I've really enjoyed the other books I've read by Higgins, so I was interested to see how she would tackle a high fantasy novel. And I have to say, I'm pretty impressed by how much I enjoyed this book.

Hello everyone!

I am back with another review, The Great Hunt by Wendy Higgins!

The story follows a few perspectives, but mainly Princess Aerity and Paxton, a hunter from a neighbouring village. After a beast has begun killing and terrorizing the people of the kingdom, the king decides that he must go to extreme measures to convince anyone to hunt the beast - promising his daughter's hand in marriage to the man who slays the creature. While her parents always assured her that she would be able to choose her husband, Aerity knows that this is the best option the kingdom has for peace and agrees to her father's arrangement. Soon she becomes particularly attached to one of the hunters, Paxton, who will do anything to protect his family, even marrying into the family he despises.

From my previous experiences with Higgins's novels, I knew I was in for some snark and swoon-worthy romance, and luckily, this book didn't disappoint! While things are more of a slow burn, Higgins finds a way to work three possible romances into the story, not just the main one, which I really enjoyed. Despite the ending of this book, I still think there's hope for book two to smooth out some of the kinks in the romantic storylines.

I really liked the way Higgins portrayed the kingdom and royal family. I'm so used to (and frankly, sick and tired of) the typical tyrannical king whose rule is law and doesn't listen to anyone - however, Higgins gives us a king who is much more open-minded about many aspects of his rule and genuinely seems to care about his family and people. I think he was still a bit restrained on some things, but largely, he was supportive of opposing ideas.

There is a bit of magic in the story, with the Lashed, those who are capable of using their powers - often for good/healing, but sometimes for evil. At first, this felt a little shoe-horned in, but once the story started going, it fit better. I think the story would have been able to stand on its own without the magic elements, although some conflicts wouldn't have happened so I suppose it's an important part of the story, it just felt a little odd at times. There wasn't a ton of explanation as to why or where this magic came from, perhaps it will be discussed a bit more in the second book.

I really liked many of the characters in the book and felt like Higgins did a good job fleshing them out. I think she does a great job creating chemistry between the characters and I enjoyed the relationships - even the platonic ones - that she developed.

I'm not super familiar with the fairy tale this book is based on so I can't speak to the validity of that but I really liked the story that Higgins wove.

Overall, I enjoyed this book and look forward to the second and final one.