Last, but certainly not least. Horns of the Hunter is my final SPFBO read for 2022 and it’s a good one. Deeply rooted in Celtic mythology, this is a dark and gritty tale of revenge and the lengths some will go to for love. For the record, it’s not a romance.
Naith is a warrior, renowned for his efforts against the Fomhoire, but has been ostracised for challenging those under the king's protection. Luw is a hunter, one who takes care of the forest. When he discovers that both he and Naith love the same woman, he decides to get rid of the competition. The problem is that he is not in the same league as Naith as a warrior, and both make questionable choices to come out on top.
This is the crux of the book, but it’s bloody and action-packed. It’s hard to refer to either as the “hero,” as their choices are hard to justify and their motivation is purely selfish. Of course, while this rules it out of the banner of epic fantasy, we feel some sympathy for these lovestruck fools who will do almost anything to win their “prize.” This woman, Sile, is quite the enigma. Is she the free woman she claims to be with no ties to any man, or does she have an ulterior motive?
This book is well written, entertaining, and keeps you guessing to how things will go until the very end, and even then you may be surprised. This may be last review, but it was not the last one I read. I saved it for last as it was my choice to move on the next stage of the contest. I can assure you though, while it was my favourite, it was a really close decision. Maybe sometime I’ll release the pecking order. Or maybe not.