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Hunter's Oath (The Sacred Hunt, #1)
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Hunter's Oath (The Sacred Hunt #1)

3.85  ·  Rating details ·  1,279 Ratings  ·  41 Reviews
Once a year the Sacred Hunt must be called, in which the Hunter God's prey would be one of the Lords or his huntbrother. This was the Hunter's Oath, sworn to by each Lord and his huntbrother. It was the Oath taken by Gilliam of Elseth and the orphan boy Stephen--and the fulfillment of their Oath would prove the kind of destiny from which legends were made.
Mass Market Paperback, 427 pages
Published October 1st 1995 by DAW Fantasy
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Christine There are references to both, but nothing explicit. Sex is alluded to indirectly. Swearing happens but not in dialogue; more along the lines of the…moreThere are references to both, but nothing explicit. Sex is alluded to indirectly. Swearing happens but not in dialogue; more along the lines of the narrator obliquely stating things like "He used language that should not be used in the presence of ladies."
However, if you go on to read The Sun Sword series, there is sex, and rape as well.(less)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Althea Ann
Jun 09, 2010 rated it it was ok
This duology (Hunter's Oath & Hunter's Death) is one story in two books, not really two separate novels.

After reading the Greg Keyes "Kingdoms of Thorn and Bone" books, I was in the mood for some more epic fantasy; however West's books compare very badly to those.

The story starts out with a somewhat promising premise: The Hunter Lords of Breodanir are an elite class, pledged to their hunter god. However, each Lord is oathbound to a Huntbrother, picked from the peasantry, who lives as partner
Feb 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
It took a full month, but I finally finished this 800-plus page duology. I'm a fairly steady reader, but Michelle West's book series are very extensively-detailed and not light or quick reading. Having already read the Sun Sword series years ago, as well as much of The House War series, I liked the opportunity to see the earlier events in Hunter's Oath and Hunter's Death. This duology was published as two separate books originally, before the other two series, but I had missed it. All of these n ...more
Though written 15 yrs ago, I think this book is perfectly polished as any of the later works,no apologies needed. And I agree with the writer's suggestion to read the House Wars first 3 books first and then go back to Hunter duology.

These two books storylines are mostly quite different from the House Wars that the amount of retread is bearable. I am not a person who reads things more than twice, but I would consider reading this duology again. SO MANY of the things I didn't understand or seemed
Mar 11, 2013 rated it did not like it
I have mixed feelings about this book.
Many basic ideas are good, even new and original, which, in this genre, is really saying something. The writer is capable of imagining and describing settings in detail and of building proficient emotional climaxes.

Many other things I find lacking.

Breodanir is a small provincial kingdom pervaded by the cult of the Hunter God, a divinity at the same time cruel and generous, which is a clever assumption, mirrored by many existing myths.
In this kingdom women an
Mar 12, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: epic, fantasy, hunting
What I really love about Michelle West's writing is that she gets into each character's head so well. While a lot is still clothed in mystery, the switches in perspective shift this story from just another fantasy novel into something deeper and more epic. That very epic sense is what makes HUNTER'S OATH so dense. There were times that I had to pause, take a breath, and learn to savor the story itself.[return][return]Gilliam is a Hunter Lord; Stephen is his Huntbrother. Together, they must parti ...more
Jul 04, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2011, print
This was my first time starting the duology that preceeded the Sun Sword books. For some reason I always thought it looked like the story would be boring. And to be honest, it was a little hard to get into but once you knew the characters it became vastly interesting. The addition of Evayne was a little jarring at first, but eventually her story dovetailed with the story of the boys. It was nice seeing 'familiar' faces in this work and it certainly lends flavor and depth to their characters in l ...more
Mar 06, 2013 rated it really liked it
This is an easy read, but the universe is very compelling. I'm on a bit of a Sagara kick having discovered that she builds epic universes in a way that I associate with Brandon Sanderson, but is even better at creating characters that draw you in. The villians in this series are a bit on the simplistic side though, but demons usually are...
There's really nothing wrong with this book that I can specifically point to, but there is an atmosphere to it that strikes me as cheesy. West isn't writing the same old fantasy novel, but there's something that's just plain goofy about this book. It's probably just me.
Sep 02, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: epic-fantasy
I really loved this book! Michelle West (or Sagara as she writes other books under) is one of my fave authors, and I can't believe I haven't read this before. I'm reading the followup, Hunter's Death right now.
Jan 22, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: library-book
Hunter's Oath is the first book in a two-book series by Michelle West. I actually picked this book up and read it several years ago, and then I never managed to find the sequel. At some point, I sort of forgot about the book, but I would see it occasionally at the library and want to pick it up again. I am so glad I finally did. I honestly do not remember liking it this much the first time I read it, but I loved it this time around.
The Hunter Lords of Breodanir have sworn a pact with their god.
Jun 15, 2011 rated it really liked it
What I really love about Michelle West's writing is that she gets into each character's head so well. While a lot is still clothed in mystery, the switches in perspective shift this story from just another fantasy novel into something deeper and more epic. That very epic sense is what makes HUNTER'S OATH so dense. There were times that I had to pause, take a breath, and learn to savor the story itself.[return][return]Gilliam is a Hunter Lord; Stephen is his Huntbrother. Together, they must parti ...more
Tokio Myers
Feb 04, 2015 rated it really liked it

Hunter's Oath follows two boys named Stephen and Gilliam of Elseth. One from the streets (Stephen) and the other born of noble blood (Gilliam), and they are hunters. The Hunters/Huntbrothers go out once a year to go on a hunt (yeah...) were one of them inevitably dies, pleasing the god of the hunt and grants them another year of food. Sounds like hungers games, I know. When all this is going on the book follows another story about a girl named Evayne and Evayne is a seer. Meaning she's a mage, f
This was the first of Michelle Sagara's books I ever read. I got it in a box of books from a family friend who was moving. It took me years to find Hunter's Death and the Sun Sword books, but eventually I did.

My only complaint is that this is a hard way to get into the series (and when I say 'series', I mean this duology, the Sun Sword books, and the House War books). One characteristic of these books is the very slow reveal of information. Once you're hooked, and grasp what's going on, it's har
Evie Byrne
I don't think I'm going to finish this book. This series came to me as a recommendation, so I know *other* people like it. But for me, it's not working. The main premise, about the Hunt Lords and their bonded Hunt Brothers, is really interesting, but I'm halfway through and this book is just not grabbing me.

It's kinda bad to say that and give no reason, but sometimes it's hard to give a reason. Why do I like some people, and not others? There's a word I use to describe a certain books to myself
Apr 17, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: bookcase-3
I devoured this series as whole, so my review of one book has to cover my review of all the books. This is one of my favorite series (and Michelle West is one of my favorite authors). When I finished the series the first time through I was compelled to go back and re-read just the parts that featured my favorite character (Jewel). I keep this series handy, because it's one I reach for time and again when I'm in the mood for a good book. Sometimes I re-read the whole series and other times I just ...more
May 20, 2015 rated it really liked it
If you've read The House War series or the Sun Sword books, this is a prequel series - although chronologically it was released first. I think I actually enjoyed reading it more after reading the house war series, since instead of presenting mysterious characters like Evayne and Kallandras with no explanation, you're actually getting more background on them. Some parts will be repetitive if you've read the house war series first, but I just skimmed those.

One star less because I really hated Gil
Dec 29, 2014 rated it really liked it
I loved this, as I have loved all Michelle West books. Between this book and its pair, I love how MW has continued to build up the story. Granted, I started my venture into MW books with The Hidden City. It's one of those times I wish I had known of The Hunter's Oath and the Sun Sword series before I read The Hidden City. I love the books, but you really do need to read all of them to really get an understanding of this world. Each book only develops a small piece of the story, and each piece ov ...more
Jun 13, 2013 rated it really liked it
From what I managed to get through - I think I was about 100 pages from the end when I stopped - it seems like beautifully written classic fantasy, though the magic is a bit mushier than I would like.

Unfortunately, New York City library books can't stay with me in England, so this one had to go back for the moment. I'll definitely return to it, and once I'm done with the duology I think I'll have to go back to House War.
Intersting but could have been better

The world building was original and intersting and I liked the characters. Nevertheless, I had trouble getting into the book and I only read it because I have read other series set in the same universe figuring the same characters. I found that the second book in the series is more intersting, but that may be because we then see some characters I had already seen in the House War series and whom I like better.
Chris Pacheco
May 18, 2013 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: patient epic fantasy readers
Recommended to Chris by: goodreads
this book is pretty damned cool. its not boring but its not addictive, so it took me a while to read and i read at least two other books in the mean time. West, Michelle admits that her later books are written better so when im done with this story ill hit them up. I like finding a new great author that i nor anyone i know aware of.
Marci Glasgow-Haire
Nov 05, 2011 rated it really liked it
Good, but not as good as her House Wars series. It does tie in, though, and I was really pleased to discover that I already knew some of the characters. My estimation of Ms. West increased greatly with the reading of this book; it takes great skill to orchestrate different series so they run parallel, but don't give away key plot points or require foreknowledge of either series. Good stuff!
Aug 22, 2014 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 10, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, read-ebooks
I read West's House war books first (which tell the same story but from a different point of view). Because of that, Hunter's oath feels less polished to me, the writing style is a little more loose. In a way, that makes it easier to read, but to me it also feels less immersive than The hidden city, and I like that immersive quality. It is very nice to read about the familiar characters, though, and to learn a bit more about their backgrounds. Of course I knew this would be about the Hunter Lord ...more
Oct 29, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, fiction
The first half of this book was painful. I had a hard time keeping the parallel stories straight. I enjoyed and followed the story of the huntbrothers, but I have to admit that I was completely lost with the story of the time-traveling mage.

As the story went on, things came together. The story somewhat congealed and I found the plot. However, the impetus that kicked everything off, still eludes me. I'm also confused on how magic works in this world, and the system(s) of gods muddies the water, t
Jun 12, 2013 rated it liked it
I've found Michelle West's books difficult going in the past. It's not that I don't like them, I do, I just find them difficult to get througha and I stalled out around 2/3 of the way through the third book. (The Sagara books on the otherhand, I can tear through). It's the density I think - that, and I do find the voice of the characters to be similar. The personalities are very distinct, but the tone isn't.

Anyway, I found this much easier to read. I liked the concept of the Hunters & Huntbr
K. Axel
Yet another fantasy book, and I mean that quite literally. There isn't a whole lot that makes this book stand out from the others. It is also the first book in a series, a series that I haven't read, and if you like this, there are far too many books set in the same setting. I say far too many because I dont really like the setting. It has far too many characters that the author wants us to care for and it is very plot-driven, when I like character-driven stories. I want to feel something for th ...more
Jun 16, 2014 rated it it was ok
The first book of a duology, it was far too concerned with things that were to happen in the second book compared to what was supposed to be happening in this one.

There are a few good things, but the Time-Travelling-Sorceress-Who-Can’t-Do-A-Thing-About-Anything(TM) was just too annoying, and I don’t even want to start in on the demons who want to take over the world (again).

Full review can be found on my blog:
Apr 29, 2011 rated it liked it
While I enjoyed these books okay, I felt they were very juvenile-ly (a word? Probably not but you get the meaning) written. The main reason I would recommend reading this book and it's sequel is so you can then read the Sun Sword series. These two books set the stage and (somewhat) the story line for the Sun Sword series, which I HIGHLY recommend (will also write a review for the first book of that series).
Sep 27, 2009 rated it liked it
Reviewed Sacred Hunt duology at Ubiquitous Absence, and also at Speculative Book Review.
Mar 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars! At first, I could not keep up. I felt like it was two different books but when all the loose ends came together I enjoyed the story. As always, with Michelle West (Sagara), I loved the character development.
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See also:

Michelle Sagara West
Michelle Sagara

Michelle is an author, bookseller, and lover of literature based in Toronto. She writes fantasy novels as both Michelle Sagara and Michelle West (and sometimes as Michelle Sagara West). You can find her books at fine booksellers.

She lives in Toronto with her long-suffering husband and her two children, and to her regret has no dogs.

Reading is one of her
More about Michelle West

Other Books in the Series

The Sacred Hunt (2 books)
  • Hunter's Death (The Sacred Hunt, #2)

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