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Ever the Hunted: A Clash of Kingdoms Novel

Review

Ever the Hunted: A Clash of Kingdoms Novel

After Britta Flannery’s father dies, she is left on her own to survive where she grew up; the Ever Woods. Being the daughter of a professional assassin, she knows her way around a weapon, but her heritage means she is not so easily accepted by people. With no one willing to trade with her, she is forced to poach from the King of Malam’s woods or face starvation. Despite her training, Britta is caught by the King’s Guard with illegal meat. After being dragged to the dungeons, Britta is surprised to be spared from an immediate, painful death by an offer: hunt down her father’s killer and bring him to the king, in exchange for freedom. A seemingly obvious choice turns dark when the identity of her father’s murderer is revealed as Cohen Mackay, the boy she grew up with as he trained as her father’s apprentice --- and her first love.

"This fast-paced fantasy winds perfectly balanced details with an uncanny ability for storytelling to make an unforgettable beginning to the Clash of Kingdoms series."

As she begins the hunt for the boy who broke her heart, Britta begins to learn that everything is not as it seems. As she travels through countries she had never imagined she would enter, secrets begin to come loose involving her father’s murder. Joined by an unlikely ally, Britta must journey to find the real killer, all while discovering a plot that goes deeper than one man’s death, into something that might tear kingdoms apart. The lives of thousands are at stake, as Britta begins to realize that she may be more powerful than anyone could have ever imagined.

From the first page, Summerill tears the reader from their seat on the couch into a world of action and madness. This fast-paced fantasy winds perfectly balanced details with an uncanny ability for storytelling to make an unforgettable beginning to the Clash of Kingdoms series. In a unique case, writing with predictability is expertly wielded to make every twist unpredictably powerful in a way I have never read before. Although it may seem a bit repetitive in the initial hunt, the plot quickly thickens into a page-turning race to catch the killer.

Each character is human in the realistic sense that no one is perfect, nor is anyone entirely evil. Britta’s character is easy to fall in love with, while still being relatable to an average person. She contains a peculiar ability to tell if others are lying that is coupled with a fierce aversion to trusting anyone, no matter how many truths she hears from their lips. Her incredibly stubborn ways and her resourceful nature make her bravery seem a natural course of action, compared to the incredible acts they truly are. She frequently recalls her father’s teachings throughout the story, but each time she recognizes something different from them, which acknowledges her growth in the novel in a tangible way.

Fans of Rae Carson’s Fire and Thorns Trilogy and Kristin Cashore’s GRACELING will adore EVER THE HUNTED as unlikely heroes --- and even more startling villains --- steal your heart in this romantic fantasy. Britta must make the choice to trust in a daring tale of lies and valor where the hunted will have no rest until the truth is uncovered.

Reviewed by Caitlyn K., Teen Board Member on January 23, 2017

Ever the Hunted: A Clash of Kingdoms Novel
by Erin Summerill