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March 3, 2014

Love It: Huntsman's Prey by Marie Hall + Interview & Giveaway

Series: Kingdom 7
Format: Digital ARC
Release Date: February 10, 2014
Publisher: Smashwords
Source: Author
Recommended By: Lily Element
Genre: Romance | Fantasy
Rumors abound in Wonderland, of a dark princess named Chrysalis who bears the Moon's curse. Her beauty is beyond compare, and her madness... even greater than her father's, The Hatter. Death follows wherever she roams, and Danika--fairy godmother of all villains--knows this task is too great for her to handle on her own. She has no choice but to seek out the one they call Huntsman, his mission is simple: Find the creature, and destroy it.

But nothing is ever so simple in Kingdom. The moment the hunter Aeric steps foot in the mad, twisted realm he's enveloped in a reality that is neither wholly true nor fantasy. The key, the Cheshire explains, to ending the madness is for one to become mad themselves. The Huntsman has one chance to figure out the riddle before the beauty destroys them all...



Danika isn't done whispering wondrous tales in Marie Hall's ears because HUNTSMAN'S PREY is a great and fanciful read. If you've read Her Mad Hatter and liked it, then you'll like this latest Kingdom installment. Not only because HUNTSMAN'S PREY is a full length novel (the previous books were novellas) but it also features Chrysalis, Alice and Mad Hatter's daughter.

Like the previous Kingdom novels, HUNTSMAN'S PREY is told in the hero's POV. Aeric is one of those reluctant heroes, he agreed to the mission because Danika made his bounty so attractive. Once there, Aeric is all business and brawn until a cat shifter/forest guardian, Lissa, turned up and became Aeric's guide. Lissa is a complication but since she knows the area better than Aeric, she's a valuable asset and both are in a time crunch because Chrysalis is leaving a trail of death in her wake and slowly losing herself to her curse.

Chrysalis pretty much stayed in the shadows with her madness well established. At one point, I even compare her to Smeagol (LOTR) when she was talking to herself at the reflection pool. However, I didn't really feel much for our heroine aside from sympathy and that throbbing fear that Aeric might not be able to save her in time. Aeric on the other hand wowed me. Since HUNTSMAN'S PREY is told in his POV, we really get to know him. Aeric's character is similar to the Huntsman archetype, on top of that, he's what you can consider a tortured hero because of an unfortunate event involving a woman from his past. That relationship brought a curse down Aeric which left him jaded and non-receptive in love. At the same time, I love the mish-mash of fairy tale MHall used to make up his character. The monkey wrench is Lissa. For the most part, I kept thinking if MHall is veering off the expected H/h HEA because of Lissa but then she pulled this surprise in the end that is simply ingenious! I'm still thinking of the resolution long-term, it's unconventional but since it's in the Kingdom world, "normal" doesn't really exists.

The world building is Wonderland-based with MHall's fanciful additions. There's no insta-love unlike in the previous novellas because the build-up is good. And as I've hinted, there's a love triangle but it was executed in such an interesting way. You actually won't see it play out until the end, leaving a LOT to the imagination. It'll make sense once you've read HUNTSMAN'S PREY. My only critic is I wish there was more to Chrysalis than her madness. I wanted to empathize with her plight but all I felt was sympathy for our heroine. The revelation also felt a little rushed for me, all the info regarding the conflict coupled with the backstory was poured in one blow my head was reeling with info, I have to reread the confrontation part slowly.

The resolution is very... interesting. I'll give it away if I saw more. So I'll just leave you with: read HUNTSMAN'S PREY if you love fairy tale retelling. It's sexy, suspenseful, mind boggling and every bit a fairy tale except that it's tailored for adults instead of a bedtime story for kids.




Danika, in human form, paced the length of the Hatter and Alice’s quiet cabin. The two were in the back bedroom, discussing (none too quietly) what to do about their daughter.

Sighing, Danika flitted almost absentmindedly toward the delicious aroma of yeasty baked bread filtering from out of the kitchen. Her stomach growled, Alice’s food was ambrosia and had become her kryptonite.

She’d had no idea what that word meant first time Gerard’s Betty had uttered it, but the adorably geeky nerd had, with great patience, explained the mythos of a man called Superman, who Danika had to admit sounded deliciously scrumptious. Next time she met with Jericho she’d have to ask him to try on a pair of tights, apparently it was the epitome of male masculinity to wear them. At least so far as Betty was concerned, though Danika had a hard time picturing it.

Alice’s crying finally stopped.

Sniffing, Danika wiped her nose and the corners of her eyes. She hated to hear the lass cry, seemed like that was all she did anymore. Ever since Chrysalis ran away Alice had turned into a quiet, sullen woman. The vivacious beauty rarely left her home and Hatter was clearly at the end of his rope. Alice, and now Chrysalis, were the only things holding that poor man’s sanity together.

Without their strength he’d quickly devolve back into a quarter sane male bordering on permanent lunacy. Danika hadn’t wanted to come and share the news of the bloody massacre she’d come across in the woods, but she’d had no choice.

The three of them had to game plan a way to stop this soon before the fairy council took steps to end Chrysa themselves. And whatever method they devised to do it, would be ten times worse than what she hoped to concoct.

The Blue’s hatred of Danika and her boys had grown to legendary proportions, she knew Galeta was just chomping at the bits to dig the dagger in deeper. Hurting Danika through Hatter’s child would definitely do it.

Danika hadn’t shared with the couple her fears of the council yet, mainly because each time she did she felt like more of the villain than Galeta. Watching the pain filtering through Alice’s eyes, the love of a mother for her daughter, it was akin to a physical blow for Danika. Through the years Danika had grown to love the bad five and their mates as if they were her own. Ever since becoming a godmother she’d only ever developed this type of intense bond rarely.

So when they hurt, she hurt.

She’d had every intention of telling Alice and Hatter that the only way to ensure Wonderland’s safety was to put down their daughter. But the moment she’d stepped foot into their home, she knew there had to be another way. Jericho always told her to believe in him, to have more faith in her ability as a godmother, to believe in herself too.

So that’s what she’d do. She’d figure this out, the cat told her to be mad. Well, how did one do that?

By going to the source of course. Together, they must be able to come up with something.






Hello all my name is Marie Hall and I've been asked to interview one of my leading men, asking them to help highlight why you, dear reader, should chance a read of Huntsman's Prey and as I scrolled through my veritable network of deliciously hot males I realized there was only one I could ask. Of course once I did I also realized it was a terrible mistake, but them's the breaks I suppose when you interview the Mad Hatter. So… you've been warned.


Marie: Good morning, Hatter! I'm here today to ask you why you think readers should read Huntsman's Prey. *big smile*

Hatter: I don't think they should. 


Marie: *sputters* Hatter, come on now. I took time writing that story, just as I did with yours and Alice, I wrote it with love and care and thought, staying true to Wonderland's wild madness and--

Hatter: Yes, and you wrote smut about my own daughter having sex with Huntsman. I should hate you for that, Marie. My poor little girl.

Marie: Hatter. *I roll my eyes* Honestly, she's not a little girl anymore and I told her story as it needed to be told. You can hardly fault me for that.

Hatter: *Plops a sugar cube into his tea and eyes me sternly* You also, might I add made her seem absolutely insane. Let's not even mention that horrid scene at caterpillar's bar where she was… *he shudders*

Marie: Hatter, please, you're definitely not helping the cause here. That's a brilliant story. And yes, she's mad, but then…*it's on the tip of my tongue to tell him he too is mad, but at the steely eyed glare in his cold eyes I think perhaps that's not the wisest choice of words* …it is Wonderland. *I clear my throat, proud that I didn't stumble across that too much*

Hatter: Though I will admit to feeling a slight fondness toward Siria burn in the fire of her own making. 

Marie: *His gleeful, wicked smile makes me feel slightly breathless and I wonder how Alice can handle this mercurial and shifting, sexy as sin man on a day to day basis. With his top hat on and his suit full of pocket watches he's both mad and delicious. I gulp* And…and what about Cheshire, he was brilliant wasn't he? Walrus? And the Owl-eyed man, and seriously Pillar was insanely cool, right? *when he doesn't answer I blink* RIGHT?!

Hatter: *sighing he takes a sip of his tea* What no cupcakes today, Marie? To say I'm terribly disappointed in this tea would be a horrendous understatement…

Marie: Hatter, say something nice about the Huntsman's Prey, please, my livelihood depends on, if not a ringing endorsement, at least a good one *I try to keep the exasperation from my words, but I fail miserably*

Hatter: *scoffing* Something nice about the Huntsman? Yes, how about the fact that his long hair and repugnant smolder makes me want to punch him in the face? Or should I be happy that the smug bastard is bedding my daughter to this day? *he snapped*

Marie: Okay, well…I give up! *I flail my hands in the air* Sorry folks, I'm pretty sure this is about as good as it gets. But since Hatter refuses to give me his endorsement I'll at least tell you that if you're a fan of Wonderland, and love Cheshire, the Caterpillar, and all manner of madness (not to mention catching up with some of your favorite Kingdom characters) then you MUST take a chance on a new twist to a very old tale!

 
Marie loves books that make you think, or feel something. Preferably both. And while she’s a total girly girl and loves glitter and rainbows, she’s just as happy when she’s writing about the dark underbelly of society. Well, if things like zombies, and vampires, and werewolves, and mermaids existed. (Although she has it on good authority that mermaids do in fact exist, because the internet told her so.)

She’s married to the love of her life, a sexy beast of a caveman who likes to refer to himself as Big Hunk. She has two awesome kids, lives in Hawaii, loves cooking and occasionally has been known to crochet.

Join the club!



46 comments:

  1. Yay! Glad you loved it! I still need to catch up on one or two of the others in the series before I get to this one :)

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    1. Girl, you didn't have to. I'm surprised you didn't sign up for the tour!

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  2. This book sounds like fun. I have a question, can I read it as a stand alone or do I need to read previous books first?

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    1. You can but for this one I suggest you read Her Mad Hatter and Moon's Flower. It's loosely related not the story but the characters.

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  3. This certainly looks like a different Wonderland retelling. Thank you for introducing it to me and for the great giveaway!

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  4. I love love this series. Loved the interview with Hatter. Enjoyed your review!

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    1. Thank you for stopping by and I'm happy you liked the post

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  5. I have read Crimson Night and really enjoyed it. I would love to start this series. Thank you for sharing it with us and congratulations to Marie Hall on this new release :)

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    1. I have yet to read that one too! I hope you win :)

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  6. I loved Hatter and have been slowly picking up books in the series. #5 is free today. I am excited that this is full-length. I am hoping to read book two this month.

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    1. Yeah that one is good too! I want to read Moon Flower next.

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  7. Oh she was the one who had Mad hatter! I am so bad with names

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    1. Who? This book is about Hatter's daughter, it's really good.

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  8. I have #1 and #5 in the series but haven't read it yet. I do love fairytale retellings, or in this case fairytale twist stories and the villian as the heroes a really genius idea!

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    1. Yup, the concept for the MC's is really good right?!

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  9. Wait ... this series already has SEVEN books? I recently got the first book, but thought there was only like 2-3 right now. Crap, I better get on the ball. And these types of interviews are my favorite!

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    1. The first 6 are novella lenghts, this is the first full length novel and you can get away reading the other's as stand alone or read it out of order... like me LOL

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  10. what fun! loved the interview and I have to get to reading this series. Maybe I'll make it my series read for March

    thanks Braine!

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    1. It's going to be quick, you can even knock down two books in a day coz the first 6 are really short quick reads

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  11. Thank you for the giveaway! This book looks amazing :)

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  12. The world building and fanciful additions make this sound good.

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    1. Yup, I love MHall's creativity and imagination

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  13. Thank you! Another new-to-me series I need to check out. 7 book is not too bad, I'm always afraid to jump on series with 12+ books already published.
    Great job with the interview :)

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    1. Oh don't be intimidated by the number of books, the first 6 are short novellas so it'll be easy for you to catch up

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  14. Thanks for the great review! I'm definitely going to have to add this series to my wishlist as it sounds fantastic!

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    1. It is a great series, I hope you get to try the first one at least, soon!

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  15. Enjoyable review, Braine! So hard not to share all thoughts especially when they are about utter surprises that wow us. I can't wait to read this one.

    Loved the character interview! Hatter...yeah, he's still something.

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    1. I was floored when I got the interview! MHall did an amazing job interviewing Hatter

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  16. Oh man, this is a series I HAVE to read, Braine! I'm happy you loved it. Oh, and thanks for sharing that interview. :)

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  17. Oh I love the series! I need to get myself caught up soon.

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  18. have not read this one yet shamefully but it sounds like so much fun! tortured hero's yes please! I also love that it's told from his POV

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    1. Book 1 of the series is FREE! Grab it!

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  19. I love the twist on these stories. Great excerpt. Thanks for the giveaway.

    mythic021@gmail.com

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    1. You're welcome, Good luck on the giveaway!

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  20. The unique resolution, the love triangle and the build up for the romance sounds great.

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  21. I've read Her Mad Hatter and really liked it, but I still haven't gotten around to reading the others. Looks like I need to play catch-up :)

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    1. Yup, catch up! The first few are novella length so that would be easy to finish.

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  22. *sighs* Thanks for 'making' me add a whole new series to my TBR, Braine. It sounds like a lot of fun and hotness, and you know I can't resist :)

    I hope you're having a great weekend, and that the domain-name change is getting sorted out :)

    Lexxie @ (un)Conventional Bookviews

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  23. the book sounds really good thanks so much for the giveaway i have been wanting to read this for a while denise smith

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