Friday, March 10, 2017

The Great Pursuit by Wendy Higgins

The Great Pursuit by Wendy Higgins
Release Date - March 7, 2017
Publisher Website - Harper Collins
Publisher Social Media - Twitter/Facebook/SavvyReader/Frenzy
Pages -  512 pages
My Rating - 3/5
**received for an honest review from publisher**


Here is the Goodreads synopsis
In The Great Pursuit, the dramatic sequel to the New York Times bestselling The Great Hunt, Wendy Higgins delivers another thrilling fantasy filled with dangerous enemies, political intrigue, searing romance, and a princess who is willing to do everything to protect her kingdom.

One hunt has ended, but the pursuit for love and justice continues.

The kingdom of Lochlanach has traded the great beast that once terrorized the realm of Eurona for something far more dangerous: the ire of powerful Lashed woman Rosaria Rocato. Rosaria demands that Eurona overturn the laws prohibiting magic, or an innocent will be killed each day.

Despite the king’s resistance, Princess Aerity believes they must make peace with the Lashed, and though she’s accepted a betrothal to the man who took down the beast, she cannot help thinking about Paxton, the Lashed man who stole her heart and disappeared.

Aerity soon discovers that Paxton has joined Rosaria’s army in the war against her family. Though her feelings for him are still strong, her duty to her kingdom and her family is stronger—especially when her parents are kidnapped and she has to step up to the throne and once again put aside what’s best for her in order to do what’s best for her people. Paxton and Princess Aerity must fight to see what is more powerful: their love or the impending war between the magical Lashed and the non-magic humans.
I was lukewarm about the first book in this series, but was curious enough to check out the final book in this duology. I enjoyed the second book more than the first in this series, but still felt something lacking from the series overall.

Aerity had a more central role in this novel. She wasn't just something to be won. Her character had more urgency and was making her own choices. It really helped bring something to her character that was missing from the first installment. The female characters in general benefited from more character development. It was one of the elements I appreciated most in this sequel.

Also missing from the first novel was a true villain to balance the protagonists. Rosaria comes into the story only briefly in the first novel and is not used nearly as much as she should have been. The creature was the primary focus and the shift in this novel to a true villain was welcome. If she had been developed more it would have been even better. She could have been a formidable foe for Aerity and it could have been interesting to see the two go toe to toe.

The story is immensely readable. I found myself flying through the 500+ page count of this one rather quickly. The story itself also has some great moments. I appreciated the clever way some of the romances worked out and how the author wrapped up the story itself. It is an ending that will please a majority of the readers.

This series felt like it was attempting to pack too much into a duology. It leaves everything feeling underdeveloped in a way that hinders the story. The expansion of the villains motivations, a slower burn with some of the romances, and a deeper look into the mythology of the magic used in the novel could have made this into an enjoyable fantasy series.

I believe that this will appeal to fans of Wendy Higgin's previous novels. There are certainly some delightful elements within these pages, but not quite enough to make me fully love this novel. I wanted more from the characters, the plot, and pretty much every other aspect. It is a fast, charming read however, and one that I anticipate others will enjoy much more than I did.

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