Book Review: Wild Hunt by Margaret Ronald

Eos
309 pp.

Wild HuntThe sequel to Spiral Hunt finds Evie trying to cope with the power vacuum left behind by the destruction of the Fiana. Since she was the one largely responsible for the destruction, various adepts and other more mundane individuals have been trying to get in contact with her. Meanwhile, Evie’s friend Sarah wants to organize a sort of “neighborhood watch” for the magic users of the city so that no new gangs decide to work their way into the “undercurrents” of the Boston magical scene. (A goal that is seemingly futile since generally speaking, magic users are about as easy to organize as cats. Paranoid junkie cats.)

Wild Hunt opens with Evie at the death bed of the owner of a Chinese grocery store. The owner, a Mr. Yuen is involved in Boston’s magical “undercurrent” and needs Evie’s help in making sure that his death also ends the “life” of the ghost of his grandfather, currently residing in a jar/funerary urn. Evie accomplishes the job successfully, but manages to get her foot stuck in her mouth up to her knee when talking to Mr. Yuen’s daughter Elizabeth after the fact. Not long after Evie is contacted by a mysterious and very slimy individual named Janssen who offers his services as a “muscle” and by an equally mysterious adept who wants to find out if her grandmother is guilty of having stolen a magical object.

All of these plot threads are connected to an expedition undertaken by Elizabeth Yuen’s grandfather and a group of individuals to deliver certain magical objects. There was a falling out among the members, which resulted in murders and death. Evie ends up connected to all of this by not only her undertaking the job for the adept, and her connection to Elizabeth Yuen’s father, but also by the ghost one of the members of the expedition who it turns out, was a relative of hers. (The how and why of all of this is very gradual, and you don’t realize most of the connections until right about the time Evie does.) The magical item in contention is a horn that summons the Wild Hunt (all of the Wild Hunts, or maybe it might be said, the Platonic Ideal of them).

Wild Hunt is another fast paced, complicated mystery-adventure. Ronald draws a lot of parallels between the ill-fated expedition and Evie’s attempts to solve the mysteries behind it. There are also a lot of interesting side plots that turn back and turn out to be vital bits of information for the main plot. (For instance, we learn a lot more about Nate, which is connected to the modern mystery of the missing magical object which is paralleled by what happened in the past. This happens a lot, and really creates a feeling of local history within the setting.) Evie also ends up having to do a lot of research about both the expedition and the magical item that had been a point of contention for the expedition (and ends up being stolen). I really enjoyed this book and the previous one, Spiral Hunt.

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Filed under book, fantasy, Margaret Ronald, Review: Book, urban

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