Hi everyone, I hope you’re all well and that you’re finding ways to cope during this crisis.
My family have been posting rainbows to their windows, while others have been getting even more creative.
However, I’m not here today to focus on the pandemic, but on a new book that really touched my heart: Veneration of the Hunter, by Ren Behan.
A seventeen year old hunter has gone into the woods to make his first kill. It is tradition among his people, serving to ‘sever the metaphorical tie’ between the hunters and their mother’s. If the hunter should succeed in his task, then he will be considered a man. However, this would-be hunter’s right of passage doesn’t get off to a good start and he soon finds himself torn- is he to be the predator, or the prey?
Our hunter to be, Sysklar is cautious in nature, feeling imperfect compared to the rest of his tribe.
He is a dreamer, his eyes always on the sky, but this is perceived as a weakness by others.
Sysklar wonders if he will ever make his first kill, or be doomed to remain a child in his tribe’s eyes, forever.
At the start of the story, he is ruled by fear, but as he experiences many different ‘happenings’
(visions of sorts), he slowly develops the courage he needs to obtain his goal.
Likes and Dislikes
The writing style is poetic, a quality that always brings a smile to my face, and I loved how reverence and respect for all natural living things is shown. I feel very in touch with nature, so being encouraged to think more deeply about nature and our origins in general was great.
Sysklar is a deeply reflective character and introspects a lot, which I could personally relate to. I also often feel like a dreamer, not always paying attention to what is going on around me, but wondering about the various intricacies of life and getting stuck in my own thoughts and ideas. In this way, Sysklar’s journey felt more relatable than most I’ve read about.
This short-ish, easy read had a magical, restorative quality that made me feel more human. The eerie atmosphere of the forest setting translated well from the page to my mind, enveloping me in its at times chaotic and yet simultaneously peaceful embrace.
It was thankfully easy to choose a memorable quote for this particular tale.
‘The only thing that ever stopped you was you.’
I feel this to be a rather important message in a time where many of us are afraid to leave our comfort zones, myself included: afraid to be our true selves, of being judged, of not being good enough- the list goes on.
If we can get past our own fears, then think of what we could achieve in the long run.
Overall, I found Veneration of the Hunter to be a thrilling and transformative read that stresses the nature of being human and conquering your fears.
My rating: 5 stars.
Recommended: to lovers of short fantasy pieces that explore our nature as human beings
and how our fears can prevent us from achieving our goals.
Thank you for joining me for today’s review.
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I hope you’re all able to keep safe during this difficult time.
Speak to you again soon,