Mount Readmore Book Review, 2018 26/200
Kings of the Wyld By Nicholas Eames
Finished on 1/24/2018
Glory never gets old
Clay Cooper and his band were once the best of the best — the meanest, dirtiest, most feared crew of mercenaries this side of the Heartwyld.
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. His daughter Rose is trapped in a city besieged by an enemy one hundred thousand strong and hungry for blood. Rescuing Rose is the kind of mission that only the very brave or the very stupid would sign up for.
It’s time to get the band back together for one last tour across the Wyld.
Genres: Fantasy, Fiction, Epic Fantasy, Adventure, Sword and Sorcery, Popcorn Fiction
Glory Never Gets Old
Touring rock bands meets Conan the Barbarian, THE KINGS OF The WYLD is a fun romp across fantasyland. Saga, the defunct mercenary band, must get back together for one final and glorious tour of the Wyld. Their goal is to save Rose, the daughter of one of their members. There’s the problem: there’s some amount of bad blood between the different mercenaries of Saga. Problems keep them apart, including insidious wives, forest transmitted diseases, and the fact that one of their members was turned into a statue by the cops.
This book was fun, if odd. The heroes must relive their glory days of twenty years ago. They’re all in their late middle years, and have lost a good bit of the vigor which made them so dangerous decades ago. That’s what makes this book’s characterization so strong: the heroes of this adventure book were all ‘old,’ which I liked reading. Usually fantasy adventure book stars characters in their teens and twenties, so this book was a novelty. Indeed these heroes were made more entertaining by the fact that they were all so settled down and had made families, instead of being ‘blank slates’ who were just beginning their lives.
The book’s plot had great heart. The characters were naturally motivated by their family bonds (both in a desire to save Rose and in a desire to go back home to the wife and kids). That motivation turned a fairly hammy ‘let’s go save the princess’ plot into a more awesome ‘let’s go save family- while ROCKING OUT!’
The author’s style was a rollicking good time. I’ve never read a book ‘themed’ around a subject like this one is about the rock music circuit. The constant music allusions were a breath of fresh air, and lent a ‘funness’ to the reading of the book.
But nothing is perfect. The plot seemed ‘too easy.’ The characters never really struggled or suffered, and suffering is character development. Relatedly, the book was chock-full of deus-ex-machina events. For example, in one chapter the main character gets his hand cut off and is despairing about what he’ll say to his wife when he goes home. When the next chapter starts he’s already regrown his hand, immediately breaking my suspension of disbelief. Or we have an incurable disease… but the heroes literally smoke some weed and wouldn’t you know it that that weed cures the incurable disease.
The author is treating his characters with kid gloves, removing the consequences for their actions. A well written story involves some amount of hard work and sacrifice on the part of the characters, but here no one in Saga sacrificed anything. Not only did everyone get what they set out to get, but they incidentally helped save the universe while having their cross-continental romp. It was fun to read, a popcorn book, a guilty-pleasure read.
Highly recommended, if you’re in the mood for something entertaining and crass. And be forewarned, there are lots of dick jokes.