Hunter and Fox by Philippa BallantineShifted World #1
Published on June 12, 2012 by Pyr
Genres: Adult, Fantasy
In a world that is in constant shifting, where mountains can change to plains and then to lakes, Talyn is the hunter for the Caisah, and a wreck of a once-proud person. She has lost her people, the Vaerli, and her soul working for the man who destroyed her people. All unknowing, she carries within her a Kindred, a chaos creature from the center of the earth that wants to help bring the Vaerli back to power. However, she has lost the ability to communicate with it.
She must also deal with the machinations of Kelanim, the mistress of Caisah, who out of fear will do anything to bring Talyn down.
Little does the Hunter know that salvation is looking for her, and it wears the face of gentleness and strength. Finn is a teller of tales who carries his own dreadful secret. He sets out to find answers to his path but ends up in the city of Perilous and Fair where he meets Talyn. He knows the danger and yet is drawn to her. Their fates are bound together.
Meanwhile, the Hunter's lost brother Byre is searching for his own solution to the terrible curse placed on the Vaerli. He sets forth on a treacherous journey of his own, which will intersect in the most unlikely place with that of Talyn and Finn.
The ramifications of this encounter will be felt by all the people in Conhaero, from the lost Vaerli to the Caisah on his throne.
Hunter and Fox had exactly what I’ve come to expect from Ballantine: a beautifully created world, diverse and unique characters, and a want for more. After reading two of the authors Books of the Order series last year (Geist and Spectyr) I couldn’t wait to get my hands on another. For those who have read Philippa Ballantine’s previous work, Hunter and Fox is set in an entirely new world filled with Chaos–quite literally. The threads of each character’s life twines with the others while remaining separate at the same time as each fights for a cause before destruction and fire destroys the world.
I did have a few problems with this book. For starters, and this didn’t surprise me, Ballantine gives you a lot of information in Hunter and Fox. It’s setting up a sequel but this first book isn’t all that long for the amount you learn. I struggled to keep all of the points of view, locations, and different plot lines separate until near the end. This is very fast-paced and I would’ve like to spend more time with each character instead of bouncing around 2-3 times per chapter.
Despite that, I once again enjoyed another book by Philippa Ballantine. I’ve found I like the sequels much better as the back story has been shared in book one so I look forward to the next Shifted World novel. Hunter and Fox is good for most ages, containing only small scenes of violence, and I would definitely recommend reading it as well as Ballantine’s other work.