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Review: Huntress by Malinda Lo

April 9, 2012

Huntress coverTitle: Huntress
Author: Lo, Malinda
Length: 384 pages
Genre: Fiction, Young Adult, Fantasy
Publisher / Year: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers / 2011 
Source: Amazon Kindle store.
Rating: -indie lit shortlist book-
Why I Read It: I’d been meaning to read it as I was a big fan of Ash, so was happy to see it on the shortlist.
Date Read: 16/02/12

This story is set in the same world as Ash, but at a much earlier time and so things are of course much different from the world of Lo’s first book. That said, many of the best parts have remained the same. Lo’s writing is magical and as we are taken along with Kaede on her mythical quest to the land of the Fairy Queen after a request is delivered unexpectedly to the King. Kaede, Taisin, and the king’s son, along with three guards, depart on a quest that will test them all and cause them to question their assumptions, test and strengthen all of their abilities, and cause them to grow as fully developed characters.

The point of view through the novel changes often and I’ve seen a few reviewers mention their dislike of this and how it kept them from truly enjoying the story. I really enjoyed the way it was written, though, and felt it was a good way to bring more views and stories into the book. It made it easier to show the growth and development of all characters, and to highlight abilities and desires as well.

Perhaps the best part of Lo’s world, and of these characters, is that they just are. Who you are attracted to does not matter, it may be the opposite gender or the same gender, but it is not a big deal. Instead of the standard coming out narrative, here we simply have a main character who is attracted to someone of her same gender. This is not the issue (or even an issue), but simply is.

Lastly, I can only say one thing – the ending. How I loved it and how I long for more like this, especially in young adult. I feel like I could write a love letter to Lo simply for providing that ending. For anyone who hasn’t read the book, I won’t spoil it further for you.

Definitely a young adult book that I would highly recommend to all young teens – regardless of gender. Lo’s world is indeed a magical place and I only hope we can become so accepting in our own as well.

18 Comments leave one →
  1. April 9, 2012 9:58 am

    I love books with LGBT characters who don’t have to deal with any issues. I think it’s important to have books which deal with “struggles”, but it’s nice to see worlds where there aren’t any issues about being homosexual.

  2. April 9, 2012 10:09 am

    This is great (I think) because I haven’t read Ash yet so it sounds like I should start with this one!

    • April 11, 2012 5:17 am

      They are both great reads Jill. And as they are set in different time periods with different characters, you can choose to read them in any order :)

  3. April 9, 2012 1:25 pm

    I am betting that I would love these books, and I really like the fact that the relationships between characters are so free and not tainted by judgement. Great review today, Amy! I need to check this series out!

  4. April 9, 2012 11:40 pm

    I liked Ash, and I’ve been looking forward to this. Does your rating mean that it’s so good you shortlisted it?

    • April 11, 2012 5:17 am

      It was shortlisted yes, I didn’t read it until after that though Nina (shortlist is determined by number of votes). I think you’ll enjoy this one as well, I hope!

  5. April 10, 2012 4:53 am

    This sounds great Amy! I will look out for it. I was asking the same rating question as Niranjana above too!

  6. buriedinprint permalink
    April 10, 2012 3:15 pm

    I’ve been half eyeing her books for awhile now, but your recommendation has nudged them firmly onto the TBR list: thanks! I remember reading an article by Nicola Griffith about not making sexuality an overt issue in fiction, and the point has stuck with me ever since as having particular resonance.

    • April 11, 2012 5:18 am

      They are really great reads and that article by Nicola Griffith sounds really interesting BIP!

  7. April 10, 2012 9:42 pm

    I dashed back to read your review of Ash and both books sound wonderful. Great review(s)!

  8. April 11, 2012 11:55 am

    I wish you could tell me more about the ending… I see you really enjoyed it.

  9. April 12, 2012 1:14 pm

    I must’ve been hiding under a rock for a while. My radar showed me a vast wasteland in the fantasy adventure department. This is the second time in three days I’ve picked up on a good book filled with adventure The multiple points of view might throw me off, though. I like a consistent point of view in the books I read so I’m a little hesitant.

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