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Hunter's Oath by Michelle West

Review by Jojo

The Characters
As with any book there are a scattering of less than main, more than minor characters, but primarily this book revolves around Gilliam of Elseth, Hunter-born and Hunter Lord; Stephen of Elseth, Gil's brother and Huntbrother; Evayne, mage of some sort who has the ability to walk outside of Time, and a few others. Evayne is my favorite so far, though she's a bit hard to read because she does exist outside the rules of Time and you never know when she's coming or going...

The World
We don't know much about the world. We know of two major places: Breodanir, the country were the Elseth's are from, and the ancient country of Essalieyan *sp* to the city of Averalaan. Most of our dealings are in Breodanir... They're farming woodsy lands, with technology that, from what I can see, is around the 1700ish sort. We don't have a map. We don't know much about the world outside of Breodanir right now...

The Plot
It's not very defined right now. Things are stirring up. The Gods are active in this book, more so than what I'm used to. Evayne knows a lot more than she'll tell, for fear of messing things up... Stephen and Gil, along with others, are drawn away from Breodanir blessedly close to the Sacred Hunt (a Covenant they've made with their Hunter God - he protects them yearly, provides them with food and game to hunt, and once a year, the Hunter Lords and their Huntbrothers take place in the Hunt, and one will face the Hunter's Death. This was stopped by the Unnamed King a few generations back and the land didn't yield crops. He's an active God.) and should they miss it they shall face the Hunter's Disgrace.... I'm not sure if they miss it. The book stopped. :o) But evil Gods stir, there are demon-kin afoot and things are getting interesting. :o)

The Grade
I'm going to give this four out of five. It wasn't fantasically, edge of the seat, LiveShip wonderfulness, but it was really good. Chances are the overall grade of the duology'll be a five, if it keeps going. *nods* I would recommend this book to others. The characters are good, the plot is tied in nicely... My only gripe is that she shifts consciousnesses too easily for my taste... I've gotten used to it, though. It's really not too bad. Good book. :o)


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