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This review is also available on my blog, Bows & Bullets Reviews
Katriona Wilde's life was turned upside down in the last novel. Now, she's trying to live with that, rescue her love, and build an army to fight a war. She feels ill prepared, but pushes forward. She is forced into a shakey alliance with Perth, the man she is supposed to marry due to a betrothal beyond her control. That isn't ever going to happen. She will be with Arland, as soon as she rescues him and Perth can either deal with it or not. But Perth isn't really the problem. The feud between the people of this magical land is. She has to unite them. She has to have an army to fight a war. How will she ever make that happen?
Instead of doing my usual spiel about each important character, I'm going to.....
Well I don't know what I'm going to do, but not that. I feel like I can't really go in depth about any particular character because I don't really care about any of them. Or maybe that's not true. Maybe I'm just irritated about them. Kate has that special little snowflake thing going on, which is fine...except I'm incredibly tired of that. There's one person who can save us all or we all die painfully. Oh? She fell in the tub and pushed her head and is now dead?
Well, fuck. I never truly loved them, but now there are so many that you can stand in a book store and point in any direction and I assure you there will be a book in that area about a special little snowflake.
The only character I really liked a little was Perth, which I don't think was the intended reaction. He is the only one that shows growth. He is genuinely trying to help and improve even though it goes against everything and it could get him killed. He is also witty and funny and I felt so bad for him because we know he's not getting the girl.
One of my issues, besides the special little snowflake thing, was the way it was written. This is the second book in a trilogy. I have read the first one, but it was a llllllllooooonnnnnnnggggggg time ago. This isn't really written in a way that makes it easy to understand if you haven't either just finished the first one or don't have enough braincells to accurate remember the majority of the first one, regardless of when you read it. This is a problem for me. Upon finishing the first one, I found I didn't like it overly much. That was back when I first started reviewing and I requested the second one mainly to give it a chance to improve and then the third one because, hey, might as well finish the series, right?
But then life happened and I got approved for more books and these kinda feel by the wayside because I wasn't really overly enthused about them. My very convoluted point is that these can definitely not be read as stand-alones. You need the first one and since my recollection of Wilde's Fire is fuzzy at best, I was more than a little lost many times.
I had to listen to this thing entirely on audio. Had I needed to actual read to get through it, I have a feeling it would have taken me a lot longer to get through. I feel like not only is it plagued with SLS syndrome, but it's also got that middle book thing going on. Things happen, but not a lot....besides lots of character death. Which usually bugs me, but since I couldn't remember who half the people where or Kate's connection to them, I was mostly okay with them. There is some fighting and stuff, but nothing that felt like it mattered.
It gets three stars because there is nothing specifically wrong with it, I just didn't care much for it on a whole. What I'm trying to say is that if you didn't love the first book, this one isn't going to be an improvement. It's more of the same. If you loved the first one, I see no reason you won't love this. I already have the audio for book three, so hopefully I'll get to that sooner rather than later. I don't hold high hopes that I'll love it, but anything is possible!
****Thank you to Curiosity Quills Press for providing me with an eARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review****