Title: Ever the Hunted
Author: Erin Summerill
Age Group: Teen/Young Adult
Series: Clash of Kingdoms, book one
Star Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars
I borrowed this book through my local library and reviewed it.
I've been curious about Summerill's series debut since before it came out, so when I saw it on a display at one of the libraries I frequent, I snatched it up before someone else could, and took it home. (Plus, look at that gorgeous white and gold cover! So pretty, and it practically screams girl power! I dig, I dig!) With the due date looming, I dove into this book. I wasn't quite sure what to expect; after all, this is a debut novel as well as a series debut. But nonetheless, this book is strong--it's definitely one of my favorite books of 2016! I mean, adventure, magical lands, slow-burn forbidden love, political intrigue, clear, well-thought out world-building, twists and secrets aplenty; to me, this book was everything that a good fantasy novel is made of! I can't wait for the sequel, especially with that ending! I'm so sad that I have to wait for the sequel!
Britta, a brave and tenacious young woman, has just lost her father. Unfortunately, his death is ruled a murder, and to Britta's horror, it is her closest childhood friend, Cohen, who committed the heinous crime. Lost without her only family and bereft at the knowledge that her only friend did this, she is backed into a corner and forced to work for the King's soldiers to find the man that murdered her father. But she soon discovers that nothing is as it seems, least of all herself. Forced to go outside borders for answers, Britta must decide who she can believe, even if the price to pay is her very life...
What can I say? This book was like a breath of fresh air. This is a fantasy world that seemed like a pleasant, fast-paced dream. The world-building was fantastic, and I really enjoyed the characters, especially Britta. I loved the way that she took charge of her own fate and wasn't afraid to go after what she wanted. I do wish, though, that there were more female characters in books that loved to be feminine, as well as being a warrior. I also really enjoyed the political intrigue; that's one of my favorite parts of a novel like this one, especially when done well. The secrets, too, and revelations, were doled out perfectly; if I wasn't laughing, or shaking my head, I was screaming or swooning. But the best parts, my very favorite parts, were the slow-burn, passionate romance between Cohen and Britta--the chemistry was so killer! And the ending! That ending. How am I supposed to wait for the sequel?! *sobs pathetically*
This book was amazing, almost perfect, and I really enjoyed it! What a solid, lovable debut to a brand new fantasy series! One of the best books of 2016, hands down! I can't wait for more from this promising author! The bottom line: A fantastic, nuanced fantasy for all ages, I loved Ever the Hunted, one of my favorite books of 2016! I can't wait for the sequel! Next on deck: Wintersong by S. Jae Jones!