Wilde’s Army by Krystal Wade

(Cover picture courtesy of Krystal Wade’s blog.)

“Hello, Katriona.”

Those two words spark fear in Katriona Wilde and give way to an unlikely partnership with Perth, the man she’s been traded to marry for a favor. Saving her true love and protector Arland, her family, and their soldiers keeps her motivated, but the at-odds duo soon realizes trust is something that comes and goes with each breath of Encardia’s rotting, stagnant air. The moment when concern for her missing sister spirals out of control, all thoughts of trust are pushed aside and she finds herself trapped by the daemon tricks Perth warned her of.

However, rescuing those she loves is only half the problem.

Kate still must get to Willow Falls, unite her clashing people, and form an army prepared to fight in order to defeat Darkness. When so many she’s grown fond of die along the journey, her ability to play by the gods’ rules is tested.

How will she make allies when the world appears stacked against her? And will she still be Katriona Wilde, the girl with fire?

[Full disclosure: I received a free ebook from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.]

I don’t think I’ve been this excited for the next book in a series since I finished Feed.  And I don’t think I’ve ever been so anxious to get an advanced ebook off NetGalley either.  So with that said, even though Wilde’s Army will only be released tomorrow on the mass market, I can’t wait for the next book in the trilogy, Wilde’s Meadow.  Moving on…

Wilde’s Army is the amazing follow up to Wilde’s Fire.  The romantic tension between Arland and Katriona (Kate) is still there and it adds another dimension to both characters.  Better yet, the relationship feels real, unlike a lot of horribly forced relationships in YA literature.  But Kate’s relationship with Arland is certainly put to the test in this book when she is forced to pretend she loves Perth in order to buy time to gather the army Griandor said she would need.  Add to this the fact that her mother and her sister Brit are now in Encardia, increasing the pressure on Kate even more.

Krystal Wade’s fantastic world-building and masterful plotting are both excellent reasons to pick up her debut series, but the thing that speaks to me the most is her characters.  Kate is memorable because she is very strong when she needs to be, but is also very vulnerable and struggles with the fact that a god (Griandor) has basically told her she will be the one to save or doom Encardia.  Her love for Arland is also very real and never really takes a back seat to anything; in fact it’s probably more prominent in this book than in the first.  One of my favourite characters, other than Kate, was Perth, the Ground Dweller Kate was promised to.  In the first book he doesn’t play a very large role, but in Wilde’s Army he really acquires a nice amount of depth and isn’t all that he seems.

The world-building is even better than ever as we learn about new types of daemons, new peoples and the regional differences in culture and magic use, even among humans.  As for the plot, it was riveting.  Krystal Wade maintains an incredible speed throughout the novel, enough to keep me up reading much later than I should have been.  And she leaves us with one heck of a cliffhanger, so I’m very anxious to see how she ends her trilogy.

I give this book 5/5 stars.

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