With no leader to run the country, Jyuth creates an election for a Lord protector to take charge and give the people of kingshold a chance to have their say. But only the wealthy or those in possession of 1000 gold crowns will receive a pixie to cast their votes. As you can imagine, this leads to the powerful candidates, bullying, bribing and sometimes paying for assassinations on the other candidates. There's literally a school dedicated to assassins so paying for an assasintation is about as easy as buying a tankard of ale. Just more expensive, of course.
Usually, books based purely around elections or politics are pretty boring in my opinion. But D. P. Woolliscroft has created one of the most exciting and fast paced books I've read this year. The way the election takes place and gets the whole of kingshold involved, sucks the reader into a tight embrace and refuses to let go. The characters involved in the election is what made me fall in love with this story. We follow four main characters, Mareth, Alana, Neenahwi and Mortega.
Mareth, one of my favourite characters, is a drunken bard that only sees the election in a way to get his name written into the history books and maybe put his chosen candidate into the palace as Lord protector. Of course, it never pans out how you would like and Mareth is thrown into the election in a way he never thought possible.
Alana is an intelligent maid currently wasting her talents serving the old wizard, Jyuth. Alana is the real brains behind bringing the people of kingshold together to finally change the kingdom forever and give the commoners a chance to have their say.
Neenahwi, another of my favourites, is a shape shifting warrior from a distant land, coming back to kingshold after a long hunt for a gem that holds immense power, and also to see her father, the infamous wizard, Juyth. She hates the idea of an election but chooses to meet with each and every individual candidate to seek out their plans for Edland. Also, her father plans to retire and leave her in charge of this mess. So she must use her vote wisely and vote for the candidate most unlikely to make a hash of things. Bringing her into Alana's path and her mission to find a suitable Lord Protector.
Mortega is part of a trio, hired to steal valuable items for wealthy clients. One mission brings Mortega and his two friends back to kingshold after a ten year absence. He has the ability to go inside the mind of his falcon, Per. Giving the trio a huge advantage when facing the enemy. (How cool is that?!).
My only complaint about this book was that it can be a bit predictable at times. There are times when something happens and you think to yourself "I could have called that". But don't let that tiny blimp put you off. There are parts that surprised me and a lot of 'nobody could have seen that coming' moments.
Although the book is based entirely around the election. There are fight scenes that left me with a bit of an adrenaline rush.(I've also got a ton of sleep to catch up on after reading this.)
I don't want to blabber on anymore, for the fear of giving too much away. But I cannot tell you in words how much I loved this book. It's a book I can see myself going back to time and time again (which is rare for me). Also, my partner (who never reads fantasy books) actually wants to read this book. That in itself should convince you how amazing this book really is!
This is a sensational debut from D. P. Woolliscroft and it's stomped its way into my top 5 best reads of 2018.
I want to thank D. P. Wooliscroft for reaching out and provided me with a copy of kingshold. I had a lot of fun reading it and look forward to reading all his future work.