Ever the Hunted (Clash of Kingdoms #1)
By: Erin Summerill
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: December 27th, 2016
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 Hunted was a fun fantasy read with great writing and even better characters. There are certainly your normal fantasy tropes present, but they didn’t feel overwrought. The characters as well fell into some of the normal tropes, but Erin guides them through her story well and made her characters that much more memorable. While Britta was my favorite, with her built in lie detector and bow wieldingness, Enat runs a close second and I really wish we got to see more of her in the book.
One of the main reasons this isn’t a five star read to me, is Cohen. While his relationship with Britta is questioned for most of the book, once it kicks into gear, it is sweet and everything I would wish for in a YA fantasy romance. However, the reason for the tension between Cohen and Britta felt flimsy. Trying not to spoil anything, Cohen leaves to protect Britta. Not only that, but he leaves without an explanation and even goes back on his word that he would see her again. On top of this, we are suppose to believe that in a country where it is custom to mourn the dead in isolation for months, he didn’t come visit Britta or check up on her to make sure she was doing just fine after, you know, her father DIED. You would think he could come up with a better excuse than that he forgot.
The other reason this didn’t win all the stars? Britta’s father. I understand that he wanted to protect his daughter, but his methods in doing so were wildly flawed. Not letting Britta know about her powers meant that they revealed themselves at random times, undermining why he wanted her to not be aware of them in the first place. There were also numerous secrets that he told pretty much everyone else in his life but Britta, and could have been useful to know when being hunted by the king’s guards.
Overall, however, despite my complaints with some of the characters and a lack of continuity in some scenes, Ever the Hunted was addictive. I devoured this book, the world, the romance, the mystery were everything I wish to find in a book and more. I can’t wait to see where Britta and Cohen’s story will lead.
Disclaimer: The synopsis and cover picture were pulled from the book’s Goodreads page. Neither belong to us. An advanced copy was provided through Around the World ARC Tours in exchange for an honest review.