24 October 2014

The Wildling by Treva Harte

In the uncivilized out-country known as Aridzone, Arness is the best at what she does. The wildlings she captures and domesticates worship her. In return she always matches her pets with doting, wealthy mistresses who reward hard work. She loves her job...
Until the uncontrollable Adan enters her life. He insists he is a man, not a pet. Will Adan fall under her spell, or will Arness learn that submission can work both ways?

So many things to like about a book, so little space to espouse all of its virtues.  This book is, quite simply, awesome.
The world of this book is extreme, but an awesome idea nonetheless.  Men are “pets” in this female ruled society.   They are used for sexual gratification and breeding.  They are captured and trained, not even being allowed to speak until they are trained to do so.  Arness is a hunter.  She captures wild pets and brings them to heel in order to be sold.  When she is brought in to train a particularly willful “wild” pet, Adan, he is nothing she has ever encountered.  He is strong, he speaks and he is determined to be free.  But, an attraction neither can ignore grows between them.  When Arness is captured by renegade pets, Adan must help to free her.  But will his desire to be free outweigh his desire for Arness?
To say that this book is hot would be an understatement.  It’s not hot.  It’s scorching.  Blazing.  An inferno!  Seriously, if you want hot and very detailed sex, this is the book for you. 
Aside from the sex, this is just a very well written and well-crafted book.  It has strong characters that keep you invested in the plot as well as excellent world building.  I loved the idea of men as pets, but liked the politics contained within this novel even more.  Sala was a great voice of descent in this book, and I thought she brought up really great questions about equality and sexism.  I have never read a book that reversed the roles of men and women quite to this extreme and for me, at least, while reading it I found that it sparked a lot of questions and thoughts about modern day society and how we treat the opposite sex.  I think only really wonderful books can stick with you like that and inspire you to look for deeper meaning in the world around you when you are finished.  Margaret Atwood is an author that comes to mind that is able to inspire these kinds of thoughts in me, and this author was able to do the same.  Bravo.
This was a great book.  I highly recommend it and give it something I rarely bestow on any book, which is 5 stars.

The Wildling has got to be one of the oddest books I have read in a while. It’s definitely a sci-fi romance as it is set on Prosperity, hundreds of years after the destruction of Earth. It’s got a good bit of erotica as men are slaves on Prosperity and the wildlings that Arness captures and tames are traded primarily as breeders – and as we get to see the “taming” and “breeding” scenes, there’s plenty of sex to go around. And there were definitely moments during which I felt like I was in the middle of a soap opera. The most notable one was towards the end when Salla confronts Primary – and I have to say that Arness wasn’t the only one who felt she needed a dictionary – and then Adan confronting Arness. I was laughing almost hysterically at everyone’s antics while reading that scene. Add to that the impression of being set in the Wild West with characters who have an Old English feel to their speech and mannerisms … yeah, that really shouldn’t work. Yet Ms. Harte has managed to combine all of these elements with some extremely interesting characters to create a wildly entertaining read – at least for me it was.

While I definitely enjoyed reading The Wildling, it is most certainly a niche read. For those readers that enjoy sci-fi romances with a side of weird, I suspect they will find the book refreshing. However, I fear that those who don’t will think that those of us who enjoyed it have lost their mind and won’t be kind in their assessment of the book. I truly believe that this is one of those books the people are either going to love or hate – I don’t foresee much middle ground. I for one am glad I got the opportunity to read The Wildling and am looking forward to more oh Ms. Harte’s writing.


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