Rhianwyn of the Caderyn is conflicted about giving up a warrior’s life to become a wife and mother, but her love for her new husband is enough to at least make her consider it. However, with the conquering Gaians moving ever closer to her homeland a peaceful life may no longer be an option, for Rhia or for any of her people. With rival tribes, old suitors, and the dangerous General Lepidus to contend with, Rhia soon finds her new family in unprecedented danger, and her choices now must be about more than just herself...
Wildcat takes place in a fantasy land inspired by Iron Age Britain and follows Rhianwyn's story as she encounters a civilisation unlike any she could imagine, and is constantly forced to learn and adapt through trial after deadly trial.
3.5 Stars An enjoyable Viking inspired fantasy with plenty of action and politics.
Unlike a lot of other fantasy series, I appreciated that this one felt decidedly adult. Yes, the female protagonist started off young, but she was quickly thrust into her adulthood in the first few chapters of the book. The story deals with a lot of mature subject matter including sex and other adult situations. It also did not shy away from the gruesome aspects of battle. The fight scenes were well described, without being over the top.
Overall, the narrative felt well balanced, moving at a good pace while still allowing enough time for character development. I enjoyed the politics just as much as the action. As a piece of fantasy, this was very low on the fantastical elements, instead relying on worldbuilding and relationships to fuel the story.
I will admit I can be hard to please when it comes to fantasy and am known to be a tough reviewer of indie titles, but this one held up to the online praise. I would certainly recommend it to readers looking to start a mature, well plotted series with plenty of intrigue and character growth.
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the author.
First, please note that I use the star rating to express MY personal enjoyment of a book.
Secondly, I NEED book 2....I finished this book close to midnight last night and if the second book had been in my possession, I would have begun it immediately.
That said, I thoroughly enjoyed Wildcat. I'm stunned that I took this long to read this story. It is a story similar to one I've read before? Sure. This type of story is one I will never tire of - several tribes of a people living in peace on their land and a bigger race of people decide to invade, conquer and rule them. The character development is masterful for Rhia, our main character. She is the daughter of the chieftain of the Caderyn. She is ferocious and we follow her journey from her first battle on. What I love about her is that the author does not make her an instant hero. She has flaws. She makes mistakes. Her human nature takes control at times: rage, vengeance, doubt, self-hate. I love that it's a journey that takes years to shape her, because it is written in a fascinating way. I found Rhia extremely relatable because she is very independent, fierce and loyal....and usually finds herself in hot water due to her big mouth. This book grabbed me from the first few pages and held my undivided attention until I finished. It was a fast paced read that kept me turning pages. There was a small chunk dedicated to world building and intrigue with less action, but even so the author made it interesting and left me wanting more. The dedication and courage of a people to keep their freedom even when faced with betrayal, murder, magic and extreme losses in their number will have you celebrating every victory and feeling disappointed with each setback.
Amazing story. A gripping tale that I absolutely can't wait to continue.
I have mixed feelings on this one. On the one hand, I found both the worldbuilding and fight scenes to be well written, and the strength of this book without a doubt. On the other hand, the character development and plot were very lacking, and those two aspects of a novel are what matter most to me.
There are a lot of characters in this novel. A lot of them. Sadly I didn't feel anything for them because we barely spend any time with them. So many names are mentioned and yet no depth is given to these people. The only characters I can say I liked were Marius and the main character, Rhia, but even she disappointed me. I like that Rhia is both a warrior and a mother, and that we're shown she can do both. She is physically strong but also emotionally so. I really appreciate that. However, this book features a pretty huge time jump and I found it severely impacted the way I looked at the MC. The change in her personality felt incredibly jarring to me. As a rule, I don't like time jumps. They're hard to justify and even harder to pull off. I don't think the author managed to pull it off here. After the time jump, the way Rhia views the world changed drastically, her feisty nature was gone and she was fine with things she probably would have found repulsive before. She had perfectly acclimated herself to the new culture she was experiencing. Now, I could potentially understand why that is, but it's not my job as a reader to fill in the blanks for the author. We should have had the opportunity to see the character change, especially since the time jump occurs at a point where she is dealing with heavy trauma. We needed that time with Rhia in order for her change in personality to feel more organic and realistic. Long story short, the time jump ruined the MC's character arc for me, which was a shame. I also wish we got to see her fight more. The side characters barely had any personality and needed more page time.
Now, I don't think the book needed to be longer to give us more time with the characters. As I said, the worldbuilding is well done and very in depth, but, well, it was too in depth for my tastes. We didn't need the Gadarim ritual to be described to us in so many pages, nor did we need such detailed weddings. Shorten those descriptions and devote that page time to characterization!
As for the plot, it was okay. I just found it was very simple and it took a backseat. I don't necessarily love that, but when the plot was moving, the story was interesting. I appreciated the contrast of cultures, I enjoyed the fight scenes and the twists were nice, if not too surprising. Also, I need to point out the author isn't afraid to kill his characters, and I can't tell you how refreshing that was. So often we read novels with big wars and fight scenes where it feels like only the unimportant characters end up getting killed. Not here, which I loved.
All in all, I just think this book wasn't written for me. It focused on aspects of storytelling that I don't care as much about, and the time jump really soured my reading experience. However, if in-depth worldbuilding and well-written fight scenes are important to you, you would probably enjoy this book way more than I did.
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
I was sent this book by the author in exchange for an honest review.
Wildcat is a Viking-esque fantasy novel that is not afraid to put its main character, Rhia, through it all! While I found this book very well-written, this is simply a case of this type of fantasy not being my favorite. I found this book character-driven and following one main character very closely who was a wife and mother. Since she is our sole perspective for most of the book, if you don’t connect with her, it’s hard to connect with the book in my opinion. And I found myself not connecting to Rhia through most of the story. I think this book would’ve benefited from a few more perspectives given how large the cast was and getting to dive a little deeper into other supporting characters. We did get a couple of other perspectives, but they were very random and brief.
However, the strengths of this book are definitely its pacing, which is quick, and the beginning and end action sequences were very well done! The writing was really well done as well so I would definitely still give this one a try because if you like Rhia, I feel like this is definitely going to be a book you love!
Thanks to the author for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
This book has so much to talk about for me. I was in doubt whether to give the book 2 or 3 stars, because I have some troubles with the second part of the book. There were so many good things in this book, that I decided to give the book 3 stars. I was kinda done with the book after page 400 and I skimmed through and just didn't really read the final 150 pages. I usually never do this, so I didn't really DNF it, but I wasn't that involved anymore either.
If you're looking for a book that could remind you of the TV Show Vikings you should read this book. The book has a strong female main character and this book feels like REAL LIFE. Harsh things happen, deaths happen, battles happen and that's what makes it feel so real. I had some trouble to keep the focus after page 300, but I'm sure there are a lot of people out there who might have more patience with this book.
Now this is a long, long, book, a fantasy story that follows the life of Rhianwyn of the Caderyn, a warrior in her own right. She is one tough lady that like all the other women in her tribe battle alongside the men in her homeland, to protect their property and families. These are violent times set in Iron age Britain with graphic and violent fighting scenes with axes and swords, very bloody and gory. There are also explicit sexual scenes which take place. If any of these offend this book will not be for you. There are protocols to be followed and traditions to be respected, once a woman is with child she can no longer go into battle and although Rhianwyn is pretty certain that she is pregnant she still fights alongside her husband and she keeps it secret. What they don’t expect is to come across the Gaians who just seem to sweep across the country with ease in every battle. Their defences are so well advanced, making their lines just about impossible to penetrate, with their own men and women falling like flies while their enemy have few fatalities. Rhianwyn witnesses violent deaths of her friends and family before becoming property of the invaders. Life is to become very different for her, her unborn child and her sister. The love of history from this author is very evident on every page with great detail about the lives of the different tribes. The battles and strategies are talked about in great detail and in length. It was fascinating to read but a slow burn with bursts of action. The comparisons between the life styles of the different tribes were vast. Rhianwyn is an intelligent woman that makes wise decisions. I really took to both men in her life. The second half of the book surrounds the changes that the two sisters face in marriages that they really don’t have a choice in, a duty they chose not because of love. This part of the book has tension, that feels like something is going to explode with disastrous consequences at any time. This is the first book in the Caledon Saga and it is all going to continue soon. Thanks to the author for a copy of this story which I have honestly reviewed.
I was given this book in exchange for an honest review. I had fun reading this book however I found the language to be extremely modern which sorta takes you out of the element of the story, however the story is engaging and very interesting.
We follow Rhia as she contemplates whether she would like to give up being a worrier for being a mother as most tribes ladys do in Caderyn. Her new husband tries his hand and getting her to give it up. However the Dangerous General Lepidus and his legion is at her doorstep. Rhia now must face the danger or lose her family.
I had fun reading this book however I felt it could have done with a third party editor to fix up the modern language, into something that could have flowed better with the story. I did love the Roman-esq and Ghaul-esq styles the Harker was trying for. I give the book a ⅗ stars and he deserves everyone.
If you like your Fantasy to resemble more of historical fiction I would recommend this novel as JP seems to have done his homework. This is a Tribe story of a celtic style tribe with a hint of Pocahontas thrown in.
"...the warrior elite had fascinated her for years, and try though she might she couldn't bring herself to crawl away."
An important thing to note as I begin this review is that I truly did enjoy Wildcat by J.P. Harker. Though a rather lengthy novel, both the story and the characters were exceptionally engaging. I found the villains quite wonderful in their devilish nature and loved both the plot and the historical context behind it all. This is one thing that I believe Harker has integrated very well within his novel. Centered around the experiences of the Caderyn Chieftain's daughter, a young woman who struggles with both her desire to be an elite warrior and for motherhood, as her world is torn apart by the invasion of foreign warriors.
If I were to rate this book on the plot and story alone, I would have given it five stars. Unfortunately, Wildcat has several problems, the majority of them existing in the portrayal of the female characters. While I can understand and greatly respect understandable characteristics of a character's psyche in regards to trauma, especially when it is well researched and realistic, certain themes presented throughout this novel were rather problematic.
The most glaring of this arrives in the character's struggle to find a balance between her desire for a family and her desire for the thrill and honor of warfare. The idea that one's ability to feel like a woman is linked directly to sex with a man and her ability to have children is presented a great number of times and is something that is not only completely inaccurate but disturbing and problematic for anyone who reads it. This is not a theme that should be perpetuated, especially from the perspective of a strong female character. A woman can feel like a woman doing anything and she does not need a man to make her feel like one. Plain and simple.
It is important, also, to note that this book has some triggering moments in it which many readers should be aware of prior to reading. A large one comes in the form of a rape scene, which I was given advance warning of by the author and resultingly have a great deal of respect for him for doing so. I had my own predictions about this scene prior to reading the novel and I was surprised in the most unfortunate of ways. I believe these scenes can be written tastefully and can be useful to a plot or the character's development when the writing directly addresses the issues surrounding it. Unfortunately, that is not what happened in Wildcat.
Not only did the scene feel deeply unrealistic, but it served very little other than to put Rhia through more trauma. It was not used to make a commentary on the affairs of war and its purpose in the plot was solely to give the main character one more thing to hate herself for. The scene, partially due to the identity of the character who committed the act, was quite unnecessary. Additionally, a time jump prevented readers from ever seeing Rhia work through and overcome the emotional struggles that her experiences had created, which I feel left readers missing out on what could have been a fantastic opportunity for character development.
Another idea presented later in the novel is the idea that a husband has a right to sex. While this idea may be historically accurate, the character's response to this did not exactly feel realistic due both to her described and portrayed nature as well as the trauma's she had suffered beforehand. It appeared to be a society driven belief, which is perfectly alright to include in a novel so long as the idea itself is challenged at some point. And I think, ultimately, this is where my biggest problems with the book take place. These problematic ideas are rarely challenged if they're even challenged at all.
For a society that praises women's strength and a book meant to portray an exceptionally strong woman, Wildcat is riddled with moments in which the women are torn down by men. I found it rather shocking that, from the very beginning, the role of women is regularly belittled to both what a man can give and what is often portrayed as the restraints of motherhood. It is not something I expected from a book that advertises a character who wishes to be a part of an elite group of warriors. For a woman who was meant to be strong, Rhia was incredibly compliant quite often throughout the course of the novel.
Wildcat's writing style is not one that I would suggest for everyone. The book spends a lot of time presenting readers with lengthy thought monologues in between the moments of action and dialogue. There are a large number of over the top descriptions of women's bodies and occasionally, particularly in the wedding chapters, physical appearance appears to be presented as a marker of women's importance rather than their strength and intelligence, which I found distracting and frustrating. This was only an issue in the beginning quarter of the novel.
Even so, at the end of the day, I did really love the premise and many of the characters. I think this book has a great deal of potential and I will be reading its sequel because I do believe that it was well written and imagined. I had some problems with it but I think so long as those problems are addressed, understood, and discussed it's a book worth spending time on.
I was provided a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
In Wildcat, the first book in the Caledon Saga, we meet Rhia - our main character. She is a woman warrior and ready and eager to fight for her kingdom. Throughout this book, we see her taken from the land she grew up and forced to live among other people. (wow that's not a great description of the book but it's hard without giving any spoilers ... spoilers down below).
What I loved about this book: I loved seeing the woman warrior aspect. It brought me back to my childhood and watching Xena the Warrior Princess all the time. A fun side story - when I was growing up, my mom used to look just like Xena (or I thought so at least), and I'd tell everyone at school my mom was Xena. So this book reminded me of that. I thought it had great world building. We got to see other kingdoms along with the main one. The character development, I thought, was fine for a first book. I'd like to have seen more - especially with the side characters - but it was fine considering it was only book 1.
What didn't work for me so much: And this is really where the spoilers come in. Our MC - Rhia - is a woman warrior and yet we get so much text on her weddings and "normal" woman stuff, that it pulled me away from her character strength. Her first husband was killed in battle and we got her grief and that was great but then we get all this text about her second wedding when she's forced to marry an enemy as part of the peace treaty. And it just felt like too much. Also - there was this big time jump - 5 years, I think it was, without any warning. We go from her not liking her husband at all, to her having a son with him and liking - maybe even loving him. And it was hard to adjust to since it was just a big time jump with no warning.
BUT overall, I enjoyed this book a lot - 3.5 almost 4 stars and I am so glad that the author reached out to me and asked if I'd review this.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
I received a copy of Wildcat for review from the author - thank you! All opinions are my own.
I did a buddy read of this with Cat (BrewsandReviews) and I'm so glad we read it together! I highly suggest doing a buddy read of this since talking about the book as we progressed was so much fun.
The not so great: The first 100-200 pages or so were a bit slow going. I think that quite a bit of this could have been trimmed down. There was a bit too much of a focus on sex and wanting children in the beginning. There was also an incredibly uncomfortable scene towards the beginning where Rhia and her friends are in the bathhouse and her father walks in. Basically, he ogles one of her friends and makes some rather uncomfortable statements. I guess the intention here was to emphasize their culture, but I would have preferred to just not have this scene. Generally, I think it would have been better to cut down on the first 100-200 pages and spend more time discussing what happened during the 5 year time skip. I wanted to see how the relationship between Rhia and Marius developed! There's also a trigger warning for rape in this book - I did feel at times like Rhia's reaction was a little odd, but I am glad that she came to terms with it not being her fault.
The good: The author really shines during the battle scenes and Rhia's time with the Gaians. After the second battle, the book definitely picked up! I really enjoyed Rhia's relationship with Marius. The scene where she starts to thaw towards him was actually pretty hilarious. Rhia was also an enjoyable main character. I liked her ferocity and strength! The author is also willing to take risks with his characters. There were definitely moments where I audibly gasped in shock, so I really appreciate that kind of book! I also had to reread some scenes because I just couldn't believe the events that happened. The ending was a bit open ended and I'm curious what happens next.
This book was definitely not as heavy on magic as I had expected, but it was still an enjoyable historical fantasy! Overall, I'd definitely recommend this to those who enjoy historical-type settings (Celtic and Roman inspired), battles, and politics. If you're feeling like the first 100-200 pages are slow, I definitely suggest that you keep going until you reach the point where Rhia meets Marius and then make a decision.
I’m going to preface this by saying that Wildcat is an incredibly long book. However, such care was put into its composition that I feel like readers would hardly notice. There were very few lulls in the narrative, and the plot carried the reader along insistently, keeping them turning the pages.
How much loss can one person stand, really? After her tribe is forced into an alliance with their Gaian conquerors, Rhia finds herself ripped from the life of a warrior and wife to a life of indulgence and subservience amongst the Gaian people. Her inadvertent exposure to a darker plot that threatens the lives of those she cares about returns her to her roots and nothing will stand in her way to protect them.
Wildcat was a ridiculously emotional ride. The author managed to find a delicate balance between Rhia’s more feminine side (the desire to settle down, be a wife and mother) and her warrior side—her urge to fight and protect. A real Wildcat, as the name suggests. The tale had its dark and gritty moments, without feeling like the main character was being knocked down all the time. Moments of levity and relaxation came in where they were needed most. And it all flowed so well together. I only felt a little lost at the beginning, as the author introduced the world, the various tribes and their customs. Once all of that straightened out, it really was smooth sailing the rest of the way.
I have to say that the description was on point, one-hundred percent. It gave a clear indication of what was happening. Battles and action scenes were controlled and properly paced with it. The prose could probably be compared to a mixture of Tolkein and King. Characters were done so well. They were three-dimensional, and their relationships were meaningful.
This was a really good book. The final quarter of the book was so intense, so emotional. I had to take a deep breath when I finally put it down. Despite the length, it’s worth every word.
Rhianwyn (Rhia) is a woman you really do not want to mess with. She, like other women, is a warrior of the Caderyn, women fight beside the men and are just a ferocious and deadly. As with all things, nothing stays the same. Change is on the way as the Gaians gradually take over land and the people. A truce between the Calderyn and the Gaians is formed with Rhia and her sister Gwen starting a new life to keep the peace.
This is an absolute cracker of a read and the author has created a story that is heavy in elements of Iron Age Britain. The references and general feeling of the story show the authors obvious interest for the period and at times I forgot this was actually a fantasy read. When the tribes are conquered there you understand who by as the references to them of their lifestyle, training and language is apparent. The fight for power and control took me through underhand politics and battles as the story was laid out.
The plot evolves around Rhia and her life and her roles within a tribe and also as part of the conquers family. I really liked the way the author had done this as it showed a contrast between two cultures through one set of eyes. I was able to see different traditions, rituals and lifestyles while following Rhia's journey. It shows several sides to her as a person and I loved the way she had evolved from the first meeting to years later.
The descriptive passages of the surroundings, people and their lifestyle I really enjoyed, there was plenty to build up a vivid image but without going over the top. The author has balanced it well within the story so as not to disrupt the flow of the story. It is a story that spans several years and you get to meet a great many characters especially at the beginning, but the time span allows the other characters to be gradually introduced.
Now this is a fair old lump of a book, it is 500+ pages long and I devoured it in two evenings and was thoroughly caught up in it. I liked the historical feel to it and as I mentioned before, forgot that it is a fantasy based read with a historical inspiration. It is one I would say is an Epic Fantasy rather than a series as it has a great depth of plot and characters.
This is a book I would recommend to readers who like stories with elements Historical Fiction as well as fantasy. It is a book I completely lost myself in for several hours as it took me through a few emotions, especially towards the end. A series that I will definitely be reading more of and I would highly recommend this book to other readers.
***I was given a free copy of this book for an honest review.***
First off I want to preface this review by stating that I have a huge crush on the protagonist of this novel, Rhia. She is such a badass and the embodiment of girl power! Growing up amongst the Caderyn, her father being the chief, Rhia lived a warrior’s life and relished every second of it. When she marries her childhood sweetheart, Bevan, life is perfect, and she loves being a wife.
Unfortunately, life threw a punch and Rhia found herself on the battlefield with all of her loved ones, facing off against the Gaians. The Caderyn suffered a tragic defeat, lives were lost and hearts were broken. Her clan then found themselves at the mercy of the Gaians and had to cooperate with them to keep their way of life. However, Rhia’s life was turned upside down when her and her sister, Gwen, were forced to live amongst the Gaians to forge an alliance. Peace didn’t last for too long, unfortunately, and Rhia is stuck in a crossroads.
Wildcat was awesome and I recommend it to everyone, especially if you are a lover of epic fantasies! I was able to fully immerse myself into the world and felt an emotional connection with the characters, especially Rhia. I am impressed with the author for being able to connect with his protagonist and make her a relatable female character. His knowledge of the Welsh history and the Druids were present and really set a good foundation for the story. Wildcat is a very well-edited book and a page turner that will have you constantly on the edge of your seat. Definitely has earned a five star rating from me and I cannot wait to read the next book!
***A video review will be on my Youtube channel, Liko Loves Books, soon!***
I was given a free copy from the author for an honest review. This in no way will sway my review.
After much deliberation, I have decided to shelve this book at approximately 50%. There will be SPOILERS discussed in my reasoning for doing so.
Summary: Wildcat follows Rhia, a Caledon warrior, as she tries to find a balance between her desire to be a warrior and her "duties" as a wife and mother.
Writing style: The author's style was not for me. There were blocks and blocks of inner dialogue and descriptive paragraphs that made it really difficult to get through. Not to mention the names of the places and people were very similar, with a LOT of B & G names. It made it really hard to follow and I found most of the time it didn't matter if I remembered them.
I felt for Rhia. She was put through a lot. Some of it seemed a bit overkill but, I'll discuss that under the plot section.
There are so many characters I can't even count, and a lot of them flittered into a scene never to be seen again or die. Here's an example:
Page 74 "...and the line of friends and kin went ever on: Peira and Barden, Madoc, Arthfael, Owain and all the Gardarim, then Kira and Natan, Merrion and Cerridwen, Pryder and Eluned and then Meghan and Dane..."
Plot: It dragged for me and when it hit a jarring 5 year jump, I couldn't go any further because it felt like the 250 pages I just read didn't matter.
There were many unnecessary scenes, especially in the beginning.
For example, we are lead through the courtship and arrangement of Rhia's marriage to her first husband, Beven. I'm assuming this is to get us attached to him before Rhia accidentally kills him in battle, but I digress. Anyways, we are lead through 20 pages of their wedding, which ultimately could have been summed up with "they got married" because that's the only thing that really mattered from that scene.
Another scene that comes to mind is a creepy scene around page 21 where four young girls are bathing and the High Chieftain walks in, like it's nothing. Then he starts making comments, about them being naked and actually jokes about cheating on his wife. It's just creepy and weird.
It was clear that sex was going to be a topic from about then on, which I'm fine with, but nearly every conversation between a male and female ended up with them talking about sex or in some sexual act. I actually started marking these and it totaled about 19 times in the first 250 pages. So approx. every 13 pages a sexual something was happening and those scenes lasted about two pages each.
At first I liked that the women were open about talking about sex but then it quickly changed when I realized how misogynistic this book became. And this was were I couldn't do it anymore.
I'll set the scene: Rhia has just been in a battle where she has literally killed her husband and now she is having an miscarriage. IF that isn't enough, the author decides that she'll also be raped by someone who supposedly cared for Rhia at one point and was some sort of druid. (I believe he was actually there to heal the wounded. Could be wrong on that though.)
Anyways, now she's married off to some high ranking member of a rival tribe. She is FORCED into this marriage. On their wedding night (After another 20 page wedding scene.) she says,
Page 227-228 "This must be done. He is your husband now and you have your duty. For Gwen, for your people and for all your damned mistakes you must endure this."
And she's raped again.
Okay, so then on page 232,
"She had not shared her husband's bed since the first night of their marriage, and she hated herself that she was too afraid to 'DO HER DUTY AS A WIFE'. She hated the idea of his touching her, but she berated herself for not letting him. This marriage was for nothing if no children came from it."
Let's move on a few more pages, and she's walked into him with another woman's mouth around her husbands c*ck. She rightfully freaks out because though she doesn't want to be in this marriage she respects it's bounds. But then she says this...
"He was still in the wrong, she had no doubt about it, but she had to accept at least a little of the blame for herself."
I decided at this point I needed to take a break. When I came back I decided I would read the last chapter just to see if there was any redemption for any of this and I was saddened to see her questioning her first rapist, and asking herself if "he was just a confused, love-struck young man who once made a mistake that he later redeemed."
And I had to put it down because the depiction of rape is deplorable. I don't care if it is relevant for the time, the book is written now and things like this should be challenged ALWAYS.
She is supposed to be a strong female character. It is NOT her or anyone's duty to please a man (or woman!) that they married against their will! A woman's worth is more than giving men sex and having babies. And a strong female character would have fought against these norms.
Ultimately, this book was not for me and I would highly recommend the author get sensitivity readers for later works if he intends to include such topics. I don't believe in leaving starred reviews for books that I have not completed, but if I had to, .5/5. I would not recommend this book based on it's depiction of women and their "duties".
It’s a LONG book, that’s for sure. But even with that I didn’t find myself bored with the story. It’s not a fast-moving plot. It’s a slow burn that takes its time developing the world and the characters. It definitely has more plot than something character-driving, but a lot of time is spent on the characters as well and how they react and deal with the situations that arise around them. I was really afraid it was going to be a slog, but it wasn’t. I didn’t begrudge reading the story at all, and I thought Harker balanced detail with story excellently.
Rhia is an incredibly self-aware woman who adapts to change really well despite everything. She’s brutal but sympathetic, able to be demure when the situation calls for it, but not afraid to speak her mind when it’s rendered either. She’s a dynamic character who is a breeze to follow from one situation to the next.
The story itself is vividly painted. I was able to picture everything that happened, down to details, without actually being inundated with them. Sometimes with these books you get authors who go LOOK AT ALL THE RESEARCH I DID and instead of weaving those details seamlessly into the story you get great big heaps of unnecessary detail-dumping. That didn’t happen here. I felt the world-building and the story wove together seamlessly. Some of it was a little strange, like the communal bathing where Rhia’s dad was just hanging out with her and her friends while they bathed, all tits out and making vague sexual innuendos. Not sure how necessary that particular scene was, or how historically accurate, but at least it was a one-off. For everything that happens there isn’t any gratuity in the story, sexual or violent.
Harker created some excellent characters that were really easy to follow and blended them into a great story that felt like nothing to read despite how long it was. Personally I think that’s a sign of a good writer, someone who can write these longer books without having them FEEL like longer books. The only issue I really had was the WHY of the world. The blurb says it’s influenced by Iron Age Britain, which would have heavy Roman influence. Except 95% of this wasn’t influence, it WAS Roman and old Britain. There’s a hint of magic toward the end and I’m wondering if that element of the world is fleshed out better in the next book. But as WILDCAT stands I didn’t really see a reason why it couldn’t have just been set in that real world time period and the magical element thrown in. Not like artists haven’t taken liberties with history before. Just that thought kind of dogged me throughout the book. I couldn’t help but think that a book like AN EMBER IN THE ASHES is Roman influenced. It’s a vague homage, but the author really went her own way with it. WILDCAT isn’t influenced. It’s too heavily and too closely Roman/Britain to be just influenced. It didn’t make the story bad, but it did linger a question mark over my head about it.
Ultimately it’s really good, slow burn story that begs you to take your time reading it. Harker’s taken a lot of care in researching and developing this world and he’s created some really great characters doing it. I look forward to the next book!
I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
If you like descriptive writing, featuring fantasy characters who face real-life problems in a blunt fashion, then I'd recommend this book. I got hooked from the beginning!
The characters are completely relatable. Based during a war between Lurians and Gaians, and is clearly based on Iron Age Britain, when the Romans started invading. The strategies of the battles, combined with the cultural rituals and the inner monologue of Rhia, the daughter of a Lurian chief, makes for a captivating read. The author has evidently done a lot of research into Iron Age warfare, as this does rear its head quite a bit, but in a good way that fits in to the storyline well. The politics of Lurians (Celts) and the Gaians (Romans) also helps to build a detailed view of both cultures. It's not all war and politics though, the elements of love, romance, grief and bitterness are extremely poigniant throughout.
The strength of the characters - especially Rhia - has been vital for the strength of the story. Her story in particular struck a chord with me. Possibly because of the way her inner monologues were written. If I'd had my way though, I'd have liked to read more about the other Lurian tribes, especially the Gorvicae tribe; the mythology and the history of the rivalry between these two tribes would make a particularly interesting read.
Don't get me wrong, it's not a perfect book. As I mentioned, I'd have liked to have read more on inter-tribal traditions. In addition, on the Gaian side, I'd have loved to have learned more on Glaucus, as he was an interesting character, but I feel was glossed over in favour of the protagonists. The bathing scene was also perhaps a little on the nose but the innocence and trusting nature of this scene did ease the awkwardness somewhat. Maybe it's the problem with our sociey nowadays that nudity is something to be ashamed of, whereas in the Iron Age times, this was a natural and regular occurrence, nothing to be embarrassed of. Part of me does wonder if this part was written particularly for the male readers though!
But overall, it is an excellent read - one I'm actually glad I spent money on! I really look forward to reading the sequel - The ending leaves a promise that there is much more in store for both worlds.
Thanks to the author for sending me a copy of this book for an honest review.
At first I wasn't sure what to make of this book. The beginning definitely feels more historical than fantasy, though those elements develop in the second half of the book. My main issues with this book were that the dialogue felt a little modern and the pacing was a little off for me, but overall, I had a really fun time with this. I actually buddy read this book with Kayla from krakentoagoodbook and it was a great one for discussion.
The beginning of this book was very slow, and I do feel that around 100 pages could have been cut from that section. The first 200-ish pages were slow and then, after that, so much happens all at once. I found that this pacing issue mostly resolved as soon as the Gaians appeared and I got far more invested in the plot at that point.
The book hits its stride when conflict and magic enter the picture and I really enjoyed the latter half of the book. I think the strengths of this book lie in the battles and I got really invested in the fate of the characters by the end.
I liked the main character; she’s a strong warrior who is equally feminine and I think that came across really well. I also gasped aloud at certain things that happened to her (she goes through *a lot* in this book), and I ended up really liking her story. Overall, I enjoyed this book and I’m definitely interested in continuing this series.
** I was given a copy of this book by the author in exchange for an honest review. **
Trigger Warnings: rape & violence.
Wildcat is a fantasy book that follows Rhianwyn, a warrior from the Caderyn tribe, over the course of about five years. It follows her from her first battle against the Caderyn's rival tribe, the Gorvicae, to her new life among the Gaians after her tribe's defeat at their hands, and back.
I keep wanting to say more, but I feel like I would personally think anything else that I have to say about this story in general would be saying too much/borderline spoiler-y. So that is all that I am going to say specifically about the story. Because I can't be trusted to keep it brief.
Not gonna lie, I was almost scared to read this book because if we're being totally honest, I haven't really liked any of the books I have been asked by authors to review on my blog. But this one sounded really good and I'm SUPER glad that I didn't pass this one up! Because I honestly really liked it.
So, Wildcat is a rather long book, it's about 550 pages. While there were parts that did start to feel a bit long, overall, it wasn't bad. There was a lot of information in this book about the world and the people, but it was never presented in a way that felt like an info dump, which I greatly, greatly appreciated.
World-building info dumps are the bane of my existence. This book did it right, in my opinion.
I really liked the characters in this book. I feel like the only one you REALLY get to know is Rhia. I loved her. She's kinda ferocious and bold and brave. And like, every crappy thing ever happens to her and she always comes out on top of it. She's pretty much a badass.
The other character I really liked is Marius. I feel like I would have liked to know more about him. He just seemed so quiet and noble.
I even liked a lot of the less likable characters. Except for that creepy little sorcerer dude. I kept picturing him as the creepy little sorcerer dude from Game of Thrones. And Tulius, I didn't really like that guy either. But the rest of them I managed to scrape up some appreciation for, even if I didn't want to (Leaping Wolf).
I'm struggling to talk about the romance because everything I want to say is something that I personally wouldn't want to know if I was just going into this book. But basically there are two main romances. The first one is previously established before the book starts and is super happy and great. The second one is more slow burn. They don't really seem to like each other that well in the beginning, but once they started warming up to each other more, I was ROOTING FOR THEM HARDCORE.
If you're looking for happy endings in this book, you aren't really going to find any. Happiness doesn't live here. That being said, it doesn't have a bad ending.
The only real complaints that I can think of are:
1. Right after the Caderyn's defeat at Nantwyn and through the beginning of her time among the Gaians, there is a lot of Rhia's inner thoughts about what all had happened. Which maybe started to feel a bit long, but I feel like the word 'shame' was used a lot. It wasn't something prevalent throughout the whole book, but mostly during the ride from Bryngarth to Tamora and perhaps a little bit past Rhia's Gaian wedding.
2. The Caderyn warriors are said to be made up of both men and women, but I feel like almost all the warriors that are talked about in battle are men, there are a few mentions of women as warriors, mainly a couple of Rhia's friends that fought beside her in the few battles in this book, but other than that, it seemed like it was mostly men talked about. I feel like it would have been cool to see more women in the battles.
Those are probably the biggest concerns I have about this book.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book. I feel like it was interesting and well-crafted. I am looking forward to reading the rest of the series!
I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review If you love detailed world building, clever story crafting, battle scenes that flow really well, and characters that break your heart, go read this book right now! There were parts that made me cry, there were parts I couldn't stop grinning at, and there were even a few parts that made me genuinely angry. I bought the rest of the series before I even finished it because I knew I would need to read them ASAP. The strongest aspect of this was either the world building or the way the story was crafted. I was so impressed with how smoothly we were introduced to such a big world with so many different layers. We got information about their religion, culture, geography, history, politics, and more, and it always felt natural within the story. The only thing that made it a little harder to follow was there were so many characters and they all had such unique fantasy names that couldn't quite stick in my head, so sometimes I forgot who was who and had to flip back to figure out who the character was. But that might also be because I'm naturally not the best at remembering names. The other aspect of this story that really shone was the way the story was crafted. Everything made sense and flowed in a logical way, without being predictable. This book took some very sharp turns, but when I looked back and thought about it it made complete sense. The characters all reacted to things in a way that made sense with their personalities, and nothing felt like it was included just because it was convenient or for the sake of the plot, which is sometimes uncommon in stories this complex. One thing that felt a little off, though, was that sometimes something huge would happen and we would move on a little too quickly. There was a lot of quick pacing, which worked for most of the novel, but sometimes I just wanted to pause and absorb what was happening before rushing on to the next exciting moment. The pacing was good for the most part, but it almost felt like three novellas that were bound together as one novel. The three "chunks" of the story had very different feels, but because we moved on so quickly it felt a little too separated. My other main complaint is that too many bad things happened to characters I loved. Ok, that's not actually a complaint, that's praise. I got genuinely angry a few times because something bad was happening to a character, and I loved them so much and just wanted to see everything be all bright and sunny and perfect for them! But the fact that the author could make me love the character so much that I felt such strong feelings throughout the story just really speaks to the amazing craftsmanship that this story had. One last thing that I really wanted to compliment is the sex scenes. I'm the type of person who gets uncomfortable with a lot of intimate scenes, but this story had them written so well that I wasn't bothered at all. They weren't all just "fade to black" intimate scenes, but it wasn't crude or explicit. They weren't over the top and there weren't a ton of them, it never felt like a sex scene just for the sake of a sex scene. It was the perfect balance and I was really comfortable with it, which is something very rare for me. Overall this story was fascinating and had the most incredible and deep world-building. I loved rooting for the characters I loved and grumbling about the characters I hated. I loved this story both as a reader, because it was so much fun to read, but also as a writer because it was so well-done and there was so many things I could learn. I would highly recommend this to anyone who loves fantasy (especially high fantasy), and for any writers looking for more examples of how to write this genre.
Rhianwyn comes from the Caderyn tribe - A tribe rich of love, traditions, respect and honor. It's a tribe where, among other things, men and women are treated equal; including in warfare. Until a woman becomes a mother she is as much of a warrior as any man, and shares in the responsibility. Rhia is a warrior at heart, but is also ready to settle down - after one more battle. But when that catastrophic battle against the ever-expanding Gaian empire leaves the tribal warriors in ruins, killing many including her brother, husband and unborn child, Rhia is put on a difficult path that could change not only her future, but that of the people she loves.
I was sent this book by the author in exchange for an honest review, and I found myself pleasantly surprised.
This book was a magnificent story that left me speechless. While it was a long, description heavy story it was worth every word, and was a page turner from beginning to end.
There are trigger warnings in this book for (domestic) violence, suicidal thoughts, and rape. If you are also not a fan of gory battle scenes, then this book may not be for you.
Setting: It's a story heavily influenced by Iron Age Wales and Imperial Rome, and it is clear the author fancies history because it was well researched and executed. Both the tribal settings as well as the Gaian empire were described in such a way that you feel as if you are a part of the community, which made the stories length well worth it. It's a fantasy book that, for the first 1/2 to 2/3 at least, reads like a historical fiction. Each of the settings were vastly different in culture, setting, politics and warfare, but presented equally well.
Plot: For a book so long, there were very few lulls in the story. Even the parts that were slower paced were immersive and interesting. The last quarter of the book was so intense I had to take a breath every now and then because of the emotional tension. For the most part the pacing was right on point. There were however a few places that we could have moved through a bit more quickly, and some places I'd like to have stayed in a bit longer.
Writing: For a book to be so long and yet so interesting speaks volumes to the writing. Every now and then writing got a bit repetitive, mostly concerning the main characters conflicting emotions.
Characters: The characters left me feeling like I would want them to be my family. There was such a strong bond between them. I even thought that the villains were well done. That being said, don't get attached to any of them too much, because people die left and right, and you never know who will be next. What impressed me the most about these characters is that each of them were true to their culture. The Gaian's thought, acted and reacted differently than the Caderyn, The characters were each distinct from the other, and there are a lot of them. Rhia's character was phenomenal. There was a perfect balance between her desire to settle down and her desire to be a warrior. Rhia goes through a lot of hardships and therefore the story takes you through some dark places, but it too was very well balanced. We didn't stay there longer than necessary, and yet I felt all that she was going through.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and can't wait to get my hands on the next one.
Review might be late but this still goes down as another off my 2018 Bookworm Bingo Challenge – A book set in an era you would love to see. To observe only though as I think it would be a bit intense to be involved when the battles start up.
This seems to be a book of many parts following the journey, happy and sad in equal measure, of our warrior Rhia of Caderyn. We start almost as we mean to go on with a battle taking place between her people and the Gorvic. A battle won would put anyone in a good mood and as a result it seems that her father sees fit to declare that Bevan can have her hand in marriage. The gods that have spoken and the druids say it is a good match but have they really understood what the gods were saying in the first place? From what happens next maybe not. It seems that this first love was always fated to perish.
The Gorvic are on the rise again but this time they have brought the Gaians with them – much more specialist fighters. As a result the outcome is not what they would have hoped for. It seems Gaians have a way of making a clan crumble to almost nothing before making a deal to create a harmony of sorts – one that always seems to be in their favour. A treaty is signed and with it Rhia and her sister Gwen are sent off to live with the enemy by marring two of the rulers sons. With everything that has happened to Rhia – battle lost, Bevan’s death, and being attacked – she is almost just a shell of her former warrior self. This new husband of hers, Marius, is in for a bit of a struggle with his new bride.
Living with the enemy for many years you can see how Rhia would get lost in their ways and almost forget who she really is. A shock reminder of this and how Gaians see her people soon starts to put things in perspective. She hasn’t just got herself to worry about though. Along with wanting to protect her son she also has her sister Gwen to think about. She can tell that she is scared and you get the clear impression that it might be from her own husband. There is something not quite right about him. Whether he really is mad or just being manipulated by others remains to be seen but one thing is for sure, another battle is on the horizon and this time spells and sorcery are playing a part. Can Rhia and Marius bring the other tribes and warriors together to fight what’s coming?
Warriors are good but the Gadarim elite are better. The gods watch over them and they are the ones all aspire to become – even Rhia, though no woman has ever become one before. They fight and die with honour no matter the tribe they fight for. They will honour those that are the same. Side note – don’t get in their way and don’t be a coward. Now Gawan, aka Leaping Wolf and Gadarim for Gorvic, was an interesting character. He has a hate/hate relationship with Rhia from the first battle they were a part of. He might not like her but will soon come to respect her as a warrior – Fearless Wildcat is coming.
An interesting story but very long. I did feel at times there was just too much description of what was going on rather than dialogue between characters. Being cut down a bit could give it a quicker pace when things start rolling towards a final battle. The main focus in these battles is to do with honour among soldiers and warriors. Lose that and you might just lose your war. A battle might be won but I fear more could be on the horizon for our wildcat Rhia.
First thing I've noticed was how well written and how throughly researched this book was.
It was also brutal and with many out-of-the-blue twists that raised the stakes at every turn.
All this combined with intruguing characters and well narrated fighting scenes made me really enjoy this one.
I will be honest, it can be slow at times and overly descriptive however the slow parts are actually important to grow attached to the characters and understanding their circumstances so that when the peace speeds up and twists happens we care and feel more deeply for them. And it works.
This is classified as a fantasy however another thing it should be made clear is that this is not a high fantasy or really a fantasy at all in my opinion. It feels more like an historical fiction with a touch of magic. Or I guess you could call it a military fantasy cause that should be a thing! It is a story based on the the invasion of Britain (more specifically Wales) and how Rhin, of the native Caderyn tribe, a warrior, a young girl and soon-to-be bride sees her life changing drastically as a result of the sudden invasion.
There are a lot of technical descriptions of battles and battle strategies that got me a bit lost, but for someone who really enjoys the technicalities this will be very interesting. Battle jargon aside, there is a lot more to the story to make it interesting for many adult readers. We have love and betrayals, we have morally grey characters and fierce women fighting theeth and nails for their country and loved ones. And we have tragedy and triumph embracing each other in a well crafted saga.
The author was very kind to send a copy of this self-published first book in a series to me in exchange for an honest review. I was very grateful and genuinely happy to find myself appreciating the talented writing and engaging story to the point that I read this very long book in just 5 days.
I will continue with the series without doubts. And a high five to the author as I was very happy to find the name Arwen mentioned in this book as it is one of my favourite names ever (for obvious reasons) and I never before heard it if not in Lord of the Rings.
I want to conclude this review by stating again how I believe myself so incredibly lucky to be part of a community that makes me interact with people who love reading and also with talented people who writes these stories and give us dreams.
Wildcat is powerful, dangerous, and intriguing! This one is full of action, mayhem, and betrayal! For fans of The Mists of Avalon and Game of Thrones, this one is sure to take you on a wild ride full of twists and turns!
The first thing I noticed about this book was the kick ass cover! That cover conveyed so much to me, and the story beneath did not disappoint! Wildcat was full of intense, gory battle scenes, passion, sadness, and surprises. There was danger and betrayal at every turn, and so many unpredictable plot twists!
The world J.P built was phenomenal. He used such descriptive imagery, that I felt like I was watching a movie. I could imagine what each place looked like, and could clearly see the battle scenes in my mind.
The plot really reminded me of The Mists of Avalon. It had the enjoyable, mystical feeling that I had when I read, and watched, The Mists of Avalon. I have never read, or watched, Game of Thrones, but from what I have heard of it, this one seemed perfect for fans of Martin's work. I found the plot to be highly engaging, with a medium pace, and enjoyable unpredictability! It satisfied the celtic/warrior battle lover in me, while holding my interest and immersing me in to the old world.
I would have liked to see a little more character development. I loved Rhia's character, but I felt like she was the only truly developed character. She was strong, courageous, vulnerable, and fierce. Her journey, and development, were powerful and engaging.
I did come to favor Marius a little, though. I would have liked to see him more developed, but he had a fair amount of character development. He was brave, loyal, and strong. He also had a fair amount of morals, and had a nice character transformation throughout the story.
This was not a short story by any means. With that said, I did not feel like it dragged or suffered from filler. My only real critiques were the occasional editing mistakes, and a few awkward sex scenes. Other than that, and the lack of character development, I really enjoyed this book. It was intense and intriguing! It had a bit of mystery to it, a little humor, and a lot of excitement! I am looking forward to finishing the saga!
Thank you to the author for sending me this free copy in exchange for my honest review!
Content warning for sexual content, a scene of rape, miscarriage, language, slavery, violence, and gore.
Before I get into this book, I want to warn you for rape and violence triggers. First of, this book is incredibly well researched. The book, which is a combination of the Iron Age Wales and Ancient Rome was just enough to satisfy my love for fantasy and historical fiction. I really appreciate how much research the author has done in order to make this book as realistic as possible and it’s mind-blowing well it turned out. I would have loved to have seen a little more of the Ancient Rome side of the story, but honestly I can’t complain! I already got so much more than I asked for. It reads a little slower than most fantasy books, but it works perfectly with this one.
The several battles in this book are written in such detail and with such expertise that I flew through those chapters, though to be fair, I flew through pretty much the entire book. Towards the end of the book, there are so many little twists and turns I didn’t see coming, and I loved it so much. There are little elements of surprise throughout the entire book, some things that the author gets back to very cleverly, but the ending of the book was full of surprises and changed the way I thought about a character in just a few words.
The time jumps in this book are sometimes a little sudden, but I think I’d have to put that to reading the book when I was tired. I also basically guessed every name that’s based from the Welsh culture, but let’s be real, we all do this when there’s a new name or word in a book.
As for Rhia, the protagonist, it took a little while for me to like her, but by the end of the book I was 100% rooting for her. Rhia is only 18 years old at the start of this book and throughout the entire plot she honestly has the worst kind of luck. She loses the people she loves more than once, gets raped, and loses herself in grief and ignorance for a while, but she scrabbles her way back up when she has a son and is more powerful than ever. She has a fighters spirit that Celeana of Throne of Glass or Katniss from the Hunger Games would bow down to, she’s not afraid to voice her thoughts, no matter how rude they might be and she doesn’t take any crap from anyone.
There are several switches in perspective between Rhia and General Severus Lapidus. The general is a powerdrunk lunatic which fit in with the plot so well. He uses magic to enhance his soldiers and uses them to attack at Nantwyn for a second time. These POV twists were maybe my least favourite bit of the book, however they were kind of necessary for the story to know what Lepidus has planned and to kind of get a feel for what’s going to happen next.
Overall, this book is such a great fantasy. The plot is engaging, the characters are realistic, if not relatable and everything is researched to the little details. I give this book a 4.5 out of 5 stars and I highly recommend it if you enjoy reading about warriors, battles or if you enjoy the fantasy and historical fiction genres.
“Perhaps so. I prefer his chances of it to those of a dancing kitten.”
Genre: Adult | Fantasy
5 out of 5 stars!
Brilliant world building!
I’ll be upfront and say I have not read many books written in a medieval setting and I now know I need to read more! JP Harker’s exciting read Wildcat has brought this to my attention.
Right from the first page I was sucked into this exciting world filled with powerful characters. Wildcat gives you a little taste of everything… from vicious, life sucking battles to love and deceit you never know what will come next. You may even find some taking the lives of their very own loved ones.
JP Harker’s writing is captivating! The battle scenes are so detailed and vivid it really sets the picture in your mind. His characters are so engaging you can’t help but love them all and I’m not just talking about the protagonists, the supporting characters are also intriguing.
Rhia’s story line has a connection to the modern day. She struggles wanting to be fighting along side her people but also with wanting to start a family of her own and keeping her children safe. I saw this as today’s working Mom’s who love the idea of being home with their kids all day but have that urge, that want to be out in the working world. Rhia’s challenged throughout the whole story, she’s put through tick and thin and still she pulls through somehow. Memories and people linger with her, impacting so many of her future life decisions. She truly is a stunning character.
I can’t wait to get my hands on the next two completed books in the saga (#2 Leaping Wolf, #3 Lion Cub). Book #4 is currently in the works!
If you are a fan of medieval type reads with a mix of romance among many other things. I would highly recommend picking up book 1: Wildcat, see what you think.
Thank you very much to JP Harker for sending me a copy to read and review. I am now a new dedicated fan to his work and I am excited to see what else he comes out with in the future.
A brilliant fantasy story, about a group of rival tribes and an invading legion who's trying to take over their land. It took me a while to get into the story because of the writing style and slow pace of the story, but about 100 pages in something unexpected happened that made the story way more interesting (no spoilers! lol). Right at the beginning, there's a very awkward scene where this 50 year old guy is watching his 17/18 year old daughter have a bath with her friends. He doesn't just watch but he openly flirts with one of them. That scene was beyond creepy and didn't add anything to the story. The announcement that he makes at the end of the scene could have been made at any other time. It was very uncomfortable to read. Another problem I had with this book was the main character's mother. She is barely in the story, even though her family is apparently the most important thing in the world to the MC! She shows up a couple of times in the first half of the book, then swiftly disappears into oblivion. The MC doesn't even think about her mum in the second half of the book. It's like she doesn't exist anymore! The mother didn't die or anything, she just stops showing up in the story... The writing style takes some getting used to. For instance, instead of saying: "She went to her father's house." the author writes: "She went to the house of her father." And that happens all the time, throughout the whole book, which can be tiring. But the story itself made up for the writing style. There was action, romance, deceit, suspense, magic and lots of fighting! Overall, it was a fun read but with a slow start. The story gets way more interesting after the Gaians are introduced.
Rhianwyn of the Caderyn is a warrior and when war comes to her homeland in the form of the invading Gaians, Rhia’s life is turned upside down. Soon to become a wife and a mother she struggles to balance the desire for a family with her aim to become one of the tribe’s warrior elite, the Gadarim, as they enter the fight for their freedom.
It’s a tale of war, survival and love with a sprinkle of sorcery on the side.
I had such a fun time reading Wildcat! You can see the level of research that has been carried out and worked seamlessly into this story, particularly regarding the lifestyles and warfare of the Gaians, which are modelled on the Romans. This was interesting to see alongside the more fantastical elements of magic that fit so well in the historical setting it’s hard to imagine it without them.
It was slightly long in some parts for my taste, with some unnecessary detail, but the further through the book I got the crisper and more exciting the writing became. The final 150-200 pages where fast paced, intense and truly thrilling as we headed into the final battle.
For me the mark of a good historical fiction of this nature are the battle scenes and Harker definitely brought the battle to life. It was brilliantly done and I really felt the fear and desperation of the characters fighting in the front lines and was at the mercy of every dramatic turn it took.
Overall I was really impressed! It’s difficult to get in all the detail needed for a historical setting and still keep the pace of the story flowing and Harker manages it well. The potential for the rest of the series is massive and somehow I don’t think the characters are in for a peaceful life yet; I’m super excited to see what twists get thrown their way!
*I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review ☺️✨ all these thoughts are my own!
As soon as I read the synopsis for this book, I knew that I wanted to read it right away. I’ve been craving novels that are rich with British history and that are set in historical times, so this was ideal.
The main character goes through a LOT in this story, so naturally it was a very emotional and gripping read, with some truly horrific and brutal scenes due to the war-filled nature of the novel. It had the perfect blend of character building and development with a very intense and powerful supporting storyline spanning many years.
We do get a couple different POVs within this book, which changes the pace and gives us a deeper understanding into what is going on. I felt fully immersed in this setting and felt truly connected to the main character, Rhia. And even though it was a long book, it never felt like there was any ‘filler’ and it didn’t drag at all, which is a rare thing for me.
If the synopsis sounds interesting to you then I highly recommend picking this book up. I’m excited to continue with this author’s other works in the future!