Hello everyone! I am so excited to be taking part in The Beast Hunters blog tour! This is a brilliant fantasy novel by Christer Lende with a stunning cover design by Anne Glenn.
Publisher: Hashtag Press
Published: 18th November 2021
Series: The Beasthunter of Ashbourne #1
Trigger warnings: Physical and emotional abuse, gore
When a monster brutally kills her parents, Ara is saved by two beast hunters. Becoming their apprentice, she discovers serums, secret bestiary knowledge, and remarkable abilities—all to save unsuspecting souls from the same fate her parents suffered. But, terrifying creatures lurk everywhere and Ara must master the art of beast hunting quickly if she is to uncover the elusive creature plaguing the village of Cornstead.
Wow, The Beast Hunters is an action-packed novel right from the beginning! The story follows seventeen-year-old Ara who is living in an abusive household. One day, Ara returns home after completing a task for her father, only to find her parents have been gruesomely killed by a monster. Luckily, she is saved by two beast hunters, Khendric and Topper, and goes on a life-changing journey with them as she becomes their apprentice.
I warmed to the three main characters as they make such a great team together. Ara is an interesting protagonist and it was a joy to read her coming-of-age story. Khendric and Topper are top-notch beast hunters who share witty banter. They invite Ara, as well as the reader, to learn all about different beasts and how to defeat them. Ara is initially wary of Khendric and Topper’s intentions, but she gradually learns to trust them. Found family is a trope I am here for and I thought this was handled really well.
This book has lots of different layers since it is a fantasy which includes mystery, horror and adventure. While the story is dark at times, I liked how there are moments of humour. It’s a very thrilling read, partly because of the vivid and imaginative depictions of beasts. I appreciated the fact that the monsters are not vampires and werewolves which seem to be standard in fantasy novels. Instead, they are unique and quite chilling at times. Christer Lende has also included a “Beastiary” which was helpful to identify all the different beasts.
The main message I took away from reading The Beast Hunters is that even in the darkest of times, there is always hope. When Ara’s parents are killed, she is at the lowest point in her life in terms of emotional wellbeing and confidence. However, when Khendric and Topper step in and save Ara from the beast that is about to kill her too, her life changes in a way she could never have imagined. Ara in turn proves to be a brave and smart apprentice as she aids Khendric and Topper during their investigations. Ara’s character felt authentic because her personality does not change overnight. Instead, the encouragement she receives from Khendric and Topper helps to restore her confidence and she gradually blossoms into a wonderful heroine.
The Beast Hunters is an epic and fast paced fantasy with well-developed characters. I can’t wait for the second book in the series!
My rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Thank you to Literally PR and Hashtag Press for inviting me to the blog tour and for sending me a copy of the book!