Official Review: The Hunter’s Gambit

Please use this sub-forum to discuss any fantasy or science fiction books or series.
Forum rules
Authors and publishers are not able to post replies in the review topics.
Post Reply
User avatar
Previous Member of the Month
Posts: 1118
Joined: 16 Aug 2014, 06:17
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 528
Reviewer Page:
Latest Review: Golden Skies by Juan Zapata

Official Review: The Hunter’s Gambit

Post by kislany »

[Following is an official review of "The Hunter’s Gambit" by Nicholas McIntire.]
Book Cover
4 out of 4 stars
Share This Review

The Hunter’s Gambit by Nicholas McIntire is the first book in The Archanium Codex epic fantasy series featuring Aleksei Drago, a young boy living with his father. His mother died when he was small, and now he works on the farm with his dad to make ends meet. When destiny calls him, Aleksei knows he has to respond, and Aleksei’s dad knows he has to let him go.

This is the story of a boy who is unaware of just how important he will become to the kingdom. Wars will be fought in his name, and destinies will be altered at his command. In a world full of magic where angels and demons are very real, Aleksei has to stop evil from destroying everything he holds dear before it’s too late.

I liked the idea of the Archanium used by the Magi to draw power from as the magic system in the story. The world-building was complex, and the mages and warriors, along with angels, demons, and magical forest creatures made the world full, vibrant, and dangerous.

However, what I most loved about the book was Aleksei’s character arc. Initially, he was just a simple boy who had no bigger dreams in life than going to the nearest town once or twice a month to meet his friends. Once he began his journey up north, his transformation into the hero he would become was swift and methodical. I liked how he embraced his newfound powers, abilities, and role to play. Others would have struggled for much longer to cope in the new world, but not Aleksei. He took charge right away and never showed doubt or fear, even when there was a price to pay for his boldness. New epic fantasy writers who want to learn about a clear character arc progression could easily improve their approach by reading this book.

The second main character, Jonas, was also a favorite, at least in the beginning; however, as Aleksei slowly grew both in strength and charisma, you could see Jonas changing too. From that powerful, commanding prince, he slowly turned into a meek domestic partner who obeyed Aleksei’s wishes and orders, and I found it strange that their roles became so reversed.

Still, for a debut author, this was a well-written novel. The writing style with the fast-paced narrative kept me hooked on the story, the dialogue was never boring, and the action was almost non-stop. While reading, I recalled just how much I adore epic fantasy. Brandon Sanderson, with his Mistborn series, is one of my favorite fantasy authors, and The Hunter’s Gambit slightly reminded me of Sanderson’s majestic work.

While I found around ten grammatical errors, I expected many more mistakes in a book of some 700 pages, so the proper editing was a pleasant surprise. The language choice was perfect for the genre, and the major events, including the battles and escapes, were well presented. Thus, I award The Hunter’s Gambit 4 out of 4 stars and recommend it to lovers of epic fantasy with interesting magic, likable characters, and evil antagonists. The romance between the main characters is clean. There is nothing heavier in the book than kisses and cuddles; however, it does involve two males as partners. I know that there are people who are not comfortable reading books featuring M/M romance, thus my additional warning. Still, the scenes are respectfully done, so I can also recommend the book to young adults who read fantasy novels.

The Hunter’s Gambit
View: on Bookshelves | on Amazon

User avatar
Posts: 209
Joined: 19 Aug 2019, 11:16
2019 Reading Goal: 50
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 30
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 206
Reviewer Page:
Latest Review: Demon Heart by David Crane

Post by spluficvictory »

Your review makes the book sound so interesting and I'm glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for sharing
“Reading is escape, and the opposite of escape; it's a way to make contact with reality after a day of making things up, and it's a way of making contact with someone else's imagination after a day that's all too real.” :techie-studyingbrown:

Posts: 387
Joined: 22 Jul 2019, 19:30
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 44
Reviewer Page:
Latest Review: "Loving Aretta" by R.W Mathis

Post by Miller56 »

Wow, I missed the boat on this book when I looked at the title. I am not sure this is a book I would enjoy but I found your review interesting. Thanks for the review.

User avatar
Posts: 334
Joined: 23 Jan 2019, 13:36
2019 Reading Goal: 20
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 125
Currently Reading: Elf Accord
Bookshelf Size: 52
Reviewer Page:
Latest Review: Illustrated Short Fiction of William H. Coles: 2000-2016 by William H. Coles

Post by Gathoni1991 »

Great review. Sounds like a book I would definitely enjoy reading.

User avatar
Daniel Muky
Posts: 182
Joined: 01 Nov 2019, 05:54
2019 Reading Goal: 24
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 8
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 36
Reviewer Page:
Latest Review: Korian by Giorgio Garofalo

Post by Daniel Muky »

Sounds interesting,and with the magic looks like something that would suite me.
Nice review

User avatar
Posts: 1803
Joined: 21 May 2019, 17:00
Favorite Book: Among Others
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 84
Reviewer Page:
Latest Review: While the Universe Dreams by R A Whitridge

Post by esp1975 »

If only I had the time for a 700-page book right now, this sounds amazing. I find it funny that as you were talking about the magic system in the book, I was actually thinking that the author was following Sanderson's advice about having to have rules for your magic system. So it made me smile when you then compared the book to Sanderson's own series.

User avatar
Posts: 554
Joined: 21 Jun 2019, 10:37
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 32
Reviewer Page:
Latest Review: Agartha by Jaylee Austin

Post by rumik »

Feels so refreshing to see more books with LGBT characters. I'd really like to try this one. Thanks for the great review!

User avatar
Sandra K Pearson
Posts: 204
Joined: 13 Jan 2019, 21:46
2019 Reading Goal: 50
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 20
Currently Reading: The Pygmy Dragon
Bookshelf Size: 30
Reviewer Page:
Latest Review: The Writer's Roadmap by Leigh Shulman

Post by Sandra K Pearson »

I really like character progression so I think I'll enjoy this one a lot. I can't wait to read it. Nice review.
"I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library."

Jorge Luis Borjes

Posts: 5359
Joined: 10 May 2017, 19:49
2019 Reading Goal: 100
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 125
2018 Reading Goal: 100
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 106
Currently Reading: Life in a Box
Bookshelf Size: 431
Reviewer Page:
Latest Review: The Son I Knew Too Late by Sally Raymond

Post by kdstrack »

This plot sounds fascinating! I love your descriptions of the two main characters. Your review makes Aleksei's adventure sound appealing. Thanks for your insights about this book. Great review!

User avatar
Posts: 68
Joined: 15 Oct 2019, 13:33
Favorite Book: It
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 89

Post by Msred325 »

I wasn’t sure about this book, until your review. I am adding this to my bookshelf. Great review, but I have a question, how are you able to give it 4 stars, if it had so many grammatical errors? Are the authors allotted x amount of errors, depending on the size of the book? I am new to the review team.

Post Reply

Return to “Sci-Fi and Fantasy Books”