Huntress by Malinda Lo

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Malinda Lo

SPOILER WARNING (Goodreads version with hidden spoilers)

Intrigued, I picked up a copy of Huntress. LGBT content and a fictionalized pseudo Asian world, what more could a girl ask for?

As it turns out, a lot.

The beginning of the book introduces the two main characters,  Kaede and Tasin, two seventeen year old girls, are chosen to travel to the city of the Fairy Queen. The beginning of the book flies by to get the characters on the road, and it never seems to spend much time developing motivation or characters. We spend most of the book on the road, battling a few monsters. However, none of the battles they fight have anything to do with the villain of the story. Without building up the villain, it’s hard to care about whether or not they win the fight. We know little of the villain, besides the fact that she is destroying the earth through magic. The writing style relies on head jumps, and while most are easy to follow, a few left me behind.

With the girls, travels a prince, and two guards, the female one similar in age to them and the prince. Given so much time upon the road, there was a lot of potential for characters to grow and interact and make us care. Sadly, they didn’t make me care. The romance between Kaede and Tasin lacked reason and interest.  There was no apparent attraction between them. It distinctly felt like the author just needed them to be together.

The ending left me lacking. Not only was the villain easily defeated, but everything seemed too easy. Some may disagree with me, because the girls were not allowed to be together, because Tasin wanted to go on to become a Sage, who must be celibate. However, because of the girls lack of chemistry, it was hard to care.

While I think it could have done with one more revision, there is definitely potential. It has an interesting world, which is also explored through a companion novel, Ash. It’s nice to get out of worlds that are inspired by Tolkien/Middle Ages Europe. It is two young women who save the world, which will be the clincher for some. And, while the romance didn’t jive for me, anyone out there looking for a innocent relationship may fall for these two.

Over all though, if I couldn’t sit through Frodo Baggin’s road trip, I’m probably not going to be able to sit through yours.


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