Book Review: Wilde's Army

Wilde's Army
 (Darkness Falls #2)
By:  Krystal Wade
Published By:  Curiosity Quills Press
Publication Date:  July 4, 2012
Page Count: 348 (ebook 276)
But it at:  Barnes & Noble
Source:  ARC Kindly Provided by Publisher via Netgalley
  Audience:  Young Adult - Fantasy

Hmmm... I have to admit that I've got mixed feelings for Wilde's Army.  There were some portions of this installment that I absolutely loved, but overall, I didn't find I enjoyed this one as much as I did the first book, Wilde's Fire.  While some parts of the story were well done and well written, I found other parts were bogged down a bit and were inconsistent, and brought down my overall enjoyment of the book. 

However, I'll start off with what I DID like/love about Wilde's Army.

I LOVED getting to know Perth a lot better.  He was a much more complex character than what little we learned of him in Wilde's Fire.  He was not as one-sided as everyone at Watcher's Hall believed him to be.  Perhaps his being sent to Watcher's Hall to be Arland's thorn in his side was not entirely a bad thing for him.  His being away from the influence of his power-hungry father and his snobbish and garish people was probably a huge blessing in disguise.  He was honest with his feelings, even when they were not reciprocated, but put himself out there regardless.  Kate's instincts where he was concerned were mostly bang-on. 

I also continued to love the 'alone time' between Kate and Arland - especially that last time!  While these scenes were not as abundant as in the first book, most of the time, they were quite lovely and swoon-worthy when they were alone together. 

Kate's devotion to the animals and the children under her protection was something that made me appreciate her character more.  Kate especially loved horses and her concern for Mirain's and the other animals' well-being was admirable.  Also, her connection to the children was sweet and consistent with her character.  Kate truly cared for people -- even when it was difficult for her to do so. 

However, Kate's resolution was often tested throughout this book, and at times she faltered.  I could understand some of her crumbling resolve as she had been put in situations that seemed all but hopeless.  But what bothered me most was her questioning Arland's intentions when their relationship was put to the test by either circumstance or through the gods' plans.  At a certain part of the story, Kate and Arland had to keep their distance from each and she had to pretend to be in love with someone else.  For how in-sync her and Arland seemed to be most of the time, those were instances when I wanted to shake the sense back into her.  Perhaps, their relationship needed these tests to strengthen their commitment to each other, but to me, I did not see the full value in it. 

While I ADORED Flanna in the first installment, I wasn't too sure about her in this book.  She seemed to act outside of the character we knew and loved in Wilde's Fire.  I understood the reasons for some of this departure from character but I was left feeling confused by where her loyalties were and I didn't like that because I really enjoyed Flanna's personality, loyalty and her friendship with Kate in the previous book.  Thankfully, her true nature seemed to come out in certain parts of the story, though.

I will point out that often these inconsistencies were explained as each character was fulfilling their own prophecies but I found that to be an all-too-convenient excuse. 

I also felt a lack of fluidity as the story unfolded and I found the middle was a little too long and repetitive -- I found myself getting impatient for something to happen.  Having said that, I think perhaps if this trilogy had been truncated and combined into one book instead of being drawn out into three, it would have been more enjoyable to read for me through better pacing.  But I will say that when things started to happen, I got drawn back in and enjoyed those portions of the story.

A few other things bothered me but I don't want to nit-pick any further and give the wrong impression that this book was pointless and discourage anyone following this series to give up on it.  It DID serve a purpose, as the point, I believe, was to strengthen Kate and Arland's union as well as unite a people to fight a dark god.  But like I said, it could have been more succinct in how this portion of the story was told.  And having said all this, I will still read the last installment as I do care enough about the characters to continue along their journey and hopefully see them accomplish what they need to do. 

As I mentioned in my review for Wilde's Fire, the age range of the major characters of this story was 19-25+, and there was some mature content, but I believe it was tastefully handled. 

I'd like to thank Curiosity Quills Press and Netgalley for the opportunity to review this book. 


“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?