BWW Review: EVER THE BRAVE by Erin Summerill
He smiles with a hint of pride, displaying a row of large teeth. "Precisely.""
~Britta and Lord Jamis, EVER THE HUNTED
EVER THE HUNTED has been on my radar for a REALLY long time. As in, back during BEA 2015, before there was a cover, or a summary, or ANY INFORMATION. A publicist I worked with was in the middle of reading (or had just finished reading?) this upcoming title she was going to work on and help publish, and she was telling me how much I was going to like the book. I put it on my TBR that moment. Now, the book has been out for a year and the sequel concluding the series, EVER THE BRAVE, launched this week. I'm looking forward to re-reading the first book and sinking into the new title!
EVER THE HUNTED centers around Britta, a girl who has recently become an orphan. Her mother died when she was young, and her father was recently murdered. Due to her realm's mourning requirements, Britta must mourn in isolation for two months, never leaving home. Because her mother was from and a shunned country and nobody ever really trusted Britta, nobody comes with condolences, or checks up on her, or brings her food. Britt is literally starving to death because she's run out of food and can't leave to get more. As her isolation comes to an end, she's forced to poach from the Ever Woods in order to survive. Unfortunately, she's caught red-handed and taken to the king's dungeons; poaching is a hanging offense. However, because her father had been the king's best bounty hunter, she's given a reprieve: Hunt down her father's killer and be pardoned. The only problem? The killer is Cohen McKay, her father's former apprentice and the one boy Britta has ever loved. Can she trade her life for his, even if he killed her father?
There are a lot of plots and schemes and twists introduced throughout the novel, so it's hard to talk about this book without being all spoilery, but I'll try! Some of the twists readers will see coming, while others aren't as easy to spot. I wouldn't say this novel has a crazy cliffhanger, especially since I can guess where it's going, but it's intriguing enough to make readers want to pick up the second book when it comes out! Plus, it's only a duology, so the wait for the series conclusion won't be too bad!
While the book starts off slowly, it picks up speed, especially once Britta is kidnapped. There's so much about herself that she doesn't know, and she discovers a lot about her heritage throughout the novel. She has both a past and a future that change her fundamentally, and a lot of that discovery will compile the second book. The magical elements in this world are interesting, and I can't wait to see them expanded upon in the next book.
While Britta has her weaknesses, she evolves a lot and becomes much stronger and more secure by the book's end, though she still has a lot of growing to do. She also has a lot of uncertainty remaining, and needs to trust her gut instincts a little more. It will be interesting to see the direction the second book takes and whether my predictions are on target or not.
And...I guess that's really all I can say about this book without blabbing all its secrets to you!