Review: The Beast Hunters by Christer Lende

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Christer Lende's The Beast Hunters was published by Hashtag Press in November 2021.

Christer Lende
Christer Lende

Christer Lende began writing in a library, which sounds fitting, only he was supposed to be there working on his engineering degree. He's a professional screenwriter, working with the Norwegian movie producer behind “One Love”, “Who Killed Birgitte” and “All about my Father” Bjørn Eivind Aarskog. Together they are developing the manuscript for a Norwegian thriller. Bjørn hired Christer after reading The Beast Hunters, trusting Christer could bring his vision to life. Christer lives in what Norwegians call a city, but people from actual cities would call a town. Of proud Viking blood, he honours his ancestors by heroically sitting in front of a computer writing Fantasy and Science Fiction books. He believes in writing a little bit every day, through weekends, Christmas, New Year’s Eve, even his own birthday. When he’s not writing, he takes care of his two dogs and tries to broker peace with his girlfriend. He’s often found at a gym, trying to compensate for his height issues, or lazily playing video games.

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The Beast Hunters (The Beast Hunter of Ashbourn #1) by Christer Lende
The Beast Hunters
The Beast Hunter of Ashbourn #1
by Christer Lende

When a monster brutally kills her parents, Ara is saved by two beast hunters. Becoming their apprentice, she discovers serums, secret bestiary knowledge, and remarkable abilities-all to save unsuspecting souls from the same fate her parents suffered. But, terrifying creatures lurk everywhere and Ara must master the art of beast hunting quickly if she is to uncover the elusive creature plaguing the village of Cornstead.

An epic monster-slaying story starring an orphaned girl turned beast hunting apprentice named Ara. This is the ultimate in escape fiction.


Christer Lende's The Beast Hunters is an enjoyable fantasy book that will appeal to a wide readership. It has clearly been written out of love for stotytelling, because it's delightfully fresh and enticing.

I'm glad I had an opportunity to read and review this book, because it's excellent escapism. When I started reading it, I found myself charmed by the fast-paced story and read it in one sitting. It was impossible for me to stop reading this book, because it was entertaining and had just the right amount of freshness, action, adventure, style and surprises to keep me intrigued throughout the story.

The Beast Hunters tells of Ara who loses her parents when a large monster with green scales and a long tail kills them in a brutal and vicious attack. She is saved by two beast hunters, Topper and Khendric, who kill the beast before it attacks her. Soon, she befriends the beast hunters and becomes their apprentice.

I was surprised by how good a story the author has come up with and how he has infused it with moments of awe and wonder that often missing from this kind of fiction. The story flows effortlessly from start to finish, because the pacing is excellent and there are no dull moments. The events move forward at a steady pace and there are plenty of fascinating scenes and twists that will keep the reader glued to the book.

Ara is a likeable and interesting protagonist. She's a seventeen-year-old girl who has lost her family and struggles with her past, because she has endured beatings from her father and her sister, Alena, died when she was thirteen years old. The author writes convincingly about the trust issues she has with the beast hunters, because at first she doesn't fully trust them due to her father abusing her and has conflicting feelings about them. She has been traumatised by what she has experienced, but she is slowly regaining her self-worth.

The beast hunters, Topper and Khendric, are intriguing characters. Topper is boyish and in his early twenties and Khendric is in his thirties. Khendric is more serious than Topper and he is kind towards Ara and teaches her many things. Topper is a more relaxed person and fun to be around with, but there's much more to him than meets the eye. The various sayings he comes up with are amusing.

The author writes compellingly about Ara's apprenticeship with the beast hunters. Her enthusiasm about becoming a beast hunter is described well, because the author pays attention to how eager she is to help people and fight the beasts. Although she struggles with her own personal issues, she won't let them stop herself from learning new things.

The various beasts and creatures that inhabit the world are fascinating. I enjoyed reading about them and their habits. Some of the creatures are harmless and even useful, but others are deadly and very dangerous, not mention harmful or extremely nasty to those who come across them. (By the way, this book has an interesting beastiary which contains information about the beasts that have been mentioned in the story.)

I was pleased to see how fluently the author uses mystery elements to create an intriguing atmosphere. It was fascinating to read about how Ara, Khendric and Topper began to solve the mystery involving the strange happenings in Cornstead. I was also happy to find humorous elements in the story, because they spice up the story in a charming way.

Christer Lende's The Beast Hunters is fantasy escapism at its very best. It invites you on a great adventure to a world where an orphaned girl becomes a beast hunting apprentice and tries to save the village of Cornstead from a mysterious and strange monster that plagues it. If you enjoy entertaining and fast-paced fantasy stories and are looking for something fresh and compelling to read, you should take a look at this book, because it's worth reading.

More, please! :)