Top positive review
Some imaginative scenes
12 November 2018
This is a classic fantasy novel where the protagonist has a hidden past that he finds out about and must live up to. It has all the classic fantasy elements, such as magic, warriors, and the like. Overall I liked this book, and enjoyed the unique details of the story. It is a touch rough around the edges in places, but overall a great start to a series.
Heart of a Huntsman is about a hunter. Obviously. Or is it obvious? Because it turns out that this strange parentless hunter actually has a past, and quite a past at that. Cue an adventure to unravel his past and help save people he never previously knew existed.
Overall I liked this book. It was not really what I’d expected at outset, but was a classic fantasy adventure with all the right problems & characteristics. There is a definite good guy in here, magic, and big men with big swords. As well as women with swords too, naturally. Well worth a read.
One of the best parts of this story were set in what I will call the in-between land. You’ll know it when you get there, and without giving too much away, it’s really fantastically considered and excellently painted. Very distinctive, very interesting, and great to read. A definite highlight of the book for me.
And as-well as crafting a great “in-between land”, the author has used some really nice flashes of language throughout the book. Sometimes it’s hard to describe the setting in ‘clever’ ways without breaking the narrative tension, but here it worked. It’s certainly not rife with flowery language, but there are some great little nuggets in there.
The other thing I liked was that this novel is actually a bit more than just that. The first portion of the novel is a separate story which, in all honesty, constitutes backstory. But it was a good bit of backstory and was a nice little story in its own right, so I liked it. It could certainly be considered a bit weird, and it didn’t seem impossible to weave it into the story itself, but nonetheless I think it worked.
There were a few things I was less keen on, and the most jarring of these was the head hopping. This is a multi point of view novel, which is fine (it is common in fantasy), but the rules were not strictly enforced by the author, and we switch from head to head mid-passage. Most jarring.
There are also quite a few basic editorial errors. You know the stuff - misspellings; strange line breaks; missing spaces or additional punctuation. I’m one to forgive this kind of stuff on the whole, but it was perhaps a little too common in here.
The last thing that just irked a bit was the overuse of ‘big’ language. You know the stuff, big powerful words that are used in place of context. Without proper context these big words just stand out, and there were a couple of places where this was the case in this book. I actually highlighted one passage where ‘rage’, ‘burned’ and ‘sickness’ appeared within four words of each other! That’s quite some issue.
But overall, this was a pleasing read and well worth it. Lots of good action alongside a classic fantasy concept, there was much to enjoy about this book. The onward series will no doubt deliver too.