The Huntress by Kate Quinn | Review

Posted March 13, 2019 by Asheley in review / 2 Comments

The Huntress by Kate Quinn
The Huntress by Kate Quinn | ReviewThe Huntress by Kate Quinn
Published by William Morrow on February 26, 2019
Pages: 560
Source: the publisher
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One of Marie Claire’s Best Women’s Fiction of the year!

One of Bookbub’s biggest books of the year

“If you enjoyed “The Tattooist of Auschwitz,” read “The Huntress,” by Kate Quinn.” The Washington Post

From the author of the New York Times and USA Today bestselling novel, The Alice Network, comes another fascinating historical novel about a battle-haunted English journalist and a Russian female bomber pilot who join forces to track the Huntress, a Nazi war criminal gone to ground in America.

In the aftermath of war, the hunter becomes the hunted…

Bold and fearless, Nina Markova always dreamed of flying. When the Nazis attack the Soviet Union, she risks everything to join the legendary Night Witches, an all-female night bomber regiment wreaking havoc on the invading Germans. When she is stranded behind enemy lines, Nina becomes the prey of a lethal Nazi murderess known as the Huntress, and only Nina’s bravery and cunning will keep her alive.

Transformed by the horrors he witnessed from Omaha Beach to the Nuremberg Trials, British war correspondent Ian Graham has become a Nazi hunter. Yet one target eludes him: a vicious predator known as the Huntress. To find her, the fierce, disciplined investigator joins forces with the only witness to escape the Huntress alive: the brazen, cocksure Nina. But a shared secret could derail their mission unless Ian and Nina force themselves to confront it.

Growing up in post-war Boston, seventeen-year-old Jordan McBride is determined to become a photographer. When her long-widowed father unexpectedly comes homes with a new fiancée, Jordan is thrilled. But there is something disconcerting about the soft-spoken German widow. Certain that danger is lurking, Jordan begins to delve into her new stepmother’s past—only to discover that there are mysteries buried deep in her family . . . secrets that may threaten all Jordan holds dear.

In this immersive, heart-wrenching story, Kate Quinn illuminates the consequences of war on individual lives, and the price we pay to seek justice and truth.

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.


Gosh, this book is remarkable. Sometimes I feel like there are so many World War II stories out there, so lately I’ve a little bit more choosy when I pick them up. But I knew this is one that I wanted to take a chance on and after only a few chapters I was completely lost in it. The Huntress is a huge historical fiction story with plenty of suspense and mystery and some really compelling characters.

I think it totally deserves all of the talking-up and the hype.

Jordan is a young girl living on Boston with dreams of a career in photography, but her father won’t consent to it. After losing her mother years ago, her father has just remarried a German woman that has relocated to America after losing her own husband in the war. Now Jordan has a new stepmother and a sweet young stepsister, but there are several things about Anneliese that make Jordan incredibly suspicious about her history before coming to America.

Ian used to be a war journalist embedded on the front lines, but now he is a Nazi hunter with one main goal in mind: to track down the woman-The Huntress-who is responsible for the murder of his younger brother. He begins working with Nina, a former Soviet fighter pilot with incredible hunting and tracking skills herself due to being raised in a remote region of Siberia by a wild single father. Nina has her own reasons for wanting to find the huntress, and she seems even more focused on finding her than Ian.

The Huntress by Kate Quinn
The story is told in alternating POV’s by Jordan, Ian, and Nina with the search for the huntress being the main focal point. In addition, we get the story behind Nina’s military service as a Night Witch (part of the all-women Soviet Air Force, and they are completely badass) and Jordan’s experience with Anneliese as a stepmother and the conflicting feelings that arise from that relationship.
As is often the case, we aren’t exactly 100% sure how these characters will eventually end up crossing paths for most of the story and I love the way the suspense intensified as the pages turned. It feels particularly suspenseful that, as the reader, we feel fairly certain where the huntress is and we know other bits of information that the characters are seeking, but they aren’t privy to the information that we have-we just have to watch them solve the mystery for themselves. I just love it when mysteries are like this. I feel like it makes for really fantastic reading, watching the details unfold on their own. ALSO! It isn’t always easy reading stories that make me sympathize with bad people. But I always love when authors make these characters seem more human to me and make me see them from more complex angles. It makes me think more critically while I’m reading and I feel like I’m pulled into situations that I otherwise would never consider. One way this author has done that here is by giving us Jordan’s complicated point of view of Anneliese as a parent and including her little stepsister Ruth in the tale. Well done.
Throughout the reading, I went back and forth trying to decide which character/POV would ultimately be my favorite and now that I’m done, I still cannot decide. I love Nina’s character for her bravery and general attitude of independence; I love Jordan because she loves her father so much and ultimately just wants to protect his heart and keep him from being hurt; I love Ian because he is so doggone loyal to practically everyone. These characters were just great fun for me to read and I love how they interacted with one another, even if their stories were a little heartbreaking or dark at times. I felt so invested.

So yes, I think this is a super-solid addition to the collection of World War 2/post-war fiction out there. It stands out to me as a story that takes its time in the telling, particularly in the time after the war and with a few other parts of history that I had never heard of-particularly, with the Night Witches and also how the lesser-known members of the Nazi party were rounded up in the years after the war, including here in the US. The Author’s Note at the end is astoundingly interesting to this end and I would urge readers not to skip this part of the book. This is just a great, great story and I think I really, really need to go back and read The Alice Network now.


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About Kate Quinn

Kate Quinn Author Photo

Kate Quinn is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of historical fiction. A native of southern California, she attended Boston University where she earned a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Classical Voice. She has written four novels in the Empress of Rome Saga, and two books in the Italian Renaissance, before turning to the 20th century with “The Alice Network” and “The Huntress.” All have been translated into multiple languages. Kate and her husband now live in San Diego with two rescue dogs named Caesar and Calpurnia, and her interests include opera, action movies, cooking, and the Boston Red Sox.

© 2018 Laura Jucha Photography


About Asheley

Asheley is a Southern girl. She loves Carolina blue skies, Ben & Jerry's ice cream, and NC craft beer. She loves all things history but prefers books over everything.

You can find her somewhere in North Carolina, daydreaming about the ocean.

Find Asheley on Litsy @intothehallofbooks!


2 responses to “The Huntress by Kate Quinn | Review

  1. Oh this sounds right up my alley! I love World War stories and like you I find some of them can be either same as all others or just too political. This sounds like a well written and character driven story!

  2. Sara Strand

    I love that this book is exceeding all of the hype! I’m so glad you enjoyed it! Thanks for being on the tour.

    Sara @ TLC Book Tours

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