Reviews - What do customers think about Rules of the Hunt?
Timeless Tales 4 stars review Oct 22, 2003
by M. Freeman
The five boys stared in shock at the man hung by his feet being whipped, overseen by the cold, calculating Duke. Only five minutes prior they had just been school chums out for a bit of mischief on a Halloween night. Now they were flung back in time to the medieval era of their Scottish Isle unwilling participants in "The Hunt".
Forced to survive, the boys turn to the eldest in their group, the only one with the skills to hunt but starvation is still a chilling reality. Not until they come into contact with a local sheep farmer do their fortunes turn. It is there they are introduced to the ceremonial head of the Island, Andrew, the keeper of the old ways and enemy of the Duke. It is he who helps them find temporary homes and assists in helping them to adjusting to life in the past. Still, the boys cling to the hope and desire to go back. Together they face betrayal and stark brutality that test their courage and honor.
As they approach the anniversary of their arrival to this dark past the boys realize they must once again participate in "The Hunt". Only this time with full knowledge of the rules. It is here they must confront their greatest enemy, the Duke and worst fears. Hard decisions will have to be made and even a bigger price paid before any of them can return.
Hugh McCracken has written an intriguing tale winding fact and fiction into a chillingly honest one. The easy cruelty of the time makes a mockery of painted image that many have of the past. The characters depict the struggles of fourteen year old boys with emotion and volatility. Idiomatic expressions and words native to the United Kingdom pepper the writing adding a certain amount of interest. It is an easily read story and moves fairly quickly. Young readers would enjoy this book immensely and identify well with the characters.
Great fun -- and not just for kids Feb 6, 2003
A group of boys on a Scottish island accidentally slip back in time to an age when the local lord conducts a Wild Hunt, with human prey, once a year. The boys, soon recognized as "strangers", must use their wits just to survive ... and, beyond that, to save the locals from this tyranny.
The tale is told at a cracking pace, and it's a great adventure story. But it's more impressive than that. McCracken has the knack of portraying children the way they really are, not the way that doting adults would like to think sweet little kiddiewinkies are; this realism is refreshing. Also, he's doesn't flinch from some of the ghastlier consequences of his plot: for example, one of the boys is killed and another suffers torture. Because of this darker side to the book, the sense of involvement is hugely increased: the threats aren't just Tom & Jerry stuff but very real - something that will be hugely appreciated by young-adult readers, who get tired of being shielded by well meaning adults from the unpleasant truths of life that they can see in the newspapers.
But don't get the impression the book's just for young adults. At the grand old age of, er, fiftysomething I sat up late devouring it. Grand stuff!
Brilliant Book Aug 1, 2002
This book follows the adventures of a group of kids who travel backwards in time - and have to cope with the baddies and the goodies! This is a fantastic book, which not only presents historical fact in a way which doesn't feel like learning but is also totally absorbing. It's absolutely fascinating. The next book please!