The Hunter's Rede

Chronicles of Ealiron Book One

Fiction - Fantasy - Epic
323 Pages
Reviewed on 04/14/2019
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

F.T. McKinstry grew up studying music and reading books. An old-school fantasy geek, she acquired a deep love for fantasy, science fiction and the esoteric, of which she was an avid reader. With a background in computer electronics and software development, she wrote and illustrated technical documentation for many years, during which time she created fantasy worlds. She is inspired by plant and animal lore, Northern European legend and mythology, fairy tales, mythical creatures, heavy metal, medieval warfare and shamanism.

F.T. McKinstry is the author of the fantasy series The Fylking and The Chronicles of Ealiron. Her short stories appear in Wizards, Woods and Gods and various fantasy/scifi magazines. Aside from books, she enjoys oil painting, gardening, hanging out with her cats and fishes, and being in the woods.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Ruffina Oserio for Readers' Favorite

A spellbinding opening to the Chronicles of Ealiron series, The Hunter's Rede by F.T. McKinstry is stellar in the epic fantasy genre, a novel with strong conflict and a protagonist that is multidimensional — and the other characters are multifaceted as well. It tells of the journey of Lorth of Ostarin who returns home after a long absence to discover that an up-and-coming warlord has compromised his world and brought it to the brink of war. Trained in magic, he is also a ruthless assassin. He attempts to stop a bloody confrontation but ends up pitting himself against the warlords and powers of the realm. With a price on his head, Lorth is out to prove his innocence, but the adventure is far more dangerous than anything he has confronted in the past.

This is a story with a surprising twist, cleverly plotted and filled with action. I loved the protagonist, a man who seems content with his solitude, a man who carries darkness in his soul, but falling in love with a priestess brings out the human aspect of his personality. F.T. McKinstry is a great storyteller with the skill to grab and keep the attention of the reader. While the plot is gripping with surprises stacked along the way, it was the skillful handling of character that caught my full attention. I am always looking for characters that are intriguing and that constantly reveal new dimensions and this author gave me one in Lorth. The novel has a beautiful setting; a world that is magical where the very nature of coexistence breeds conflict. You won't notice the passage of time as you read this gripping fantasy.

K.C. Finn

The Hunter’s Rede is a work of traditional fantasy fiction written for adults by author F. T. McKinstry. Forming the first book in the Chronicles of Ealiron series, the story focuses on our hero Lorth of Ostarin, a powerful assassin who has risen to the highest ranks of his profession, thanks to his proficiency in magic and his lawless loner attitude. But when Lorth finds a warlord on his doorstep when he returns home, his gung-ho attitude to serving violence leads him to the path of his own execution. Those who serve the old ways of magic would see him die, but Lorth has other ideas about survival and his true nature as a hunter of men.

Fans of traditional fantasy and modern gritty action novels will find a superb balance of the two in the work of author F. T. McKinstry. I sometimes felt like I was reading Andy McNab in a pseudo-medieval world because the intensity of emotions from our anti-heroic central figure was really poignant and strong, yet there was a lot of traditional fantasy, war, and wizardry going on as well. This makes for a unique reading experience that really brings you close to Lorth despite his many flaws, engaging you on every page and spinning a fascinating plot that winds and weaves to a satisfying conclusion, for now at least. Overall, The Hunter’s Rede is a grisly, action-packed extravaganza of fantasy, war, and magic not to be missed, and a superb start to an exciting new series.

Romuald Dzemo

The Hunter's Rede is the first book in the epic fantasy series Chronicles of Ealiron by F.T. McKinstry and an enthralling read. Lorth of Ostarin is an assassin, the most highly paid hunter of humans. He is ruthless. He gets himself entangled with a young warlord who has invaded his realm in his absence. He quickly becomes an enemy of the authorities for his reckless use of magic — a hunter becoming the hunted. Captured by a powerful wizard who pays allegiance to the old order, Lorth struggles to prove his innocence and loyalty. Follow his journey as he takes deadly risks, falls for a priestess, and has to make the ultimate choice for his destiny.

The Hunter's Rede is a tale of magic and fantasy that explores the darkness in the soul of the protagonist. The writing is terrific and I loved how the author paints images of the characters against the backdrop of the settings. Right off the bat, we encounter the protagonist: "An assassin gazed upon the captain's tent with the patience of a praying mantis. Unseen and unknown to all but the few who paid him, his tall, lean body draped between the weeping trees..." The setting is vividly painted in the reader’s mind and it is easy to follow the characters through time and space.

The narrative begins in the midst of action and the action hardly slows down. The protagonist is a sophisticated character, inhabited by darkness, and moved by the strong desire for revenge. I wanted to see what becomes of him. While he comes across as a ruthless man, he has humanity, a heart capable of love. He also gets broken. It is interesting to see what becomes of him when cornered. F.T. McKinstry was able to grab my attention right from the opening line and kept me reading until the explosive denouement.

F.T. McKinstry

This is without a doubt one of the best books I’ve ever read and I read a lot of books. Get the book and read it! You won’t regret it.” – Customer Review on Amazon

“Highly recommended - this is a masterpiece.” – Customer Review on Amazon

“I was especially impressed with the magic system Ms. McKinstry developed. It had a certain subtlety and authenticity that I’ve seen lacking in other fantasy novels. F.T. McKinstry weaves together an engaging tale of suspense, magic and romance that’s well worth seeking out.” – David Lee Summers, Editor of Tales of the Talisman

“One of those old-school pulp fantasy tales that hits all the right notes. F.T. McKinstry has built an interesting world here, with a fascinating system of magic, and put an interesting protagonist at the forefront. Lorth is a great character, reminiscent of such pulp heroes as Conan, Elric, and Fafhrd.” – Bob Milne, Beauty in Ruins.

“Clear. Solid. Powerfully interesting. The action was well-placed, the story well-paced… The use of symbolism was also inspired and the secrets doled out just right.” – Jason P. Crawford, Author Alliance

“The Hunter’s Rede is a thriller set in a magical realm, where wizards and hunters lay traps for one another, and where the word of either a god or a mortal can mean the difference between life and death.” – Alex Willging, Mr. Rhapsodist

“This is a well written tale and highly enjoyable. I look forward to reading more by this author.” – Customer Review on Amazon

“The author has a great ability to tap into modes of magical or shamanistic thinking and make them come concretely alive.” – Michael D. Smith, author of the Jack Commer Series

“The very beginning of the story grabbed me right away… I enjoyed this author’s dialogue as it flowed well and didn’t slow the story down. F.T. McKinstry is a talented writer who writes in a very poetic style. Her descriptions were beautiful, interesting, and unique all at the same time.” – Fantasy Book Review

“Highly recommended. Not at all run of the mill or formulaic. A rich and interesting story line with well-developed characters.” – Customer Review on Amazon

“F.T. McKinstry creates a wonderful story with a great plot, heavy political intrigue, plenty of blade action, and even a bit of love. This author is a serious fantasy writer whose work deserves to be followed closely.” – Customer Review on Amazon

“Lorth is an interesting character. I was given lots of glimpses inside his head, which allowed me to see just what was going on. He sticks to his own code, and he never seems to waver. His responses to certain events are believable and stay true to his character without becoming predictable.” – Erica Lane, Fantasy Book Lane

“This is really an engaging story. The words truly come alive under the skillful hand of Ms. McKinstry. It is a very vivid read with some incredible imagery… All of the characters were really well done and believable.” – Maggie Thom at The Masquerade Crew

“I thought after two pages I’d put it down but I couldn’t. It kept me going until the last page.” – Customer Review on Amazon

“McKinstry’s writing is detailed and articulate; never once does this novel halt or become stagnant and never once does it drag along. If you adore fantasy tales that feature assassins and an incredible, visually stunning world that explores political themes as well as love then you will adore this book!” – redheadedbooklover