Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Review: Hunting

HuntingHunting by Andrea K. Höst
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book opens up when Ash Lenthard's guardian, Genevieve (a herbalist living in Luinhall), has been brutally murdered. Ash finds herself in a predicament, by wanting to find her murderer and being forced to move into the palace to train as a seruilis -a sort of squire- for the foreigner and investigator Thornaster. Her life is even more complicated, as she has been disguising as a boy for the past 9 years.
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What an interesting treat. I have been eagerly waiting to read a new story from Andrea. She is such a talented, creative and amazing indie Australian writer. She has a gift when it comes to imagining fantastic places that are vividly described by her writing. She also makes sure all the places you visit on her books have a unique voice for their dwellers. I carry her fantasy worlds in my mind all the time.
However, in this book, you get thrown a bit too fast to the system of beliefs and the society which develops it.
I am still confused about what a Rhoi is, about the gods Astenar and Luin, what was the issue with property, lands and it's whole significance with Luin's Laws of Balance.

Perhaps this is the curse that I have to endure thanks to The Song of Ice and Fire or The Wheel of Time. Both of the authors of these High Fantasy epic adventures spoiled some of my enjoyment of Hunting. Lots and lots of details flow through these books, where in most cases you end up knowing more about the Stark family tree than your own. Or by repetition, what Aes Sedai wear. In the case of Hunting, there is so much potential for developing many characters and cosmogonic system of beliefs, that left me wanting MORE! I felt I was reading a quick teaser of something epic that was occurring in the background. I had to keep going back and doing lots of searches to try to figure out who the characters where, locations and the system of beliefs of this world. You don't have to take notes or pay extra attention to all the details, but it is possibly that you will forget so much, most of the things I kept on looking back where just vaguely mentioned once.

What I specially liked about this book was the characters' bickering! I loved the interactions between Ash and Thornaster.
For example:

"You're a real wordsmith. You should consider a career as a player."

"And you would make a remarkable diplomat, Ash. I shall recommend you. Now close your mouth and, if you cannot master your tongue, say nothing."

Ash's pragmatism reminded me a lot of Madeleine from And All The Stars

In sum, I liked it. I would love to read a story set in this world. Perhaps a spinoff where Kiri is the main character, and we learn more about her and Arun? Yes, please!

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