Hello! I have something slightly different for you today. Instead of a review I have a spoiler free excerpt from the book. Sounds good right? Through The Write Reads I’ve found some amazing new reads and authors that I love, and this one sounds like it’s going to be one epic fantasy read. The piece I have chosen to focus on is in the first chapter, and you get introduced to the first character in our unlikely trio. If this is anything to go by the rest of the book is going to be a whirlwind.
Born in Derby in England, on the day before mid-summers day, David Peter Woolliscroft was very nearly magical. If only his dear old mum could have held on for another day. But magic called out to him over the years, with a many a book being devoured for its arcane properties. David studied Accounting at Cardiff University where numbers weaved their own kind of magic and he has
since been a successful business leader in the intervening twenty years. Adventures have been had. More books devoured and then one day, David had read enough where the ideas he had kept bottled up needed a release valve. And thus, rising out of the self doubt like a phoenix at a clicky keyboard, a writer was born. The Wildfire Cycle is David’s debut series.
He is married to his wife Haneen and has a daughter Liberty, who all live with their mini golden doodle Rosie in Princeton NJ.
David is one of the few crabs to escape the crab pot.
Twitter – @dpwoolliscroft
Mareth is a bard, a serial under achiever, a 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, if he can sing a story that will put the right person in that chair, his future fame and drinking money is all but assured. But, alas, it turns out Mareth has a conscience after all.
Neenahwi is the daughter to 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 to draw the short straw 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 finds herself drawn into the Wizard’s schemes, and worst of all, coming up with her own plans.
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.
The King and Queen looked down from the Floral Gate, their features bereft of emotion as the people of Kingshold celebrated in the street before them. Mareth stood at the side of the cobbled road known as the Lance ( both for its arms and armour merchants and that it stretched in a dead straight line from the inner to the outer wall). Considering the scene around him, he gave passing attention to the ache behind his eyes. Another late night at the Swallow and Sixpence.
It was said, when King Roland had wed the then LAdy Tulip, that Kingshol had really parties. Hundreds of bonfired, minstrels, dancing. Good old cavorting. Unfortunately, Maret had missed out on that particular celebration, not being in the city at the time. That was back in his adventuring days, but he had heard about it on his return; after all, it was his job to gather stories as a BArd from the College of Longford. Mareth had just woken up to the impromptu party across the city (outside the upper circle, or course; the risch preferred their parties indoors); it promised to make the royal wedding look like a harvest festival.
But the King did not smile to see such joy in his subjects. And the Queen wore her distinctive frown of disapproval. She was known to detest the sight of commoners, as she would put it.
Five years ago, the Kings reign had begun with much enthusiasm from the general populace – nobility to royal servant, merchant to thief – what with Roland being the beloved son of King Randolph, widely regarded as one of the wisest rulers of Kingshold in a thousand years. Marety didn’t know if things went downhill because Roland married Tulip, or if it just took him a little while to get into his incompetent stride, but after a year, the honeymoon was over. The hike in taxes, the associated crucifixions for non-payment of said taxes, and the stories of excess that seeped from the palace like pus from a boil created a hatred of the royal couple not experienced since the Red Queen killed hundreds of citizens over one weekend centuries past.
Marety looked up to gaze at the royal couple in the evening sun. It was nearly the summer solstice, and the days were long. Long enough where he would wake up in the light of the afternoon – usually hungover as he was now – stay up through the night, and head back to his flop house after the sun had risen. But he had told himself many times, those were the hours of a bard. When people drink, they want to hear song and story, and people drink throughout the night. He didn’t need the ale, or the whiskey, but no one wanted to mix with someone in a drinking room who wasn’t drinking. Obviously. And so, the occasional headache, and maybe some nausea, were just professional hazards. He shielded his eyes as he looked up, considering how her liked the royal couple much more today than he had yesterday, or even the day before.
It seemed like that was the opinion held by most of the throng around him. One man – obviously drunk, with a scraggly black beard over a pockmarked face – shouted something incomprehensible in the direction of the royal couple, and then hurled a turnip. It whistled past their faces with nary a batted eyelid.
It was always amazing how a head or two on a spike could improve the mood of so many.
Oooh! And I hate to leave it there… but if you want more you’re just going to have to pick up the book. I’m excited to carry it on myself because it sounds like this is going to be one hell of an epic fantasy. Have you already read this? Or is it on your TBR? Let me know your thoughts in the comments.