After “meeting” young adult author Malinda Lo on a Twitter #yalitchat one Wednesday evening (if you don’t know about #yalitchat, here’s some info), I requested an ARC (advanced reading copy) through her publisher of her book, HUNTRESS.
HUNTRESS tells the story of two 17-year-old girls, Kaede and Taisin, who are plucked out of school and chosen to go on a dangerous journey to the city of the Fairy Queen. Taisin is a sage who has an early vision of seeing herself and Kaede on an empty beach and she worries what her vision may mean for their future. As the adventure gets more treacherous, the girls become close, eventually falling in love. But the Kingdom only needs one huntress to save them. Who will it be?
This novel is a prequel to ASH and has details inspired by the I CHING.
I haven’t read ASH yet but HUNTRESS stands well on its own for someone who is just diving in. Lo writes beautifully. The details of her world are lush, stark, and otherworldly all at the same time. What I admired about the novel is the relationship between Kaede and Taisin and their lesbian love story. The love story is central to the book but no one in the world of the novel is shocked by their relationship. I like how their love grows slowly in time and becomes not only a strong friendship but a blossoming first love for both of them.
I won’t give away any spoilers for the end of the book but the only thing I will say about the end is that I felt like two separate endings. I had reached one point that I thought was the end but then the novel continued on. Otherwise, I loved what I read. Kick-ass female characters? Check. Beautiful writing? Check. Had me hooked? Yes!
HUNTRESS by Malinda Lo is out in bookstores in April 2011. Be sure to pick up your copy when it comes out!