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HUNTRESS by Malinda Lo

HUNTRESS

By Malinda Lo

Age Range: 14 & up

Pub Date: April 5th, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-316-04007-5
Publisher: Little, Brown

Set in the same universe as, although many centuries earlier than, Ash (2009), two 17-year-olds at the Academy of Sages find their destiny and each other. Taisin already has visions, which she cannot parse. Kaede is at the school because her powerful father wished her there, but she is not magically gifted. Their lands suffer under a never-ending winter, and people are starving. When an invitation from the Fairy Queen of the Xi arrives, both Taisin and Kaede travel there with the king's son. They hope the Xi know why nature is out of joint. On their journey, the party is attacked, and Taisin’s visions grow fiercer and less clear. But it is Kaede who must cross to a tower of ice and face the evil that threatens Xi and human alike. There is far too much telling rather than showing, far too many feelings described without being displayed and the mythos of its place is not well delineated. The lovely thing about this fantasy, however, is the completely natural sweetness of the attraction between Kaede and Taisin, which is unremarkable in their culture and which finds a bittersweet resolution but not an end. The promise of sequels seems obvious—Ash’s fans will hope they hew to the tightness of craft of the former, not this companion. (Fantasy. 14 & up)