Thursday, April 30, 2020

Review: Tales of Ioth (The Wildfire Cycle #2.5) by D.P. Woolliscroft

Tales of Ioth (The Wildfire Cycle #2.5)
Tales of Ioth (The Wildfire Cycle #2.5) by D.P. Woolliscroft
Publication Date: April 28th, 2020
Ebook. 244 pages

About Tales of Ioth:

"Ioth was gone. Kingshold had fallen. 
But we could not give up. 

I am Mareth, once Lord Protector of Kingshold, and these are the stories of what happened after the fall, when everyone was at their lowest ebb. These are the stories of how the battle against Llewdon moved from the Jeweled Continent to Alfaria - the Wild Continent. 
The next installment in the exciting Wildfire Cycle. Tales of Ioth, Book 2.5 of the Wildfire Cycle is essential reading, including a novella in five parts and four other short stories. 

Dudenas (Novella) - Picking up immediately from the end of Ioth, City of Lights. The heroes of Kingshold have failed and Llewdon has seemingly won. 
But Neenahwi rallies the group that is traumatized by the loss of their friends and sets a new destination for their fight back - the Wild Continent. Allied with the dwarfs and travelling by giant purple worm, they set out on a harrowing journey under the ocean and through the dark of the Dudenas to the birth place of Neenahwi and Motega. 

The Beginning of Things - The Wild Continent has it's own creation story, and it all began with a tree. This is the story of the mother-tree, the animals that sprang from her fruit, and the people they created. 

Profit and Plain Sailing - Vin Kolsen has a ship, a loyal(ish) crew and success raiding Pyrfew ships off the coast of the Wild Continent. But why should that be enough when there is greater opportunity out there. If only there was a pirate king to bring together the North Sea Corsairs. 

The Wanderer - What will the visitors in green and gold to Yamaagh's clan shortly after they discover the destruction of their hated enemies, the wolfclaw, mean for his destiny of becoming the "the strongest living warrior of the tigereye"? And who is the man without a name setting traps for those who have invaded his home? 

The Further Adventures of Old Man and His Pyxie - Jyuth is retired. He is done with magic and just wants to spend his remaining days indulging in those 'hobbes' he has been neglecting for the past few centuries. An old man just wants to have fun, but can he really walk away from everything?"

Well, here's another delight from Woolliscroft! Honestly, I have been struggling with focusing a lot lately (between The-Thing-That-Shall-Not-Be-Named and working on multiple papers for grad school, my mind doesn't have a lot left over these days!) and there is nothing better than diving back into a world that I already know and with characters that I'm already familiar with and care about.

Tales of Ioth has a similar format to Tales of Kingshold, which acts as a sort in-between collection of stories that occur between the sequel (Ioth, City of Lights) and the forthcoming third book (Tales of Kingshold was between book 1 and book 2). I've really found myself enjoying this format for how Woolliscroft has decided to tell his story. There's nothing wrong with a regular series format, but something about this just feels fresh and keeps my attention more because there's a bit more variety to break things up and keep the story, world, and characters fresh.

This collection was a little different in that there is a novella within made up of five different parts, along with four additional short stories. As I've probably mentioned in reviews somewhere, short stories are often hit or miss for me, but thus far I have easily enjoyed all of the short stories I've read from Woolliscroft set in the Wildfire Cycle. Woolliscroft somehow manages to maintain a very stable pacing that stays constant in nature throughout each story, naturally speeding up and slowing depending on a scene or what is required of the plot. I never feel like the stories are dragging or moving too quickly, but rather have a great balance between the two that makes these such a delight to read through.

The novella, "Dundenas," picks up immediately after the events of Ioth, City of Lights, and works to move the plot forward from the intensity of the previous book in order to create a strong bridge into the next book. The other stories range from background on The Wild Continent to specific character focuses and more explorations of different parts of this world. I won't go through each story individually as I did for Tales of Kingshold because at this point I don't want to give anything away, but I think all of them held their own extremely well, and in fact I'm not sure if I could even pick a 'weaker' one out of the lot. Each narrative holds it own and has it's own draw that contributes great information to the plot.

One reason I love the books from the Wildfire Cycle is because of the incredible and endearing characters. I've said before that Woolliscroft crafts some truly well-written characters, but it never ceases to impress me with how much I enjoy them. There's something exceptionally authentic about them that makes them feel like someone I might actually meet. Neenahwi, Jyuth, Vin--all are favorites of mine, though it's actually easy for me to say that about a lot of these characters.

These stories are entertaining and adventurous, but also provide some rather important elements that will carry over into the next book. These aren't short stories (and a novella!) that you can really skip, but rather a (vital) part in development of the plot and for the different characters we've met and follow. What I really love about these is that each story--whether serious and crucial to the plot or more of something casually enjoyable--allows the reader to learn more about the world through direct and indirect events, as well as to learn more about the characters through direct and indirect characterization elements.

Overall, it's another five stars from me! I really can't wait to see what's around the corner in The Wildfire Cycle.

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

1 comment:

  1. Wow 5 stars! This is an author I'd love to try someday😁