EVER THE HUNTED (Clash of Kingdoms #1)
Published: December 27th 2016 by HMH Books
Seventeen year-old Britta Flannery is at ease only in the woods with her dagger and bow. She spends her days tracking criminals alongside her father, the legendary bounty hunter for the King of Malam—that is, until her father is murdered. Now outcast and alone and having no rights to her father’s land or inheritance, she seeks refuge where she feels most safe: the Ever Woods. When Britta is caught poaching by the royal guard, instead of facing the noose she is offered a deal: her freedom in exchange for her father’s killer.
However, it’s not so simple.
The alleged killer is none other than Cohen McKay, her father’s former apprentice. The only friend she’s ever known. The boy she once loved who broke her heart. She must go on a dangerous quest in a world of warring kingdoms, mad kings, and dark magic to find the real killer. But Britta wields more power than she knows. And soon she will learn what has always made her different will make her a daunting and dangerous force.
First off, congratulations to Ever the Hunted for having one of the prettiest covers I’ve ever seen! It definitely caught my attention, and along with the summary made me super excited to get my hands on this book. So I’m sad to say Ever the Hunted didn’t blow my mind when I read it.
Ever the Hunted was a good read, all things considered. The writing was good, the pacing flowed nicely and kept me turning pages, and the premise was really interesting. I also really loved the magical elements of the book, as they were part of a unique system that really caught my attention and brought depth to the story.
Britta was kind of lukewarm as a main character, though, kind of like most of the other YA heroines out there. She was supposed to be super smart and badass, but she kept making mistakes one after the other and putting herself in dangerous situations she could have easily avoided. It was also very very strange to me how oblivious she was about certain things in her life and her own self, which made a few parts of the book rather difficult to believe.
During the first half of the book, there was a lot of focus on how dreamy and attractive Cohen was, and the supposed romance between him and Britta, instead of finding out who Papa’s killer was. This meant there wasn’t a lot of world-building in the early parts of the story, and there was very little exploration about why the two kingdoms were at war. This did change after hitting the halfway mark, though, when the plot started progressing nicely.
The second half of Ever the Hunted was a lot better. That was when we really immersed ourselves into the plot, and got to find out what was happening. It was also when Britta finally figured out some truths about herself, which was a major improvement to the story, as it helped move things along and gave us some very exciting actions scenes.
Overall, there was nothing new about Ever the Hunted. It felt very familiar and even predictable at times. But I’d definitely recommend this to YA Fantasy fans who don’t mind a few cliches, seeing as the writing is good and the magical elements are really fun to learn about. And the ending was definitely a good hook to the rest of the series. 🙂