Ottilie Colter and the Narroway Hunt (The Narroway Trilogy #1) by Rhiannon Williams
Published January 1st 2018 by Hardie Grant Egmont
In the most thrilling fantasy of the year, a young girl must pretend to be a boy to rescue her brother from a secret order of monster hunters.
Ottilie Colter and her brother, Gully, have always fended for themselves. So when Gully goes missing one night, Ottilie sets out to find him – and soon makes a horrible discovery. Gully has been forcibly recruited by the Narroway Hunt, a secretive male-only organisation that hunts savage, blight-spreading monsters called ‘dredretches’.
Disguising herself as a boy, Ottilie infiltrates the Hunt – but quickly realises that taking her brother home won’t be easy. Trapped in the heart of the dredretch-infested Narroway, it’s impossibly dangerous for them to leave. But as she trains to become a Huntsman alongside her brother, hoping for a chance to escape, how long can she keep her true identity a secret?
From Rhiannon Williams, the first ever middle-grade winner of the Ampersand Prize, comes book one in this bewitching trilogy about friendship, bravery and having the courage to do what’s right. Perfect for fans of Withering-by-Sea by Judith Rossell and A Most Magical Girl by Karen Foxlee.
This post was originally posted at Of Wonderland, and is part of a process of me resharing reviews of my favourite books and important reviews over the next few months.
Ottilie Colter and the Narroway Hunt first came onto my radar when a friend or family member of Rhiannon Williams came into my work and told me all about it. She pitched it as something that fans of the Nevermoor series would enjoy. As a huge fan of the series, I was instantly drawn into this one and picked it up a couple of days later.
I did start reading this as part of a read-a-thon a few months back. I read the first 50 pages and then put it down to read something else and then didn’t pick it up again until now. Honestly, there was nothing wrong with the book, I just wasn’t in the mood for a middle-grade fantasy at the time.
Picking it up the second time, I was completely enthralled by the world-building. I don’t think I’ve really read anything quite like this. I suppose you could make comparisons to the How to Train Your Dragon series, but I found this one more engaging. (At least in written form, I got to say I adore the HTTYD movies). Anyway, this book is filled with all sorts of creatures that are really interesting to read about. Though, I have to admit Maestro definitely takes the cake. Also, there are some spider-like creatures in here that scared the absolute hell out of me. They only really show up once between pages 141-147, if you’re like me and get freaked out by spiders.
Other than that, I really loved the characters. Ottilie is a lot of fun to read about. I especially loved the bond between her and her brother, Gully. I always love seeing siblings in books, especially when they’re as loyal and supportive to one another as these two are. Their friends, Preddy and Scoot were also amazing—I really hope we get to see them grow more in the following books. There are a lot of other great sides characters that I hope we get to see more of in the rest of the series.
All up, this was a great first book. I really do think that fans of Nevermoor would enjoy it, and even people who enjoyed other middle-grade fantasy’s like Percy Jackson. For those of you reading this review for the first time as part of this blog, this is now one of my all-time favourite series and I recommend it to literally everyone I know.