Title: The Great Hunt (Eurona #1)
Author: Wendy Higgins
Published by: Harper Teen
Summary: The Kingdom of Lochlanach is being terrorized by a Beast. The Beast only comes out at night, never appears in the same place twice, and kills. Men have tried to fight it, and have failed. Soldiers have tried to kill it, but have been killed by it. The King is at a loss of what to do.
The King issues a proclamation, a challenge, whoever can kill the Beast will get the prize of his daughter's hand in marriage. Hunters come from all over the land, including two brothers from Lochlanach.
Who will kill the Beast? Who will win the hand of the princess? And will the princess be pleased with the outcome?
My Thoughts: I'd heard mixed reviews before starting this book, so I was curious to see how I'd feel about it. Overall, I enjoyed this book. I can understand certain criticisms pertaining to the romance, but it wasn't as big of an issue to me as it was to other readers.
I enjoyed the story concept, that it was based on a Brother's Grimm Fairytale, The Singing Bone. Higgins took a really short fairytale, and expanded it into something fun to read.
Each hunting scene was fun to read too. The Beast was scary, and appeared almost invincible. The hunt was an exciting adventure.
I also really enjoyed Paxton's POV. In my opinion, he was the more interesting character. I think the book would have been better if it had all been told from his point of view.
I was just so so on Princess Aerity and the royal family. They weren't as intriguing to read about. The silk acrobatics and marrying for love (except in Aerity's case) just seemed like add-ons to make them more interesting, and it didn't really work for me.
The main gripe with the story would be the overbearing romance aspect. Everybody was in love with everybody else. It was also a lot of love at first sight kind of things, insta-love. I found the whole Wyneth relationship thing weird too. I could have done with less romance, or at least had a believable build up to it. Most other readers' reviews I've seen had issues with the romance as well.
I did enjoy the story though. Things really picked up in the end, so I'm very curious to see what happens next. Wendy Higgins writing just has a very addictive quality that I like. All in all, it was enjoyable reading.
BOOKCITEMENT LEVEL 3.5/5
Kill the beast, get the girl.