by Katie Cross
Series: The Network Series #0.5
Purchase*: Amazon *affiliate
Absolute Power Corrupts Even the Best of Friends. Mildred Graeme is a witch that knows what it’s like to fail. She loathes small talk, struggles with magic, and grew up wretchedly poor. What’s easy for her best friend Evelyn, a wealthy, powerful socialite, is difficult for Mildred. The two lifelong friends reunite at Chatham Castle where they fight together for the dream of a better world. Mildred wants to save the Network from political elitism, while Evelyn encourages it. When Evelyn gains power and threatens to obliterate the Network, Mildred realizes that she must overcome her fear of failure to save the lives of those she loves, even if it means betraying her best friend. Mildred’s Resistance is the prequel to The Network Series and a gripping tale of intrigue, betrayal, and unexpected romance that defies all odds to rise above the ghosts of failure.
Mildred’s Resistance is the third book published in the Networking Series but events in the story actually take place before Miss Mabel’s School for Girls. Katie Cross gave us a full-length novel sharing the rise of Mildred to High Priestess. If you read Antebellum Awakening, you will be curious to note this book was given to Bianca to read by Councilor Stella. I loved getting the history and a more in-depth understanding of some of the powerful players in this world. Brilliant and engaging, Mildred’s Resistance is a must read for fans of the series.
The tale focuses on three friends whose names you will quickly recognize. Stella, Evelyn and Mildred. The story begins when they are six and moves quickly forward as it highlights childhood events before settling in as the girls, now young women, reunite at Chatham Castle where they begin working for the Network.
Evelyn and Mildred become the key players in this novel and Cross quickly submerges us into this fascinating world from her vivid descriptions to her fully developed characters. We go inside the inner chambers of the council and those of the High Priest and Priestess. I loved all the different aspects as we begin to see cracks in the friendship formed so long ago.
Evelyn is a bit of a fruitcake with a strong conviction on how to improve the Network. Her character is easily influenced and her emotions are often childlike as she works to move up the ranks within the council. Her plans set in motion an elitist society. Evelyn is the perfect politician as she greases elbows, manipulates those around her and seeks approval. Cross does, a wonderful job of allowing us to understand where the cracks began that she so desperately tries to fill.
Stella is the stable friend who sees both sides and is always practical and patient. While her role is not as significant, she added depth and perspective. I loved Stella. She is strong, confident and knows what she wants.
Mildred was my favorite character. The weakest of the bunch she slowly transforms throughout the novel. Strong convictions, strength and compassion make her a character to admire. We watch first had as Mildred advances her career through hard work. She eventually accepts a job as the Network Librarian.This is a job she swore she would never take, but ever-practical Mildred does exactly that. It is here that we slowly witness growth in Mildred. She finds her purpose and I found the journey exciting.
Katie Cross is an exceptional storyteller. Her world is fully developed and she brings it vividly to life from the vineyards to the musty basement that are Mildred’s offices. Her characters have depth and love them or hate them you will come to understand them. Some parts of the story are slower, but I loved all the details as Mildred and Evelyn’s careers advanced. Some of the story is told in letters between key characters, family and May the teacher who influences Evelyn. We even see a little romance with the characters. They were small threads that further fleshed out the character’s lives. Cross delivers some suspense, humor and some intense action scenes particularly in the last one-third of the book.
Fans of the series will love the addition of Mildred’s Resistance. The last book of the series, The High Priest’s Daughter releases in September.