Author: D P Woolliscroft
Series: The Wildfire Cycle – Book 1.5
I am Mareth and I collect tales – tales that do not make the official histories. Join me and learn the secret stories of those who sparked the wildfire. Stories from our past, from that fateful summer and its aftermath.
Tales of Kingshold includes four novelettes and six short stories.
To think I only tried this series on a whim after seeing an ad on Facebook for Kingshold and almost scrolled past!
“Mana. Magical energy. Whatever you call it, it is a highly flexible resource that is limited by its availability, the time available to the practitioner, but most importantly, the imagination of the wielder.”
I thoroughly enjoyed Tales of Kingshold. It adds further depth to a world I was already starting to love! I would encourage other authors to adopt the same sort of format with their series as it gives the creative freedom to build and create a vibrant, organic world without having to shoehorn extra bits into a novel that might not otherwise have a place. I know many authors already do this with extra novelettes and shorts but to have them in one place in a book that is a decent page count feels more substantial. You can tell that Woolliscroft enjoys the freedom to build on the world he has created without so many constraints.
My favourite chapter was Hollow Inside which followed the character of Fin in The Hollow Syndicate (the Assassin’s Guild). This particular short really kept me glued to the book with some Name of the Wind schooling vibes. It also of course gave us more insight into the Hollow Syndicate.
We return to all our favourites from Kingshold and get to experience Mareth’s time as a pirate we first hear about in Kingshold, which is cool. Another of my favourite chapters. In fact, I enjoyed them all. Some were more serious than others – serious shit happens throughout, lighter tales are also told as well as Dave’s familiar tongue in cheek humour cropping up here and there.
Sometimes it wasn’t always clear what was past and what was present but if you’re familiar with Kingshold you will know within a few pages of each story. I still think it would be enjoyable for those that haven’t read Kingshold but I really do recommend reading this after as it builds upon everything brilliantly, answering questions, setting up new ones for the next book. You’ll come to like some characters more and I’ll say you may like other characters less. Jyuth for example, is actually much more of a dick than previously thought. And part of this book is Neenahwi coming to terms with both the revelations left by Jyuth and what the future holds for her. Hers is the story arc I’m most looking forward to following in the next book, Ioth City of Lights and future books.
Something else I really enjoyed was reading the letter correspondence sent during Kingshold between various players in the story. It gives a real insight into their thinking and motivations and was just something different that I found really interesting.
Something I was very happy about too was more Dwarves! Possibly my favourite common fantasy race, and in Tales we meet their gigantic, rock-munching worms. We are introduced to a significant Elven backstory too, featuring then-not-Emperor of Pyrfew, Llewdon.
The biggest joy really is just adding all that depth to Edland and the Jeweled Continent. Woolliscroft has created a high fantasy world with all the appeal of The Elder Scrolls, the political intrigue of A Song of Ice and Fire and the imagination of The Winnowing Flame.
I really love this series so far and urge you to read it too!