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Hunter and Fox (Shifted World)
by Philippa Ballantine

In a world that is in constant shifting, where mountains can change to plainsand then to lakes, Talyn is the Hunter for the Caisah, and a wreck of a once-proud person. She has lost her people, the Vaerli, and her soul working for the man who destroyed her people. All unknowing, she carries within her a Kindred, a chaos creature from the center of the earth that wants to help bring the Vaerli back to power. However, she has lost the ability to communicate with it.

Maybe it’s the Anthropologist in me, but I couldn’t get enough of the peoples and cultures of Conhaero and the mystery of the White Void from which they came. As I read Hunter and Fox I found myself scrutinizing the details and always yearning for more. Imagine an outdoor market filled with cultures from around the world. The scents, sounds and colors would be intoxicating. Hunter and Fox is all that and more. Philippa Ballantine is easily a master world builder but it’s the richness of her characters too that held my gaze, pulled on my emotions and kept me up all night.

I enjoy reading Fantasy, but it’s not always my first choice. Too often I feel like I’m reading the same books, only with different titles. Not so here. When I give a Fantasy novel 5 stars–as I did Hunter and Fox–then you know it’s a cut above the rest. I immediately identified with the character Talyn the Dark. She’s strong and ruthless, and does the Caisah’s bidding. She’s not a heroine. Or is she? Everything is open to interpretation and you soon learn there is more to Talyn’s story, and everyone else’s too. She’s not alone in her struggle. There are many things hidden in Conhaero and they all begin to take shape at once. If I say anymore I’ll start spilling spoilers!

Hunter and Fox is only the first book in the Shifted World series, so don’t expect everything to be resolved at the end. It’s like an episode of Game of Thrones,  you’ll be gasping at the end and wondering how the book could end there! The second novel in this series is titled, Born and Made; no release date yet. Stay up-to-date with Phillippa Ballantine on her website: http://www.pjballantine.com.

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