Review // Wildcat by JP Harker

Friday, June 15, 2018

Wildcat by J.P. Harker
The Caledon Saga #1
Publisher: JPH
Publication Date: September 4th, 2016
Rating: 4 Stars
Source: Author
Format: Paperback

Summary (from Goodreads):

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.

** 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. [WHYYYYYY?!?!] <--- Highlight for possibly spoiler-y content.

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!

Have you read or heard of this book? You should give it a shot if you're at all curious or interested in fantasy inspired by Iron Age Britain and then come talk to me about it!

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