Today is my stop for The Write Reads blog tour for Kingshold. Kingshold is a debut novel from author, D.P. Woolliscroft and I’m so excited to share my thoughts about it with you all.
WHAT IS IT ABOUT?
BY: D.P. Woolliscroft
SERIES: The Wildfire Cycle #1
GENRE: Fantasy, High Fantasy
Mareth is a bard, a serial under achiever, a professional drunk, and general disappointment to his father. Despite this, Mareth has one thing going for him. He can smell opportunity. The King is dead and an election for the new Lord Protector has been called. If he plays his cards right, if he can sing a story that will put the right person in that chair, his future fame and drinking money is all but assured. But, alas, it turns out Mareth has a conscience after all.
Neenahwi is the daughter to Jyuth, the ancient wizard who founded the Kingdom of Edland and she is not happy. It’s not just that her father was the one who killed the King, or that he didn’t tell her about his plans. She’s not happy because her father is leaving, slinking off into retirement and now she has to clean up his mess.
Alana is a servant at the palace and the unfortunate soul to draw the short straw to attend to Jyuth. Alana knows that intelligence and curiosity aren’t valued in someone of her station, but sometimes she can’t help herself and so finds herself drawn into the Wizard’s schemes, and worst of all, coming up with her own plans.
Chance brings this unlikely band together to battle through civil unrest, assassinations, political machinations, pirates and monsters, all for a common cause that they know, deep down, has no chance of succeeding – bringing hope to the people of Kingshold.
High fantasy is one of my most favorite genres though I seldom read it because this genre is known for long, complicated books. So having to read a high fantasy because I have to is a good chance for me. I jumped into reading this book with high expectations and excitement and I’m not disappointed. I’m really glad I joined this blog tour.
The story started with the end of the monarchy in Kingshold which sets the story right away. I don’t think I’ve ever read a story with a post-monarchy setting before, so this concept is very refreshing. I also always enjoy reading about political tales in fictional worlds. I enjoy the intrigues, and schemes and the motivations behind those schemes that political tales go with. Added with the fantasy side, the wizards and the pirates, Kingshold is surely a perfect read.
And oh, the idea of having pixies as means for voting is brilliant.
Kingshold itself as a setting is well-constructed. Right from the very beginning I got a vivid picture of this fictional world thanks to the author’s elaborate descriptions. I feel like I can walk through the streets of Kingshold with a perfect knowledge on where to turn (or maybe hide, if needed.) And the author did it without seemingly info-dumping and he definitely didn’t use flowery language. Just plain old tale narration and it’s perfect.
I’ve read others said the first half of the book is slow but I don’t know, I didn’t find it that way. Maybe because it’s already in my mind that with High Fantasy, it would take long before the real action begins. Like I said this is a favorite genre of mine. But I still agree with others and I think I know the reason why the pacing seems slow, it’s the characters POV.
First of all, I don’t have any problem with the characters. I love Mareth. A bard who once answered the call of adventure so he can tell stories of himself. I mean, wow. Wish I am THAT brave, and I don’t even care if I succeeded at something, the adventure itself is a big reward. This is what happens with Mareth. As the blurb said, he is a serial under-achiever and that makes his character even more interesting. He also appears a little cunning and opportunistic to me which is perfect for these kinds of stories. I just love how clever he is, taking the opportunity to gain things for himself when it’s presented by fate. (Just to be clear, I wouldn’t want this kind of cleverness in real life, just in stories such as this.)
My next favorite is the shape-shifting wizard, Neenahwi. I think her back story and skills and qualities make for protagonist-worthy character. She seemed like someone whose life events I would follow. I mean she’s a wizard and she shape-shift and now she’s in a place she didn’t even like and she has a purpose of righting a wrong. Complete ingredients for a perfect protagonist, if you ask me.
Now, actually there are more characters whose roles in the story are big but I wouldn’t name them for one reason. I feel like they’re a bit typical and I’ve read of them in other stories so I don’t find anything distinctive about their characters, or you know, something notable. But that doesn’t make them badly-written characters, I just don’t think I need to feature them one by one in my review for the reason I stated.
These characters, like I said, is the reason why it takes long for the story to REALLY begin. This is a multi-POV novel and even though I love multi-POVs, I think in Kingshold, it can do with lesser POVs. Maybe just two or three, Mareth and another. But this is just me. Besides, it is not uncommon for high fantasy to have multi POVs. Its just that some POVs here aren’t really interesting. This is the only reason why I didn’t end up rating this with five stars.
RATING: 4 blissful pages with lilies
Like I said, the POVs is the only reaosn why I didn’t give this one five stars, so obviously, for me, this is an amazing read and I highly recommend it.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Born in Derby in England, on the day before mid-summers day, David Peter Woolliscroft was very nearly magical. If only his dear old mum could have held on for another day. But magic called out to him over the years, with a many a book being devoured for its arcane properties. David studied Accounting at Cardiff University where numbers weaved their own kind of magic and he has since been a successful business leader in the intervening twenty years.
Adventures have been had. More books devoured and then one day, David had read enough where the ideas he had kept bottled up needed a release valve. And thus, rising out of the self doubt like a phoenix at a clicky keyboard, a writer was born. The Wildfire Cycle is David’s debut series. He is married to his wife Haneen and has a daughter Liberty, who all live with their mini golden doodle Rosie in Princeton NJ.
David is one of the few crabs to escape the crab pot.
LINKS: Website | TWITTER | Facebook
There you have it guys. Again, I highly recommend this book to all high fantasy lovers.