EWein Special Ops: Reading The Lion Hunters Post CNV

Brandy blogs about fantasy and realistic novels (both middle grade and young adult) at Random Musings of a Bibliophile. She read and loved Elizabeth Wein’s Lion Hunters novels this year and in this guest post, she gives her perspective on what it was like to read these Arthurian books after she’s read Code Name Verity.

Give it up for Brandy!

Random Musings of a Bibliophile2


Being a member of Sounis (fan central for Megan Whalen Turner’s books) I had Elizabeth Wein’s Lion Hunter series recommended to me several times. And I tried. I tried so many times. I have to be honest though, I am not and never have been a huge fan of the Arthurian legend. There is too much that creeps me out. This was a huge obstacle for me when it came to reading The Winter Prince. I tried so many times, and each time I went a little further, but I always ended up not finishing.

Not because it is badly written. Oh no. Yes, this was Wein’s (actual) debut novel, but Ms. Wein is an amazingly talented writer and her debut novel has more craft and skill in it than most people’s fourth or fifth. No, I couldn’t finish it because she is just too good at what she does, making you feel and know everything her characters do. As a result, Code Name Verity was the first of Wein’s novels I truly experienced. After that I could not imagine not going back and reading everything else of hers I could. I didn’t even care that I had to work to locate copies that were no longer in print. I did it happily.

And I still wasn’t able to finish The Winter Prince. I didn’t let it stop me this time. I just skipped it and went on to A Coalition of Lions. Then I devoured the rest of the series within a week. There is so much to love about this earlier series and it deserves far more attention than it gets. Even now after the popularity of Code Name Verity and Rose Under Fire, it still isn’t as widely read as it should be. Too many people still refer to Code Name Verity as Wein’s debut novel. That needs to change. If you are a person who loves Wein’s writing in her two latest novels, there is nothing that will stop you from loving these too.

What can you expect to get from these books? The same care and attention to character development you found in Code Name Verity. These are characters you will come to know and love, particularly Telemakos. I don’t know how any one could walk away from reading The Sunbird without him owning a huge chunk of their heart. The historical period is brought to life in such a way that you actually feel you are there. This is Ancient Ethiopian historical fiction too. No one can complain they have too much of that in their lives. Readers can also expect to see the same brilliant ability to bring hope and beauty out of despair and destruction.

You won’t even have to hunt them down like I did. They are now available as e-books. There are no excuses.


The Winter Prince ebookA Coalition of Lions ebookThe Sunbird ebookThe Lion Hunter ebookThe Empty Kingdom ebook

Thank you, Brandy! No excuses indeed. Click on the covers above to grab copies of the ebooks.

EWein Special Ops

13 thoughts on “EWein Special Ops: Reading The Lion Hunters Post CNV

  1. Yay! *waves Telemakos flag* It’s funny, because I love The Winter Prince, and yet we both love the later books–I think it takes a special series to be that open to different reading experiences.

  2. I had a somewhat similar experience with reading MWT’s The Thief, it was okay. I finished it. But it did not get me that much excited about the series. But I am glad I listened to Chachic, and still gave QoA a shot because it was just fantastic! And is this series like, Cashore’s Graceling series? It’s related to each other but the plots aren’t really connected? 😀

  3. I wish you could get these books in hardback form. I managed to find a copy of The Winter Prince (which is brilliantly written) but simply cannot find the others. I want the set and also – I prefer my favourite authors not to be on Kindle. Sigh.

  4. Brandy, it is so wonderful to encounter advocates of my Aksum books and ESPECIALLY to hear people saying “CNV is not E Wein’s debut”! 😛 Also, I totally respect your inability to finish The Winter Prince. It is the squickiest of all my books and the darkest and I’m SO grateful you put it aside and devoured the rest of the series anyway! (In truth, I find the Medraut of The Winter Prince embarrassingly sophomoric these days. I used to joke…sorta kinda…. that he makes a transition from being a lousy sibling to being a lousy parent, which may or may not reflect my own journey into adulthood…)

    Thank you for your evangelism!

  5. Pingback: Amour et Florand: My Gateway to Contemporary Romance | Chachic's Book Nook

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