Monday, November 5, 2018

Review: Tales of Kingshold by D.P Woolliscroft

*Tales of Kingshold will be published Tuesday, November 6th!*

Tales of Kingshold (Wildfire Cycle #1.5)
Tales of Kingshold (#1.5) by D.P. Woolliscroft
Self-Published, 2018
Ebook. 217 pages. 

Tales of Kingshold is a collection of short stories that take place in The Wildfire Cycle, continuing on from the first book, Kingshold, which was published earlier this year. Tales of Kingshold is a fantastic addition to the world established in the first book, and I had such a great time revisiting both the world and some of the characters, as well as meeting new characters.

Woolliscroft explains in the beginning of this book his idea of adding these short fiction collections in between his longer novels as a way to provide additional information to the storyline in shorter bursts. I really like this format idea, and I personally found it to be a quick, easy, and enjoyable way to obtain new information about characters we’ve already met, new characters that will show up in the next book, and additional world information and fill-in. Since Kingshold was an abundantly political novel (and I assume future ones will be as well), I think this is a clever method to avoid excessive info-dumping and time that could take away from the main content of the actual novel itself.

I’m not generally an enormous fan of short stories because I tend to dislike spending such a short amount of time with different characters and storylines, but because I already had an established world and story from Kingshold, I found this to be a truly wonderful collection. There were plenty of tidbits of information, good humor and characters, and most importantly--adventure.

The stories themselves vary in focus and length, though they tend to center on a specific character to give the reader a bit more information or background on them while also adding more to the world itself. There are about twelve individual short stories, and although I found them all interesting, I decided to pick a couple to briefly comment on. (Note: I don’t plan to go into any sort of detail for these brief comments, but do note that I will be mentioning characters from the first book, so if you haven’t read Kingshold and don’t want to see anything potentially spoiler-related, you might want to avoid this section.)

“From Father to Daughter”: This story lets the reader into an unseen moment in which Neenawhi reads a letter from Jyuth, her father, about his subsequent departure. I thought this was a rather touching fill-in that showcased some of the relationship between Neenawhi and her father. It also provided some extra information about Jyuth that I found particularly interesting, and I liked being able to Neenawhi’s reactions to some of it.

“Twin Lies”: This was a slightly longer story, but also an entertaining and rather humorous one as well. It provided some additional background to Florian’s character that allowed me to get to know him better and also to better understand some of his motivations in the first book and (I assume) future books. It was also nice to meet and hear from some of the other characters involved in this story.

“All that Shimmers”: Another longer one that I don’t want to really give too much away about, but it felt like a rather important one as well that contained some useful insights. It was a bit slow to start for me, but once it picked up I was engaged the entire time and was excited to see where the story would go.

“Of Buccaneers and Bards”: This was probably one of my favorites and centered on Vin Kolsenn, stuck in the gaol after an unfortunate bar fight. He is eventually given a cellmate--one that readers will immediately recognize--and from there the story really takes off, throwing both characters on an adventurous, pirate-filled journey. I loved getting some background information for these characters.

“Jyuth on Magic”: The last one I’d like to mention was a series of excerpts from Jyuth’s own writings on the magic systems at play in this world. These were small snippets stuck in between the stories of this collection that I found truly fascinating and indispensable. I love learning more about the thoughts and workings of magic in different stories, so this added so much more information than I could have hoped for.

If you enjoyed Kingshold and pan to continue reading the series, then I strongly recommend you pick this collection up. Not only does it feel entirely necessary to have this information, it's also highly entertaining and carries on that imaginative, wild, and political ride that Kingshold brought.

Overall, I've given Tales of Kingshold four stars!

Buy the book: Amazon

*I received a copy of Tales of Kingshold courtesy of the author in exchange for an honest review. This has no effect on my rating of the book.*

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