Ever the Hunted

Erin Summerill. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $17.99 (400p) ISBN 978-0-544-66445-6
Not long after the death of her father, a renowned bounty hunter for the king of Malam, 17-year-old Britta Flannery is arrested for poaching and sentenced to death herself. When Britta is offered her life in exchange for tracking down her father’s murderer, she accepts but is shocked to learn that his alleged killer is Cohen Mackay—her father’s apprentice, her best friend, and her first love. Britta’s quest takes her to the neighboring kingdom of Shaerdan, home to female magic-weavers known as Channelers, as well as Britta’s unknown maternal relatives. Debut author Summerill makes use of familiar story elements—avenging a parent’s death, a potential betrayal by an estranged first love, a main character with unrealized power—but incorporates them into an richly described world populated by engaging characters. The mystery of who killed Britta’s father is disappointingly transparent, but Britta’s grit and tense interactions with Cohen make her journey to find answers gratifying. Plenty of questions remain in the final pages, setting the stage for the next book in the Clash of Kingdoms series. Ages 12–up. Agent: Josh Adams, Adams Literary. (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 10/10/2016
Release date: 12/27/2016
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