, was rude to her on every occasion, and repeatedly shut down her advances. Aerity’s approach was clumsy and obvious, and it seemed to be just because Paxton was ridiculously handsome – he certainly didn’t seem to have anything resembling a nice personality or any other redeeming quality for Aerity to be attracted to. Was Aerity a glutton for punishment or simply a masochist?
What I really did enjoy was the genuine love and friendship Aerity had for her adorably rebellious sister Vixie and her lovely cousin Wynneth. Mad hormones must run in the family, because Wynneth was almost as horny as her cousin: still in her mourning clothes, she’s allowing herself to be seduced by a wickedly handsome hunter who might be marrying her cousin. I also really enjoyed seeing the family gatherings and discussions between the king and his siblings and in-laws. In most of the YA fantasies I read that have royalty in them, the ruler is effectively alone, with siblings either murdered for the crown, or because of it.
I initially wanted to borrow this audiobook from my local library because I saw it had the sequel as well, but to be honest after Aerity throwing herself at a boy who shows all the signs of not being interested, and outright tells her to stay away from him, I’m not that keen on reading the sequel, even if I did enjoy everything else about this book.