Q was not an easy letter. But I got three movies I saw at home and decided to go with the one below.
Summary on Google: A mysterious woman gunslinger, Ellen (Sharon Stone), saunters into the town of Redemption looking for revenge. Her father was killed by the town's sadistic mayor, Herod (Gene Hackman), who is in the midst of organizing a quick-draw tournament. The lady enters, joining a cast of miscreants and outlaws for a brutal competition in which the loser dies. Among the competitors is "The Kid" (Leonardo DiCaprio), an upstart who has his own score to settle with Herod.
I saw this movie at home years ago. Now at age 31, I still love that this was a movie set in the Wild West that actually had a starring female who could handle a gun. There are not nearly enough of these types of Westerns in my opinion. Growing up most of the females in Westerns were damsels in distress. While it did not make me hate those kinds of movies this one was a nice change of pace. Wasn't perfect and I'm certain if I watch it again in the future I'll see all kinds of flaws that I probably missed in the past. But I'll still remember seeing a female gunslinger who was not animated and in a live Western taking care of business. Also there were other themes including seeking a parent's approval as well as strength versus virtue which I also enjoyed. Again not perfect but a movie I liked all the same. Feel free to look it up and decide if you want to take a gander if you haven't already.
The Great Hunt Mini Book Review
Summary: Wendy Higgins, the author of the New York Times bestselling Sweet Evil series, reimagines a classic Brothers Grimm fairy tale with The Great Hunt, a dramatic, romance-filled fantasy with rugged hunters, romantic tension, and a princess willing to risk all to save her kingdom.When a monstrous beast attacks in Eurona, desperate measures must be taken. The king sends a proclamation to the best and bravest hunters: whoever kills the creature will win the hand of his daughter Princess Aerity as a reward. The princess recognizes her duty but cannot bear the idea of marrying a stranger she was meant to marry for love until a brooding local hunter, Paxton Seabolt, catches her attention. And while there s no denying the fiery chemistry between them, Princess Aerity feels that Paxton s mysteriousness is foreboding, maybe even dangerous. Paxton is not the marrying type. Nor does he care much for spoiled royals and their arcane laws. He is determined to keep his focus on the task at hand ridding the kingdom of the beast but the princess continues to surprise him, and the secrets he s buried begin to surface against his wishes."
Purchase: The Book Depository
Mini Review: From the start I enjoyed The Great Hunt immensely. Books where it seems something bad can happen to anyone intrigue me and from start to finish you could not be sure who was safe. Aerity is not the typical princess yet she also is. Raised in luxury there are certain things you are just not going to be privy to, that's natural. But she uses her grace and manners to not just be regal but also strong and defiant in the face of adversity. It was good to see being a princess taken seriously and shown how it can not be a disadvantage when facing outside adversity but also a strength. Her knowledge of archery and horseback riding come in handy. Even when the commoner Paxton comes to try and slay the beast terrorizing the kingdom among other competitors, her upbringing helps not be completely overwhelmed by his at times plain crass behavior. A lot is at stake as there is a beast that needs to be vanquished and a princess who is willing to sacrifice a chance at love to save her kingdom while fending off temptation and other situations she comes face to face with.
This novel is both story and character driven. You can't have one without the other and Wendy does the best she can to create a high fantasy worth reading and succeeds. Now I'm not saying she is the next Tolkien. She does not need to be. Wendy Higgins instead has written a novel that fantasy fans can enjoy and both fans old and new can delve into her latest release and decide for themselves if it is her best work yet. For me, I'm already ready for the sequel.
Rating: 5 Stars