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Publisher's Summary

The King is Dead. Long live the people.  

Mareth is a bard, serial underachiever, 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, sings a story that will put the right person in that chair, his future fame and drinking money are all but assured. But, alas, 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 who has 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.

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.  

©2018 D. P. Woolliscroft (P)2019 Tantor

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  • Kevin Potter
  • 12-04-2019

Brilliant take on a tired idea!

At first I was wary of a female narrator for what seems to be predominantly male POV characters.

Thankfully, that fear was misplaced. Sheila Dearden is a brilliant narrator with some great voices and excellent control of tempo and vocal inflections.

Her one weakness, as is the case with a great many narrators, is the inability to create believable voices of the opposite gender.

Also, as the story opened, I was wary of the sheer number of POV characters that were introduced right away. The first four chapters present us with four different characters, each in a different place and doing different things.

Thankfully, every character is unique and distinct and has their own voice, motivation and goals. There are plenty of awesome character moments and some shocking twists.

I want to talk about the prose and style. D. P. Wooliscroft has an awesomely engaging voice and style that can't help but draw you in. And quite apart from a significant portion of independently published books, the prose is skillfully written and free of errors.

Now, that said, at its heart this story is essentially the same medieval political struggle that I've read dozens of times. The same one that I grew tired of long ago.

I find myself wishing the side elements; the assassins, the demons, the thousand-year-old wizard, the bardic magic, even the curious history behind the dwarven juggernauts; had been much more central to the plot rather than the political machinations.

That was the one thing preventing this from being a 5-star read for me.

For all that though, the book was brilliantly written and has enough going on to keep me interested and entertained even through the plot that my mind kept trying to wander away from.

It is telling that even though the heart of the plots are similar, this book kept me far more engaged than Sanderson's Elantris or Warbreaker.

The ending. Well, I would have liked there to be some sort of hint of the conflict that comes just before the end (it feels a little contrived), but otherwise the end comes much as I expected it would.


There is one major twist at the end that caught me completely off guard and made all the rest worth it!

In spite of the main plot lacking anything amazing or ground breaking, there is enough going on with the characters, the world, and the demons, that I can't wait for the next one to come out in audio so I can dig into it!

4 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
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  • River
  • 10-06-2019

Awful, will never again buy from this author

Animal sacrificed - no thanks! Horrid, could not finish. Wish there had been a warning. Don't bother with this one.

2 people found this helpful

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