Series: The Narroway Trilogy by Rhiannon Williams
Otillie Colter and the Narroway Hunt
Otillie Colter and the Master of Monsters
Otillie Colter and the Withering World
Release Dates: 2018/2019/2020
Tags: Fantasy | Middle Grade | Friendship | Dark Creatures | Gender Equality | Girl Dressed as a Boy
Trigger/Content Warnings: Kidnapping | Misogyny
Ottilie Colter and her brother, Gully, have always fended for themselves. So when Gully goes missing one night, Ottilie sets out to find him – and soon makes a horrible discovery. Gully has been forcibly recruited by the Narroway Hunt, a secretive male-only organisation that hunts savage, blight-spreading monsters called ‘dredretches’.
Disguising herself as a boy, Ottilie infiltrates the Hunt – but quickly realises that taking her brother home won’t be easy. Trapped in the heart of the dredretch-infested Narroway, it’s impossibly dangerous for them to leave. But as she trains to become a Huntsman alongside her brother, hoping for a chance to escape, how long can she keep her true identity a secret
Otillie Colter is a trilogy that was translated to Dutch and completely released here within about 6 months this year. When one of my instagram friends waved the first book around in an insta story I knew I had to pick it up. I love fantasy middle grade. I am so very glad I did because Otillie has become a new favorite.
Otillie and her brother Gully are mostly on their own. Their mom is wasting away within the holes and they only have their neighbors to look after them. So when her brother dissapears it is up to Otillie to figure out what happened. She never expected that a secret, male only organisation would kidnap her brother to fight against these dredretches. Unfortunately escape doesn’t seem to be an option, so she pretends to be a boy to be able to be close to her brother. But that means fighting the dredretches.
So much appealed to me here. The world with different species of dredretches. Throughout the trilogy we learn more about how these creatures came to be in the world and why specifically in the area they are residing in. Each books gives you enough information to keep on questioning but still being content with the answers you get in the moment. That is always good world building.
With a male only organisation with girls as cleaners and cooks you can only imagine the amount of misogyny Otillie and the girls have to deal with. It is very real in the first two books where, especially in the second book, is a big theme. I know some reviewers wanted the first book to completely overthrow the misogyny but how is that realistic? I think how it went here was realistic. It starts with one. Than you get the rest and don’t let them look over you. It is not one fight and it is over, you know. So personally I liked how that was done and how the girls surrounding Otillie grow into their own persons as they also find a place in this world.
As far as characters go Otillie is a good character to follow. She is caring and strong willed. Perhaps a bit too controlling towards Gully. And feels too responsible for the situations that happen. All in all a kid that is growing up in a gruesome world. She grows and she learns. And she exasperates those around her. As one should with all those males, ha. I loved her relationships with Gully and the girls. But also with the boys who she has had to share a dorm with as a boy and her two mentors.
I’m trying not to give too much away here so excuse the no particulars as much. But if you like Middle Grade Fantasy I really urge you to read this series!