Huntress by Malinda Lo
This is a prequel to Lo's debut Ash. I enjoyed Ash, loved Huntress. Kaede and Taisin are students at the same Academy. Though both 17 yr old and started at the same time, they don't share any classes. Taisin is a very advanced sage in training, skilled at seeing into the future. Kaede is the daughter of the King's Advisor, a talented fighter but not a great student.
The two are suddenly brought together after Taisin has a vision. In it Kaede's life is at risk and the Taisin in the future is in love with her. These feelings disturb the Taisin of now because a sage must take a vow of celibacy. Taisin wants to avoid Kaede but it can't be done.
The Kingdom is in trouble, crops are dying and people are going hungry because of the unchanging weather. The King has been sent a very rare invitation by the Fairy Queen. Everyone believe the Fairy Queen can explain what's going on with the weather.
The King can't go and sends his son Con in his place. Taisin and Kaede must go as well. The kingdom is in turbulence, the three must travel with guards for their saftey.
Kaede and Taisin's characters were very well drawn. Their personalities shine through and I like that they come from different backgrounds. Kaede and Taisin could be romance is at the core of this story but the author never forgets the adventure.
Huntress has a great balance of action, danger and love. I absolutely loved Lo's writing. Sometimes author's drag out an inevitable relationship, and as a reader I am screaming just get together already. That was not the case with Huntress. The author's transitions from the potential relationship to the mission were clinic good. In doing so Lo kept me very much interested in both aspects of the story. Taisin and Kaede's first kiss was worth the wait.
Huntress is one of my favorite books of the year, inside and out (gorgeous cover)
Read an excerpt