Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Huntress” as Want to Read:
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview


(Ash #.5)

3.80  ·  Rating details ·  11,588 ratings  ·  1,115 reviews
Nature is out of balance in the human world. The sun hasn't shone in years, and crops are failing. Worse yet, strange and hostile creatures have begun to appear. The people's survival hangs in the balance.

To solve the crisis, the oracle stones are cast, and Kaede and Taisin, two seventeen-year-old girls, are picked to go on a dangerous and unheard-of journey to Tanlili, th
Hardcover, 371 pages
Published April 5th 2011 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Huntress, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Max It is a stand alone but it is set in the same universe as Malinda Lo's book Ash. It's marketed as a prequel but in my opinion, all they share is the s…moreIt is a stand alone but it is set in the same universe as Malinda Lo's book Ash. It's marketed as a prequel but in my opinion, all they share is the same universe.(less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.80  · 
Rating details
 ·  11,588 ratings  ·  1,115 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Huntress
Jul 18, 2011 rated it did not like it
I cannot comprehend why this book has so many high ratings. The writing was awful. There were so many point of view changes that I got dizzy. Seriously, there were POV changes mid-sentence. That is just bad writing. Also, I'm not sure why, but I felt like this book was written like it was published in the 1990's (I can't think of a better way to describe it.) It's slow, there are pages and pages of description/telling, and something about the wording just seemed off to me. And all the POV chang ...more
Jun 17, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2011, lgbtq
Whoo boy!

I gotta admit, I just finished reading this and... well, my brain's pretty much scrambled, folks. No getting around that. This novel took me for a ride in a world so full of fantastical imagery and imagination that it would take a while for me to enjoy another YA fantasy without comparing.

I loved this story. And I really, really wanted to love the book.

But the inevitable but comes to mind, so I'll just stop apologetically beating around the bush and say it - Huntress, while undoubtedl
Dec 10, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I was at the YALSA (Young Adult Library Services Association)conference in November and was NOT one of the pucky people to obtain a pre-release copy of Huntress there although I heard the author speak and lusted after on. Two weeks later I went to the NCTE(National Cozuncil of Teachers of English) and snarfed up a copy the second I saw it available. I like books that are outside th normal fare. Huntress is not only different from Ash, it is different from any other paranormal or fantasy. It is o ...more
Sue (Hollywood News Source)
I don't know if authors make my life excellent or a living hell. Probably both.

That ending.

Even though the last part dragged, I would still consider Huntress as a fast paced High fantasy book.

Lo explored the fantasy aspect of the story really well. I find myself genuinely caring about the enthralling world building.

The characterization is consistent. I love the banter and humour between the characters. The chemistry between Kaede and Taisin is real. I'm in love. I want more.

Huntress is a slow
Mar 21, 2013 rated it it was ok
I wanted to love this book. Someone recommended it to me and it sounded lovely. Romance between two girls, magic, fairies, epic quest, lyrical writing style.... what's not to love?


The POV kept headjumping, which is just about the worst thing you can do in a book. It was disconcerting and dizzying and I hated it.

Secondly, the lyrical style of prose was insufficient to carry the weight of the quest. Either we were supposed to read this as a real world adventure, in wh
Feb 11, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc-tour, fantasy
First impressions: The world here was so different from any other book I've read recently. I couldn't put it down, because I was so curious about where this story was going. The first chapter is retrospective, so we see where things might end up, but not what has happened yet, and it is achingly beautiful.

Lasting impressions: Breathtaking. Grand. This fantasy was gloriously epic while still remaining a quick read and avoiding an overly complicated plot. This one is top notch.

Conflicting impressi
Jan 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, ya, diverse
Lots of action, two heroines who are kick-butt in different ways, a star-crossed lesbian love affair, high stakes and fantastic world-building. I hope Lo will consider writing more in this world. One of the major conflicts in my Seven Realms series is the tension between politics and love. I had never considered how a lesbian character would be even more likely to be forced to make that impossible choice.
Ok, so, thoughts.

This book has a lot of flaws.

The proportions for this book are way off. The introduction of the quest is very short and we don't get much of an explanation. This will be more or less fixed later in the story (or the author tries, at least), but nevertheless... Then, most of the book tells of the journey the characters take to the fairy city Taninli. This easily takes up two-thirds or more of the book. By the time they reach the city, there is not much space left to tell the rest
Mar 31, 2012 rated it it was ok
After loving Ash so much, I really and truly wanted to like this book. And maybe the problem was that I was expecting too much based on the previous book in this setting. Where the other book gave me a known story bent into a new and fascinating shape, where I wasn't quite sure how it would end, this one gave me a very straightforward quest. Instead of a close narrative from a single person's PoV, it was head-hopping casually in the middle of scenes.

But really, what frustrated me was the damn vi
Jun 08, 2010 rated it really liked it
Huntress is a sort of prequel to Ash, but it is set a long time before it. If I remember rightly, this story is mentioned in Ash. Anyway, this story is about the journey of six people: Con, the son of the king; Taisin, a young woman who wants to be a celibate sage; Kaede, a classmate of Taisin's with no talent for the magic; and Shae, Pol and Tali, their guards. They have to see the Fairy Queen, during a period when nature has gone out of balance.

The story of the journey itself isn't really uniq
Mar 25, 2011 rated it liked it
This book made me feel a lot of feelings. And for the most part, I enjoyed it. It was pretty delightful (except the ending which broke my heart into a million pieces and I was just like, "NOOOOO MY SOUL HURTS"). The BIGGEST thing that bothered me though was the narrator voice. I couldn't understand what was going on. Third-person limited??? Third-person omniscient? Sometimes I thought the chapter was third-person limited and ALL OF A SUDDEN, someone else's viewpoint would just be thrown in! Por ...more
May 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: f-f
4.5 stars

This was one of my favorite books as a teenager and I decided to reread it as an adult. I can see why I loved this book so much, not only because it was the first lesfic fantasy novel I’ve read, but the beautiful way in which it is written.

Malinda Lo has a talent for storytelling, which sucked me in from page one. Her beautiful descriptions made me feel like I was traveling beside the heroes on their journey to save the world. I wish more lesfic writers were this talented. I’ve read so
Elle (ellexamines)
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 05, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: sff, 2-5, sapphic, ya-na
The book was a slow read so i felt a bit bored at times but never for long. The action scenes were surprisingly good. I loved the world-building and the characters but most of all i loved the romance between Taisin and Kaede. I only wish we saw more of them.

"𝐓𝐚𝐢𝐬𝐢𝐧 𝐡𝐚𝐝 𝐟𝐥𝐞𝐝 𝐭𝐨 𝐡𝐞𝐫 𝐫𝐨𝐨𝐦 𝐚𝐟𝐭𝐞𝐫𝐰𝐚𝐫𝐝 𝐭𝐨 𝐚𝐯𝐨𝐢𝐝 𝐊𝐚𝐞𝐝𝐞. 𝐁𝐮𝐭 𝐧𝐨𝐰, 𝐥𝐲𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐡𝐞𝐫𝐞 𝐢𝐧 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐝𝐚𝐫𝐤, 𝐊𝐚𝐞𝐝𝐞’𝐬 𝐟𝐚𝐜𝐞 𝐰𝐚𝐬 𝐚𝐥𝐥 𝐬𝐡𝐞 𝐜𝐨𝐮𝐥𝐝 𝐬𝐞𝐞."

It was so precious the way Taisin ran away from Kaede every chance she got to avoid falling in love with her, which of
Nov 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
3.5/5 stars.

So I enjoyed this, I've heard really good things about Malinda Lo's books so I was really looking forward to it.
However it didn't blow me away, I thought it dragged on in certain places.
I really liked the writing, it was very descriptive and I could picture the scenes very clearly in my head.
The world was fascinating, the whole fay world was really unique. And I liked that the world was inspired by Chinese culture.

I liked how there would be multiple points of view in one chapter, it
Jun 19, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: meh, lgbt, fantasy, own
Intrigued, I picked up a copy of Huntress. LGBT content and a fictionalized pseudo Asian world, what more could a girl ask for?

As it turns out, a lot.

The beginning of the book introduces the two main characters, Kaede and Tasin, two seventeen year old girls, are chosen to travel to the city of the Fairy Queen. The beginning of the book flies by to get the characters on the road, and it never seems to spend much time developing motivation or characters. We spend most of the book on the road, batt
May 04, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, read-in-2011, ya
About two thirds of the way through this book, I put it down, and it was so hard from then to get to the end. I realised I just didn't care at all about the characters. The pacing of the story is awful - the two big adventures happen in the last 70 or so pages of the book, and the first 300 are just travelling. There's ideas raised earlier on that are forgotten about, and I found the romance utterly unbelievable - they go out of their way to avoid each other and not speak to each other, and yet ...more
Dakota★Magic in Every Book
This book had so much potential; an adorable, heart-breaking romance, interesting world-building, an epic quest, strange monsters, well done characters. Sadly, the book falls short on the writing. The perspectives switch in an untidy and often unexpected fashion which can really take you out of the world and adventure, as well as some plot points were a bit weaker. Certain things seemed too easy after the build up for an epic quest and it's difficulties. Doing my best to avoid spoilers, there's ...more
May 03, 2014 rated it did not like it
Shelves: kindle
You know, on one hand, I feel guilty for not liking this. But at the same time I want to watch this book burn in hell, along with Twilight. Because that's basically what this book is -- a Asian version of Twilight featuring lesbians. Meaning a whole load of boredom, blandness, and insta love.

Review to come.
Marie the Librarian
Aug 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, feels
ARGH I LOVED THIS!!! YES TO MORE LESBIAN FANTASY NOVELS WHERE GIRLS KICK ASS AS WELL!! I just adored this book so much. It was so cute and well-written and the characters OMG. I love Kaede and Taisin and Shae. It was fast-paced but not too fast-paced. I JUST LOVE IT OK
Wendi Lee
I loved the first 70% of this book, a tale about two teenage girls who fall in love on the way to Tanlili, a Fae city. The characters are diverse and the places they travel to on their journey are full of atmosphere and mystery. They're unlikely heroines in an entourage of a Prince and his royal guards.

And then we reach the Ice Fortress and everything gets .... weird. There's overly lyrical writing, and characters don't respond the way they have before. The Fairy Queen makes absurd demands, and
Dec 29, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I loved Malinda Lo's first book Ash and was excited to about Huntress. I got this book through Book it Forward ARC tours. It was a wonderful book. The story was more complicated and expansive than Ash. It again features a romance between two women, there is also a lot of adventuring and some magic.

Kaede and Taisin are two girls in their late teens. Kaede is the daughter of a the King's Advisor and more knowledgeable in fighting and handcrafts than the magic at that the academy she attends. Taisi
Lindley Walter-smith
Two and a half stars, really, but I was just so disappointed with this book. I loved Ash, and I was expecting another spare-but-beautiful and emotional lesbian fantasy. I was excited about the Chinese mythological components, too.

Instead it felt a bit like something you'd read on Fictionpress when someone writes a better-than-average fanfic set in a Dungeon and Dragons world. A ranger, a mage, a warrior, a prince and some redshirt guards, who you don't learn much about because they are obviously
The seasons are out of whack throughout the land: clouds cover the sky, too much rain falls, crops cannot thrive, and the people are going hungry. When the King receives word from the Fairy Queen that things are not right with them, either, and she wishes to meet with his representatives at Midsummer, Taisin and Kaede, students at the Sage Academy, are selected to accompany Prince Con on the long, dangerous journey north. Each girl wonders whether she is equipped to handle the challenges -- and
Cal  (Cal's Reading Corner)
Sep 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
Read more bookish goodness on my book blog: Cal's Constant Raving Reviews

Fans of Six of Crows and A Court of Thorns and Roses will LOVE the Huntress!

I read it in my Kindle in one sitting, and I think I had a smile on my face the entire time!

Okay so some may prefer Con and Shae, BUT I AM IN LOOOVE WITH TAISIN AND KAEDE. They are the cutest lil beans ever.

And they're gay!!!

Jun 06, 2011 rated it liked it
I didn't like it as much as I liked Ash. I was enjoying the first 3/4 of the book, although I thought it was a bit much that so much of the book was about getting TO the quest, and so little about the heart of the matter itself. I think that much of my disappointment had to do with the climactic scene with the Big Bad Evil Person, whose defeat depended on too many villain cliches. Then, not only was the climax rushed, but there was a painfully awkward anticlimax that just didn't feel right. It w ...more
Oct 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: queer
Was this the best fantasy book I've ever read? No. Did the end seem rushed / resolved too neatly and quickly? Yes. Did I enjoy every minute while reading it just the same? Absolutely.

Maybe I'm a sucker for mythical realms and queer main characters whose same gender attraction isn't their only Dilemma. There's just something about universes with royalty, fae, and girls who like girls.
Feb 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
I've been meaning to read this ever since I read Ash, but alas it's been a while.

Huntress takes place in the same world as Ash, but many centuries earlier. The world is out of balance: the sun doesn't shine and crops are starting to fail. When the stones and oracles are consulted, it is decided that Taisin and Kaede will be the ones to accompany the Crown Prince to the land of Fairy at the Queen's invitation. This may be the chance the humans need to mend relations with the fey, but the trip is
May 03, 2014 rated it liked it
Hey, guys! We’re back, and with another generally engaging and rewarding reading experience, once again provided by Malinda Lo.

Thank you

A lot of what I got excited about in Ash has carried over to Huntress, which makes sense, given that Huntress is a companion novel/prequel, with the same world, same writer, etc. So once again I almost feel like I’m being spoiled with the abundance and variety of women, and the distinct lack of lady-hate and needless Alpha Bitches. Our lead characters, Taisin and Kaede,
Oct 24, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Huntress is a prequel to Malinda Lo’s debut novel, Ash, though the two books can stand independently. Huntress takes place several centuries earlier, in a time when the country’s culture was more analogous to that of feudal China.

In the past few years, a shift in the weather has resulted in famine. Then the Fairy Queen, who has long been out of contact with humans, issues a surprising invitation to her city, Taninli. The King and the sages are sure the timing is no coincidence, and put together
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
We Read Stuff: September 2019 GLBTQI+ - Huntress 2 8 Sep 29, 2019 06:56PM  
Do you think Malinda Lo should make a 3rd fantasy book? 1 6 Dec 22, 2017 10:12PM  
addicted to books : books 5 6 Aug 08, 2015 04:59PM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Of Fire and Stars (Of Fire and Stars, #1)
  • Annie on My Mind
  • Keeping You a Secret
  • Empress of the World (Battle Hall Davies, #1)
  • Everything Leads to You
  • Breaking Legacies
  • Of Ice and Shadows (Of Fire and Stars, #2)
  • The Miseducation of Cameron Post
  • If I Was Your Girl
  • Two Boys Kissing
  • We Are Okay
  • Santa Olivia (Santa Olivia, #1)
  • The Gravity Between Us
  • Tipping the Velvet
  • The Dark Wife
  • Crier's War (Crier's War, #1)
  • Tell Me Again How a Crush Should Feel
  • The Abyss Surrounds Us (The Abyss Surrounds Us, #1)
See similar books…
Hi Goodreads! I've only created this profile to claim my name here, and I don't check messages here or add friends. I invite you to follow me on Twitter, Instagram, or visit my website at

BIO: Malinda Lo is the critically acclaimed author of several young adult novels, including Last Night at the Telegraph Club (Jan. 19, 2021). Her novel A Line in the Dark was a Kirkus Best YA Book o

Other books in the series

Ash (2 books)
  • Ash

Related Articles

  Ellen Oh is an award-winning author of middle grade and young adult novels such as Spirit Hunters, The Dragon Egg Princess, and A Thousand...
75 likes · 9 comments
No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »
“making a decision isn't about knowing every potential consequence. It's about knowing what you want and chasing a path that takes you in that direction” 63 likes
“All you can do is make your decisions based on what you know now.” 54 likes
More quotes…