I’m back with another blog tour with the @WriteReads gang and this time it’s for the epic fantasy: Kingshold. I’m so glad that this book was brought to my attention thanks to Dave and that I was lucky enough to receive a copy from the author. This is one fantasy adventure that’s not to be missed!
Goodreads: Kingshold (Wildfire Cycle #1)
Published: 30 April 2018
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
The King is Dead. Long Live the People!
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 of 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 she 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.
When I think about my reading experience of this book, this is the tweet that immediately comes to mind because really…
I didn’t expect to enjoy this book as much as I did but I was so pleasantly surprised. The characters grew on me and I felt like part of their crew in the end. I’m not big on reading a lot about politics or political scheming in my fiction but I found myself really invested in the outcome of this election and rooting for these underdogs to come out on top!
I really enjoyed Woolliscroft’s simple and straightforward writing style. I thought the story was well paced although for me personally, it wasn’t particularly fast-paced, and that’s not a bad thing. There is constant action, especially as one event after another kicks off in Kingshold, but I didn’t feel the need to rush through the story and I think I appreciated it more for that reason. Considering how much happens, how many characters there are, and how political the story was, I was surprised by how easy and enjoyable I found it. Woolliscroft’s writing is liberally sprinkled with humour that would catch me off guard and have me literally laughing out loud throughout my read. It made reading this even more enjoyable! There was initially a lot of information to digest as we’re introduced to this vast new world and a wide array of characters and sometimes I did feel overwhelmed with information and like we were thrown into the middle of a situation, which did confuse me. But it didn’t happen often and in the end, it didn’t take long to get things situated in my head!
The World building
This world is vast! Although the island of Edland where Kingshold is located is (obviously) the main focus of the story, we’re introduced to the neighbouring lands including enemy Pyrfew, and the ‘barbaric’ Wild Continent. The story is set in a somewhat medieval setting but with magic and magicians, shape-shifters, demons, monsters such as the Draco-Turtle, dwarfish people, and even pirates. Although there is magic in this world, and very different kinds of magic too, we don’t see much or learn much about it (except for when Neenahwi used it). I wasn’t too bummed about it but it would’ve been nice to learn more about where it originated and how it worked. The politics and society of Kingshold was a huge part of the story and while the system is complex with many official and unofficial layers and people in positions of power, it was well explained.
Although the plot was interesting, the characters are still what won me over and kept me reading! I really enjoyed how their storylines all came together; it was really well done and nothing felt forced. There were strong found family vibes once they all banded together for this common cause and who doesn’t love found families?! There were a lot of characters: Mareth, Alana, Neenahwi, Hoskin and Motega were the perspectives we followed, but Mareth and Motega were my personal favourites! I especially loved the banter between Motega and his crew. I enjoyed the other perspectives but I didn’t connect with them as much. I was initially overwhelmed with how many characters there were but by the end I wished that we got to know the side characters even more because they started to feel more like essential characters and the story would’ve been incomplete without them. I love when a story can get me that invested in <b>all</b> of its characters and this story did a really great job with that!
There was a plot twist at the end of the book that had me shook. I kind of predicted half of the twist (as a joke and never really thinking it would be true) so I was pretty surprised when it actually happened! It has me looking forward to seeing what happens next. One thing is for sure, the dramatic twists and turns will only continue and I have a feeling something very wicked is coming when the characters least expect it. Bring it on! 😃
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.
Have you read Kingshold or is it on your TBR?
If you’re keen on epic fantasies, I’d definitely recommend this!