Lord of the Hunt
There are books you love, and books you hate, and books that you just don’t care about one way or the other. It’s really easy to write about those you love and those you hate – the books you love, you want everyone else to love too, so you expound upon the wonders of the romance or the mystery or whatever you can think of to draw in the audience. The books you hate, you just want to rant about – the characters, the portrayal of women, how close to plagiarism they come, what have you. But the ones that you don’t care about? Those are the hard ones. Unfortunately, despite the intriguing premise, Lord of the Hunt fell well within that last category for me.
Annwyn, the world of the fairies, is falling into winter – the world reflects the state of its King and Queen, and their relationship has failed. Unfortunately, when Annwyn passes fully into winter and as the new King, whomever that may be, takes the throne, all the fairy in the mortal world will die. They have all been traveling back through the veil between the worlds to save themselves during the coming change. But there are a few who have been exiled, and cannot return. And one of those is Taryn’s father.
Sent by her parents, at the order of Prince Felan of Annwyn, Taryn is at court to request a pardon for her father from the King. But having grown up in the mortal world, she is having trouble toeing the line in court, and risks losing everything if she fails. Her father cannot return to Annwyn, and her mother will stay with her husband, no matter what. But she finds an unexpected friend in Verden, Lord of the Hunt for the Court, who quickly discovers that he wants more than her friendship.
Verden has never met someone as alive as Taryn is – he has climbed tooth and nail through the ranks at Court to the position he is in now, but that has left him surrounded by those who play games with words, trading favors and backstabbing supposed friends. As he tries to help Taryn negotiate life at Court, he discovers that she may have to do more than either of them is comfortable with to win the pardon from the King and save her parents.
Honestly, there was anything particularly wrong with this book. The writing was decent, and the characters and premise were interesting, but for whatever reason, it just didn’t work for me. It started well, and it ended well, but something happened in the middle – honestly, I just didn’t care anymore. I didn’t care about the characters, or the uprising occurring, or the fine line Taryn and Verden had to walk. I just didn’t care. And that kind of ruined the reading experience for me. I think it happened because there’s action in the beginning, and action in the end, but the middle is basically just life at court. There are things that happen (namely, sexy times for Verden and Taryn), but nothing that really moves the story along.
There were some particular things that frustrated me, though. I wanted more of Felan, as he was easily the most multi-dimensional character of the bunch. We got to see bits and pieces of him, but I would much prefer to see how his storyline played out than the one we got. Also, the King is presented as a good guy with the Queen being the villain of the piece, but some of his decisions made me question just how “good” he really is. I understand that this is meant to take place in a fairy land, with different cultures and morals, but there were several times where it seemed like something the King said or did was simply to move the plot along, rather than actually be part of his character.
I really don’t know who to recommend this to, as a group, but it is a very interesting premise and world that the author has built. If fairy-style romances are your thing, and you enjoy the intrigue and double-speak, you might want to give it a try.