Format: E-Galley, 400 pages
Release Date: December 27, 2016
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult
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.
Ever the Hunter is the first installment in author Erin Summerill's Clash of Kingdoms series. 17-year old Britta Flannery is in a tough spot. Her father Saul was murdered. The King is ready to seize his lands. She has no rights because of a fickle rule about being born the daughter of a Shaerdanian traitor, therefore making her an outcast with no possibilities of inheriting her father's land or title.
But, what she does have going for her is that she was trained by the best hunters, her father, to have served the King. She knows the ins and outs of the forest. She knows how to track, and how to use a bow and arrow. The same bow and arrow she uses to feed herself about several months of isolation.
Funny how that works out when you are starving, and are caught by the King's guard poaching on his land and find yourself believing you are going to die no matter what she says.
But, fate has other ideas. Britta is given an ultimatum of sorts. Either help track down her father's killer, presumably her childhood best friend Cohen MacKay who she has feelings for, or face death by hanging. The catch is that she has to take others along with her which includes a captain that hates her, a guard who wants to brutalize her, and another guard who may be her only ally. Britta has yet another surprise up her sleeve. Not only is she an excellent tracker, but she has the understand of when someone is telling the truth, or when someone is lying.
This is a land where two countries have different ideas about how things are done. Britta's country of Malem is lead by a King who refuses to allow magic into his country. So called Channeler's have been rounded up and hanged. In her mother's homeland of Shaerdan, things are definitely different. Channeler's are allowed free reign, and they are cheered on. Channeler's are people who have access to the 4 elements, plus spirit. The characters will find themselves stuck between two warring factions, a captain who wants revenge, and someone behind the scenes guiding the actions that could lead the two countries to war.
I dare say that if you like plot driven stories, with remarkably strong heroines, then Ever the Hunted is a story that you must read soon. I adore Britta's courage, her tenacity, her tracking abilities, and her special skill set that obviously will come into play as the series continues. There is a very, very curious ending to this series, and I can't fathom the reason behind it. Probably kept me from rating this higher.
I received a copy of this book from the author via NetGalley in exchange for a honest review