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Kings of the Wyld (The Band) Paperback – February 21, 2017
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"George R. R. Martin meets Terry Pratchett."―Buzzfeed Books
"A fantastic read, a rollicking, page-turning, edge-of-your-seat road-trip of a book. Great characters, loveable rogues that I genuinely cared about and all manner of fantastical monsters. All spiced with a sly sense of humour that had me smiling throughout. Wonderful."―John Gwynne
"Joe Abercrombie meets Terry Pratchett, and that is not praise I would give lightly."―Fantasy Review Barn
"A comedy, an adventure tale, a consideration on growing older, and a sendup of fantasy conventions, all at the same time. It also has heart. In short: it rocks....I finished this book in one night. If I could, I'd see the tour, and buy the t-shirt. Instead, I'll have to content myself with waiting for the sequel, and reading it again."―B&N SF & Fantasy Blog
"Brilliant debut novel... Eames has cranked the thrills of epic fantasy up to 11... Moreover, the plot is emotionally rewarding, original, and hilarious. Eames clearly set out to write something fun to read, and he has succeeded spectacularly."―Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"Fantastic, funny, ferocious. Hugely recommended. Read it now."―Sam Sykes
"Absolutely awesome. If the Beatles held a concert tomorrow (with all the necromancy required for that to happen), it still wouldn't be as good a 'getting the band back together' story as this. Full of heroes, humor, and heart."―Jon Hollins
"Nicholas Eames brings brazen fun and a rock & roll sensibility to the fantasy genre."―Sebastien de Castell
"A fantastic epic fantasy! Just the right smidgen of tongue-in-cheek to work wonderfully. Go read."―Django Wexler
"An absolutely outstanding debut . . . [It has] all the heart and passion that great fantasy can bring in the hands of a master."―Myke Cole
About the Author
Nicholas Eames was born to parents of infinite patience and unstinting support in Wingham, Ontario. Though he attended college for theatre arts, he gave up acting to pursue the infinitely more attainable profession of 'epic fantasy novelist.' Kings of the Wyld is his first novel. Nicholas loves black coffee, neat whiskey, the month of October, and video games. He currently lives in Ontario, Canada, and is very probably writing at this very moment.
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*No taxes meant no one to clean the gutters or lay down stone for roads, and so Clay and Gabriel sloshed through what they hoped was mud as they passed through the wide-open gates into the city whose parents had hired a prostitute as a babysitter and never come home.*
*Clay pushed his body off him and mumbled another apology—because, enemy or not, when you hit a man in the nuts with a magic hammer the least you could say was sorry.*
Wow. What an adventure and what a great set of characters. And what a refreshing read.
This took me an obnoxiously long time to read, but that was no fault of the book. I’ve been traveling, and reading time was difficult to come by. However, when I had the opportunity, I sat down and devoured the majority of this book in two days.
It’s refreshing in the sense that our characters are old and weathered men, well past their glory days, with creaky knees and sore backs, round bellies and thinning hair. It’s a straight up adventure story, no overarching plots, no political intrigue, no complex world building. By the end, I found myself absolutely in love with the characters and story and world.
The main plot is basically about the “band” coming out of retirement to save Gabriel’s daughter from a city under siege by all sorts of nasties. Simple, and I must say, highly entertaining. Without all the woven complexities of most fantasy novels, it gave us the gift of a good ol’ fashioned adventure filled with fighting, friendship, and the joys and pains of life.
The world has its kingdoms and history, but it’s dished out as needed and without pages of boring info dumps. The focus of world building revolves around the Wyld—a forest inhabited by all sorts of monsters—and the bands/mercenaries that go hunting in that forest or take jobs to eradicate monsters encroaching on human dwellings. While the world isn’t detailed out, it feels quite full and satisfying. The lack of political intrigue and throne envy made me appreciate the sheer adventure aspect of this book. It was just plain fun!
The characters are what really grabbed me, though. They were all unique, with unique voices and characteristics, united together by their years of hunting monsters as a team.
Clay is the focus, and while the story is told in third person, it could have easily been told in first person. Clay’s thoughts are hysterical at times, and the loyalty he has to his friends endearing. He was my favorite by far; the glue that held them all together. And it didn’t hurt that he was a badass. Refreshing as well was his choice of weapon. It was a shield, and Eames did an amazing job showing just how effective a shield can be on both offense and defense. I loved the fight scenes and easily imagined it all, and I appreciated how simplistically they were done. Gabriel is the front man for the group, and the least interesting to me. However, he came alive in the end, and I found myself rooting for him as much as the others. Matrick and Ganelon were each unique and engaging, and I found them utterly delightful. Moog is the mage of the group, and quirky and crazy as could be. He was easiest to like besides Clay due to his big-eyed look at the world around him. He was curious about everything and provided tons of comic relief.
The writing was simply delightful, to how Eames worded and viewed his world, to how smooth the prose flowed. The book moved quickly, and I never, ever found myself bored.
I can’t find anything negative to say about it. I loved it. It feels like a standalone, and the story threads are tied off nicely. I did read that there would be more books in this world but with different characters. Hidden somewhere in here might be a bigger plot, but I never felt it come through, which fit with this book. Fun and awesomeness were its focus.
For anyone looking for an adventure, I can’t recommend this book enough. For those of you who want a break from intricate plots and devious scheming, give this a try. For those looking for a damn good book, definitely pick this up!
Earlier this year, I kept hearing about Kings of the Wyld from fellow bloggers. Naturally, I was curious. One night right after it was published, I went online to have a look at its sample chapters. I read the first four, and that was it! I immediately ordered a copy.
"I myself was directly inspired by both Joe Abercrombie and Scott Lynch when it came to writing something with elements of humour, though their books are decidedly more serious than mine." - Nicholas Eames
One of the great things about Kings of the Wyld is its humor. It's not silly, mind you. As the author admits himself, his humor is reminiscent of Abercrombie's and Lynch's. It is a delightful and very entertaining read. And it's easy to understand why when you hear the premise of the book: what if mercenary bands were treated like rockstars? What if they were called "Bands"? What if they had "bookers", they had "gigs" and they "toured"?
Our main protagonist is Clay Cooper, one of the retired members of the greatest band there ever was. When his old friend needs his help, he is unable to say no and Clay leaves with him to try to "get the band back together".
All of the band members has different personalities with their flaws and abilities. I'm pretty sure you'll end up liking one of them more than the others. I had my favorite one. But this diversity creates memorable characters in an interesting story filled with sword, sorcery and monsters.
Eames is a skillful storyteller. Kings of the Wyld contains numerous ups and downs, quickly becoming a page turner. What it lacks in court intrigue it makes up in sheer adventure.
The setting is a land with many kingdoms, where magic and monsters are aplenty. The author doesn't develop all parts of this world as much as The Wyld, the monster-ridden forest that is the source of an incurable disease. I'm hoping that the author is going to develop other parts of his setting in future installments.
Last but not least, the book has also a great map (I love good maps).
Kings of the Wyld is one of the most entertaining page-turners that I've read in recent years. If Eames can deliver a second book with the same quality, he would take important steps towards becoming a big name in fantasy.
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The first book in a long time that I've felt compelled to quote to my friends in our group messaging.