Nature is out of balance in the human world. The sun hasn’t shone in years, and crops are failing. Worse yet, strange and hostile creatures have begun to appear. The people’s survival hangs in the balance.
To solve the crisis, the oracle stones are cast, and Kaede and Taisin, two seventeen-year-old girls, are picked to go on a dangerous and unheard-of journey to Taninli, the city of the Fairy Queen. Taisin is a sage, thrumming with magic, and Kaede is of the earth, without a speck of the otherworldly. And yet the two girls’ destinies are drawn together during the mission. As members of their party succumb to unearthly attacks and fairy tricks, the two come to rely on each other and even begin to fall in love. But the Kingdom needs only one huntress to save it, and what it takes could tear Kaede and Taisin apart forever.
The exciting adventure prequel to Malinda Lo’s highly acclaimed novel Ash is overflowing with lush Chinese influences and details inspired by the I Ching, and is filled with action and romance.
- Finalist for the 2012 Lambda Literary Award (Children’s/Young Adult)
- An ALA Best Book for Young Adults
- A Top 10 Selection of the 2012 Rainbow List
- Selected for the 2012 Amelia Bloomer Project List
- Selected for the Chicago Public Library’s Best of the Best Books for Teens
- A 2011 Locus Recommended Read (Young Adult)
- Long-listed for the 2011 James Tiptree, Jr. Award
★ “Lo’s storytelling and prose are masterful, and her protagonists will fascinate … . As with Ash, Lo’s characters are emotionally reserved, which makes the unfolding of romance between Kaede and Taisin all the more satisfying. Fans of Garth Nix’s Abhorsen trilogy will love this.” — Publishers Weekly, starred review
“A gripping fantasy with high appeal for fans of Ursula K. Le Guin as well as for readers in search of a smart, female-dominated adventure tale.” — Booklist
“Filled with dangerous adventure, an evocative setting and a compelling romance between its two leads, Huntress is an appealing and exciting offering from this talented author.” — BookPage
“Lo has created a wonderfully detailed world, and this dynamic and moving story of love that must find a way against nearly insurmountable odds will be as well received as Ash.” — School Library Journal
“Lo expands from the lush, foreboding backdrop of the Wood found in her debut Ash (BCCB 10/09) to the rest of the Kingdom while offering up a compelling history and two cleverly conceived new heroines. … Subplots occasionally feel extraneous, paling in comparison to the heartbreaking sensuality that blossoms between the female leads. Beyond romance, however, stunning action sequences abound, including one literal cliffhanger and a breathtaking confrontation with the villain.” — Bulletin of the Center on Children’s Books
“A ‘Tam Lin’–inspired rendition of fairy society blends nicely with the author’s Chinese and I Ching–inspired human society, creating a delicate, unusual setting. … Most notably, the inclusion of gay characters in a young adult fantasy, and the natural unfolding of their relationship, comes as a refreshing change.” — The Horn Book
“Lo excels at keeping the reader engaged during action scenes — whether the characters are battling for their lives or their hearts. … Readers of Ash will revel in the heavily Chinese-influenced, non-fairytale perspective on the Kingdom’s past offered here, while readers new to Lo’s work will find it an excellent starting point.” — Locus
“The lovely thing about this fantasy … is the completely natural sweetness of the attraction between Kaede and Taisin, which is unremarkable in their culture.” — Kirkus
“Huntress is beautifully immersed in Chinese legend and culture. … It’s about action, yes, but it’s more about Kaede and Taisin as people. There are also moments of gorgeous, lush prose that are rather breath-taking. Lo has a talent for beautiful descriptions of both people and places.” — Tor.com
“Huntress is a well-written, tightly plotted novel with interesting, engaging characters and a good balance of romance and action. Lo also paints a wonderfully egalitarian world in terms of sexuality. All romantic relationships are treated equally, and Lo is clearly comfortable writing both gay and straight characters, lending an authenticity to both the characters and the world they inhabit.” — LambdaLiterary.org
“Malinda Lo’s Huntress is a familiar and satisfying adventure story nestled within a truly diverse and nuanced fantasy world. There is a long journey through a magical Wood, a brave prince, an ice fortress, a pack of fairy huntsmen, and strength derived from the power of true love. The way these tropes are pushed and pulled in unexpected directions presents a story that is enjoyable, fresh and compelling.” — Hyphen Magazine