Huntsmen is a vivid novel, with strong and winning characters who stick with you and am entertaining werewolf-pack-politics plot. It’s worth reading for those aspects alone, but becomes dazzling when combined with a love for and lived understanding of queer community.
From the first, I was caught up in the characters’ world. The local queer community read true to this queer girl, reflected my own experience and interplayed wonderfully with the pack aspects of werewolf fiction. The intimate detail of bars and housewares and haircuts as well as those of werewolf shifts and skills were fun and revealing and kept me right there with them.
Osgood’s characters are wonderful. I loved tiny alpha Kiara like fire – her self-control and simmering anger, her loyalty and confidence were vital to the story. I was there with her as she snapped at those around her, needing to control the people she loved so ferociously, and as she kept herself in check, knowing her own strength. Ryn’s loner wariness and easy kindness were a fascinating foil to Kiara’s focus on the pack.
The surrounding family was full of real depth and love. I particularly enjoyed every instance of Deanna (the adorable main character of the first book in the series) along with Kiara’s relationship with her unwavering brother, Cole.
This book is a sequel to The Better to Kiss You With, which is a delightful werewolf romp with these truly amusing and charming characters. Though I don’t think reading the first book is essential to an understanding of this novel, I don’t know why you wouldn’t 🙂 Huntsmen has a more fiercely political plot than book one, with the added intrigue and fun of that.
The story is current and combines with a convincing characterisation of wolves and humans and the author’s own knowledge and experience of community to make an oddly realistic and grounded urban fantasy.
I highly, highly recommend Huntsmen. Open it for the queer feminist werewolf fun and keep reading for divine grouch, Kiara, and the array of wonderful interconnected characters.