Another incredible journey into the imagination of D. P. Woolliscroft; Tales of Ioth continues the exciting trajectory of this great series
Author – D. P. Woolliscroft
Pages – 243
Publishing Information – Self Published, 28th April 2020
If you’re here for the review of the 4th book in the Wildfire Cycle, you’re probably just making sure that Dave Woolliscroft hasn’t gone off the rails and written something you can’t stand.
I’m pleased to assure you that isn’t the case; if you enjoyed books 1, 1.5 and 2, then be assured you’ll enjoy book 2.5 just as much, if not more as the author fine tunes his craft further. For me, Tales of Kingshold is really important to the overall series but with a number of perhaps non-essential stories, we might be able to call it a 1.5 with some justification. In Tales of Ioth, however, this is much more of a substantial and important-to-the-story read that I feel should be seen not as a .5 book, which gives the suggestion it’s just a light hearted companion read. It is not.
There may be a number of short stories, but they feel more essential. Perhaps this is simply because by now we’re getting to know the world really well and these stories all add layers in a way that feels more important to us. The threads though actually really impact the main storyline too, particularly with the 5 part Dundenas which continues where we left off with Mareth, Neenahwi, Motega and pretty much all the other main characters. This would create a fair bit of confusion if this book were skipped and passed off as just a .5 read! Around 50% of the book is actually Dundenas, and it works really well being slapped in the middle of the book with the short stories either side.
I enjoyed being introduced to Yamaagh and the Tigereye clan towards the end and really hope we get to see more of him; I love a good revenge story.
I am an old man, and I am eager to live out my remaining years in some form of happiness. I just have a few things to take care of first.
Jyuth is back! He really let me down with his revelation when he left Edland, but I can’t help but feel delighted to spend some more time with him here – come on, it’s fantasy, we can love the characters who have some very bad traits! And he’s not quite ready for redemption just yet…
He’s also star of the most amazing, hilarious sex scene I’ve ever read. Yeah, I’ll not expand on that… *Chuckles*
I feel as though the series has been travelling further and higher on the ‘high fantasy’ with each book introducing more weird and wonderful creatures, races and magic with each iteration. Tales of Ioth continues this trajectory, including lizard people, giant insects and worms that are 12 feet high and 60 feet long.
The worms had segments, much like a normal earth worm, but each segment was dotted with sharp spines, almost like horns. And each creature had been harnessed in a series of leather belts and buckles that crisscrossed its length up to what appeared to be a saddle behind the worm’s head.
Woolliscroft’s imagination has always been a highlight and the vast array of different fantastical elements really helps you escape the real world and just relax in this magical setting he’s created. I almost forgot, there are more piratey escapades with the rise of Kolsen, so you fans of pirates (which includes me!) will be happy, aswell as getting even more depth and backstory.
Although I mentioned this shouldn’t be disregarded as a ‘filler’ type of book between the ‘main’ ones, there is certainly an easy reading quality to enjoy. The page count is smaller and the breaking up of the chapters and settings do make it feel easier going if you’re not in the mood for a 500 page adventure. It’s a technique I’d like to see copied in more fantasy series.
Another fantastic book in a brilliantly written epic high fantasy series.
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?