Review: Huntress by Malinda Lo
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.