Publication Date/Version: April 2009/Hardcover
Publisher: HarperCollins Children's Books
Age Group: Mainly Young Adult, maybe Middle Grade
Received From: Around The World Tours (Thanks!)
Deep inside the great Oak lies a dying faery realm, bursting with secrets instead of magic. Long ago the faeries mysteriously lost their magic. Robbed of their powers, they have become selfish and dull-witted. Now their numbers are dwindling and their very survival is at stake.
Only one young faery—Knife—is determined to find out where her people's magic has gone and try to get it back. Unlike her sisters, Knife is fierce and independent. She's not afraid of anything—not the vicious crows, the strict Faery Queen, or the fascinating humans living nearby. But when Knife disobeys the Faery Queen and befriends a human named Paul, her quest becomes more dangerous than she realizes. Can Knife trust Paul to help, or has she brought the faeries even closer to the brink of destruction?
Knife lives in the Oak, the home of her dying faery realm. In the past, the faeries somehow lost their magic, and, without it, they have become secretive and dim-witted. Because they are unable to reproduce, their numbers are shrinking. It's up to Knife to bring back her people's magic, even if it means risking her own life. She soon befriends a human named Paul, something that is strictly against the rules. Paul, however, may be able to help her in her quest, but he may also harm the faery realm.
Spell Hunter was simply stunning. R.J. Anderson has created an enticing world full of magic and lore. The faery clan holds immense secrets, making it difficult to know who to trust. Each faery was completely unique, and their jobs made them even more so. Knife quickly learns that she is to become the next hunter, and Thorn is to teach her the ways of hunting. Don't you think it would be interesting to know which job you would receive? Those are the kinds of things that intrigue me - knowing what I'm best suited for and why I would be chosen for something. Anyways, seeing the process of Knife become a hunter was exhilarating and exciting, and her journey was just beginning.
Knife was a perfect main character. She had drive, a backbone (gasp!), humor, and she wouldn't take no for an answer. She fought for what she wanted, and she was willing to risk her life in doing so. Her interactions with Paul were touching and grew into something with a hint of romantic interest. I enjoyed their relationship and its progress throughout the book.
Knife's journey led to the discovery of some very interesting information that pushed the faery clan in the right direction. The process of discovery was fascinating, and I loved the lore behind Spell Hunter. The world was rich in detail, and I could imagine it easily. Living out in the country as I do, it's fun to imagine I might have my own faery population in my backyard. Spell Hunter was a wonderful take on the faery world, and I cannot wait to read the sequel.
Overall: Stunning. Incredibly exciting and descriptive. Wonderful characters.
My Advice: Buy it. It's a must read.
Cover: It's a bit too young looking, but it accurately portrays Knife and her home. I really love all of it, but I think changing the title font/layout would help to improve the overall aesthetics of the cover.
*This was read as a part of the 100+ Reading Challenge