My review and an extended sample of the audiobook are posted at Hotlistens.com.
Let me start out by saying that I’m not a huge fan of young adult books. I do read them, but I’m pretty picky about it. So when I say that I didn’t love this book, it is very likely a “it’s not you, but me” issue. I had read several great reviews of this book before they were offering the audio for review. I thought it sounded really interesting. Then when I saw the audio come up, I decided to give it a try. Especially after seeing who the narrator was in Khristine Hvam. Now I had not listened to her in the past, but I had heard really great things about her.
This is a retelling of Snow White (which I really only know the story from the Disney movie, not from the original Grimm’s Brother’s version, though that is something I plan to remedy very soon). You have a king with children whose wife dies and he remarries. When he dies, the new queen is evil and does horrible things. The children flee to keep their lives. Both the queen and the princess (and rightful heir to the throne) are witches or mardushkas as they call them in this story.
The Huntsman is a dragon who is a king in his own right. The evil queen sends him out to find and kill the princess, which was more than he bargained for. He was just trying to seek help to fight the trolls that were attacking his land. He thought he was just supposed to track the princess, he had not planned on killing her. He learned the hard way not to make deals with evil queens, but I guess he also had know way to know how evil she was.
This story wasn’t all bad. It was in a really well built world. The magic was well thought out. I was just not a huge fan of the characters and I’m a very character driven reader. If I don’t like the characters, I tend to not enjoy the book. Lorelai, our princess, just wasn’t very likeable. Yes, she was a good character. She was wanting to do the right thing by her family and her people. I just didn’t like her. Kol, The Huntsman, was a better character. I liked him a lot more. He had a lot he had to overcome and struggle to keep his humanity. The romance between the two of them wasn’t well done. It seemed awkward to me. It was just too much of a struggle.
I’m not 100% sure if this book is a young adult. They really never mention the age of the kids. I guess it could be new adult, but it had more of a young adult feel, so that is what I’m going with. Like I said, I’m really picky about young adult. I might read one or two books a year, if that, so if you like young adult fantasy books, I would recommend you give this one a try. You might like it more than I did.
As I said, this is my first book with Khristine Hvam. I have to say, I really enjoyed her narration. I thought she did a great job with both the male and female characters. I thought that she really brought out the tone of the scene and I had no problem figuring out each character. I do plan to search her out for more books with her as the narrator.
**I like to thank the publisher for providing me with a copy of this audiobook in exchange for an honest review.