The Hunters | David Wragg
Gosh, it has been a busy week. Here I am with another book to talk about. This time it's Thel Hunters by David Wragg, the first in his series Tales of the Plains, published by Harper Voyager on 20 July 2023.
She’s on the run. They’re out to kill.
But what happens when you catch a hunter?
Ree is a woman with a violent past – a past she thought she’d left behind. After years of wandering, she and her niece Javani have finally built a small life for themselves at the edge of the known world.
But sometimes the past refuses to stay there, and Ree’s is about to catch up with her. This time, there will be blood.
For the land is in turmoil and professional killers have arrived in their town looking for an older woman and child, setting off a desperate chase through deserts, mountains, and mines. Ree will have to discover her former self if she is to keep them both alive.
The Hunters is my first introduction to David Wragg's writing. I have had his other books for such a long while, but haven't had the chance to read them as of yet. So when I saw this new start to his Tales of the Plains, which is billed as being accessible to newcomers without having to read the previous books, I thought this is a perfect place to start. Apparently, this is set in the same world as The Black Hawks and The Righteous, and whilst there are plenty of Easter eggs for returning readers, it is supposed to be good for those of us who haven't read the previous ones.
The story centres around Ree and her young ward, Javani who in a bid to escape an unknown past have become horse farmers in the back end of nowhere. When the guild encroach on Ree, in the form of acting guild master Kurush, Ree learns that her past is about to catch up with her.
This sets off a series of events which involves the appearance of various factions from distant lands hunting Javani in the belief that she is the illegitimate child of the crown prince of some far off land. Enter stage left the bad guys, Prince Lazant and assassinating side kick Khalida
However, along the way, Ree and Javani pick up some unlikely allies in the form Anashe and Aki, a forever quarreling brother and sister duo. Not only that, they pick up a terminator called The White Spear who represents the opposing faction of Prince Lazant.
Full of high octane action and plenty of humour, David Wragg's chase novel is quite enjoyable. There are standout characters such as Anashe and Aki who provide both emotional and comedic clout to the book.
However, I must say that this book is one of those books where my expectations may have spoilt what the book has to offer. David Wragg is one of those writers that is regarded with such high esteem that I went into the book with quite high anticipation, and don't get me wrong the book is good, but I think I was expecting bite yer face off kinda good, and unfortunately, it just didn't.
I think one of the problems that I found was that I just didn't find myself caring enough about the main characters.I found Ree's emotional detachment a little off putting, and Javani, I just found a little annoying. In addition to that I found the constant chase premise a little exhausting if I'm honest.
However, on the whole, this was an enjoyable read that kept me interested and turning pages.