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Kings of the Wyld by Nicholas Eames

Kings of the Wyld by Nicholas Eames
5
Book Name: Kings of the Wyld
Author: Nicholas Eames
Publisher(s): Orbit
Formatt: Paperback / Audiobook / Ebook
Genre(s): Fantasy
Release Date: February 21, 2017

When I started reading Kings of the Wyld it was already quite hyped and I am someone who is rather uncomfortable dealing with stuff which accumulated hype overnight. Thus, I approached the book being extremely skeptical and had a nagging feeling in my gut that it was going to be overrated.

Boy was I dead wrong! This book deserves all the praise it’s getting and I expect more in the future.

Kings of the Wyld is a tale of a wild journey filled with great characters, comprehensive worldbuilding, emotions, and actions to cherish for a long while. Overall, a great start for a new writer who is going to be very big.

This novel tells the story of Clay Cooper and his band, who were once the best of the best — the meanest, dirtiest, most feared crew of mercenaries this side of the Heartwyld. But, their glory days long past, the mercs have grown apart and grown old, fat, drunk – or a combination of the three. Then an ex-bandmate turns up at Clay’s door with a plea for help to rescue his daughter, who is trapped in a city besieged by an enemy one hundred thousand strong and hungry for blood. But that is not a job for only two people. So it’s time to get the legendary band back together for one last tour across the Wyld. Whether all of them will survive the journey and the battle is the real question.

On the surface Kings of the Wyld may not seem to provide anything original. It’s a standard quest following the adventures of a group of friends. The world looks generic having characteristics of standard epic fantasy setting with a few twists. But don’t get fooled by its rather simple exterior, because within hides much complexity and uniqueness.

I would like to make a bold statement by comparing the progression and pace of Kings of the Wyld with The Hobbit. It starts kind of slow introducing the characters little by little, but steadily builds up pace leading to a heart pounding conflict, while making us laugh with the characters and cry with them and desperately feel for their plight. This delightful prowess of passionate storytelling is the main strength of the book and makes the reader feel invested in the story.

As you can tell from my writing so far I really loved the characters a lot. Clay, the main protagonist might seem a bit one dimensional when you start reading the book, but as you progress he grows on you as we get deeper and deeper into his past and understand his importance as the part of the team that is the glue that keeps them together. Gabriel is the heroic has-been who just can’t get past that the band is not together and the fact that he can’t keep on fighting in his current state. Moog is the loveable wizard who makes us laugh with his humorous hijinks and his big heart and optimism. Matrick is the drunkard fatty king who just can’t seem to drown his unhappy married life in wine. And finally Ganelon is the warrior with a dark past, indomitable attitude and an overall a badass who just won’t give up.

The side characters are quite interesting as well and even the negative characters have their own unique agenda and voice to make you understand their motives. I especially loved Larkspur who the author brilliantly portrayed with a tragic past. Lastleaf was another excellent villain who had so much more depth than initially perceived, and Eames yet again pulled layer after layer to reveal his past and his history with the band. Every death is designed to make us readers emotional and the author uses his skill to make each character essential to the overall plot.

Then again Kings of the Wyld is a rock-n-roll fantasy, with its bands and their quests. The author even took names of the band from famous songs and gave his fight scenes a rather unique feel to make the reader enjoy the passion and emotion of listening to a great song. The weapons the band uses is also inspired by various instruments and the bards are a rather humorous take on groupies. And Eames does indeed succeed magnificently in establishing the emotions of a breathtaking live rock performance with some of his big fight scenes.

Kings of the Wyld has done something that I thought was never going to be done. It has combined the glorious epicness of a Dungeons & Dragons campaign with the emotional roller coaster of hard rock/heavy metal music. The resulting effect is a debut that paves the way for a writer who just might be the push that epic fantasy needs. It is a page turner that gets harder to put down as you delve into the story deeper and deeper with every paragraph. The world is filled with every kind of monsters imaginable and then some and Eames takes us into a journey that explores this beautifully crafted setting while making us feel the amazement of listening to an excellent rock/metal album for the first time.

This book was rated the best book of 2017 by Fantasy-Faction and I am rather doubtful of my ability to do it justice. But I will end this review only by saying that if you read one fantasy novel of 2017 let be this one. No matter what kind of fantasy you love if you are a fan of fantasy you will love it.

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One Comment

  1. Paul says:

    That’s right, the best fantasy book of the year last year! Many of us were voting on Goodreads trying to get it up there! It definitely deserves more recognition that it currently has. It was the best fiction book I read last year by far.

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