Jyuth the wizard has been pulling the strings behind the throne for as long as Kingshold has been around. The most recent King and Queen are dead and Jyuth has had enough. He decides that the people can choose their own ruler now since he is so bad at it. The city of Kingshold is about to hold its first election.
This book was interesting in that it’s very ‘typical’ fantasy. There’s lots of aspects that have been done time and time again. Where Kingshold really departs from that is that the author puts his own spin on some of these common fantasy tropes.
The characters are an interesting mix.
There’s Mareth who is a lazy bard. He really just wants to drink and sing songs but gets dragged into something bigger.
Neenawhi is the daughter of Jyuth. She is on the hunt for a candidate she can get behind, but is disappointed by all the people on the ballot.
Motega is part of a band of adventurers who are usually up to no good. They become wrapped up in this election business purely by accident.
Alana is a servant from the palace who is determined to bring about change through the election.
Hoskin is temporary Lord Protector while the election is taking place. He’s sick of life at the palace and his duties but he has been thrust into this position and there’s nothing he can do.
The setting is well developed. Most of our story takes place in Kingshold; however, the author gives a sense that the world is vast and there is a lot more at play than just the election. Wars with neighbouring countries, depravity within the palace walls, slavery trade. All these looming problems make the setting more vivid since the world is not just about the problems at hand.
As a whole I really enjoyed the book. The beginning was a bit of a shaky start because there are a bunch of POVs, but once everyone came together and most of the characters were in one place the story flowed much smoother. That said, I really enjoyed the variety of characters so the multiple POVs was only a minor problem for me. I think the author has done a fantastic job (especially for a debut) at writing a book for people who love that classic fantasy vibe but want something that diverges from the expected a bit.
8/10 stars for Kingshold– a pretty fantastic read.