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The Band #1

Kings of the Wyld

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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.

502 pages, Paperback

First published February 21, 2017

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Nicholas Eames

11 books5,751 followers

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 6,977 reviews
Profile Image for Petrik.
688 reviews46.1k followers
December 17, 2022
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Every avid fantasy reader, pay attention and let me do you a favor. Make sure you read this book no matter what. As of now, I’m calling Kings of the Wyld one of the best fantasy debuts of all time.

Imagine this: legendary rock bands that have disbanded—such as The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, or Nirvana—coming back for one more tour. Now, replace the rock bands and concerts with mercenary bands and killing monsters. I won’t go into the details on the music allusions, but it’s ubiquitous throughout the whole book, and you should experience it yourself; in my opinion, they're a Joy To the World of fantasy.

Clay Cooper and his Band, Saga (The Kings of the Wyld), were once the greatest of the greatest mercenary Bands. But now, the members have separated and grown old, fat, drunk, or a combination of the three. One day, Gabriel—one of Clay’s ex-bandmates—arrived at Clay’s place asking for help on a dangerous quest to save his daughter. This quest will require the Band to get back together for one more tour across the Heartwyld, a gigantic forest full of a plethora of monsters, beasts, and many other deadly sentient beings.

Kings of the Wyld is a rollicking adventure that managed to raise a variety of emotions ranging from happiness to poignancy within me. It’s a rarity to read a novel capable of making me grin like a fool throughout the whole novel while also making me tense within those same pages. You should know, though, that despite the book being very humorous with its pun and dark comedy, Kings of the Wyld shouldn’t be viewed as a complete comedy fantasy. Eames knows how to shifts the reader’s emotions swiftly. One moment you’re smiling or laughing, and before you realize it, you’ll be holding your breath or on the brink of tears. It’s safe to say that I’m genuinely pleased by the narrative; Eames has crafted a superlative blend of marvelous actions, hilarious humor, and tension.. And I can certainly say that this is a book with lovable characters, gripping battles, intricate world-building, and well-polished prose.

Every character in the book, whether it’s the five members of Saga or the side characters, managed to make me really care about their fate and circumstances, and Eames did this all within the span of a single book. They are unique, lovable, believable, and compelling to read. The witty banter between these characters, their puns, and their random behaviors never failed to entertain me. However, when it comes down to it, what made me really attached to Saga was their brotherhood, friendship, loyalty, and familial love. Like a vacation or road trip you take with your best friends who will always wait for you, every time I took a break from reading it, I found myself compelled to pick it back up again to continue my tour with the Band.

“As individuals they were each of them fallible, discordant as notes without harmony. But as a band they were something more, something perfect in its own intangible way”

IF I have to choose one favorite character , it will have to be the main POV character, Clay Cooper. Reluctant heroes have always been one of my favorite protagonist traits in a story; Clay Cooper fits into this category perfectly. It’s one of the reasons why he’s my favorite character of the book; he’s even included in my personal list of my favorite book protagonists. Whether it’s out of friendship, conviction, or other motivation, I love how these types of characters—despite their reluctance and circumstances—are willing to do what’s right.

Picture: Clay Cooper Charges the Rasks by Felix Ortiz

Have I mentioned that there are a lot of magnificent action sequences in the book? Every action scene felt intriguing, dynamic, and engaging. The buildup to the climax, in particular, was just fantastic. This build-up was done too well that it did lead me to believe that the climax sequence could have been better if it received more pages. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still great. But it would’ve been more awesome with extra exposition because the buildup to the climax sequences—and the setting itself—were so absorbing, well-written, and unexpectedly epic. But this is just me being nitpicky.

Picture: Lastleaf and Ashatan by Felix Ortiz

If you’ve been following the frequency of my reviews and updates, you should know by now that gaming is one of my biggest passions. Imagine my happiness upon finding out that a myriad of video game Easter Eggs was embedded into the world-building. Music allusions aside, I envisioned the world that Eames created in Kings of the Wyld as a stunning mix of epic fantasy and Role-Playing Games. Skyships, legendary swords, beasts, and fantastical creatures such as chimera, wyverns, dragons, golems, and many more, are elements often encountered in mythologies and RPG, and they are all here. I mean, there’s even a character named Firaga; Firaga is the name of the highest tier for fire magic in the beloved Final Fantasy franchise. Eames even implemented “the cake is a lie” into the book! It’s a popular gaming reference from Portal. And my nerdy self was completely delighted by all these features. I could ramble for so much longer about the brilliant world-building intricacy in its lore, maps, and settings, but I’ll stop it here.

The prose itself contains no resemblance to a debut effort; the prose felt extremely well-written and polished. To properly sum up my thoughts on Eames’s prose, it felt like reading a mix of Joe Abercrombie’s (one of my favorite authors), Scott Lynch’s, and Patrick Rothfuss’s (again, one of my favorite authors) writing style in one novel. We get something akin to Abercrombie’s dark humor and dramatic scenes, Lynch’s crude dialogues and banter, and then add a flavor of Rothfuss’s simple plus beautiful prose to them. There is nothing left to say other than this is a work of brilliance.

The talk about life and death, in particular, was probably where Eames’s prose shines the most (in addition to the hilarious dark humor, of course) for me; here’s one of my favorite quotes from the book on the topic:

“Life was funny, and fickle, and often cruel. Sometimes the unworthy went on living, while those who deserved better was lost.

Or not lost, he considered, since they lingered on in the hearts of those who loved them, who love them still, their memory nurtured like a sprig of green in an otherwise desolate soul. Which was, he supposed, a kind of immortality, after all.”

There were tons of other gems like this in the novel. It’s simply incredible how the prose managed to always pull me back into the story instantly.

For those of you who prefer to wait for the next book in the series to come out first before you start reading a new series, you certainly can do that here, but if that’s truly your only reason, I’m saying that you’re postponing reading one of the most excellent debuts of all time. Trust me; I’m a binge reader, and most of the time I follow the same behavior, too. Luckily, this book can absolutely be read and considered as a standalone; the story itself has concluded wonderfully within this installment. Think of The Band as a trilogy of standalone novels. Eames himself has stated that although there’s something of an arc throughout the trilogy, each installment will be a standalone story starring a different Band. This means a new story with a new cast of characters in each book; maybe a new locale (there's still so much left to explore in this world) as well. So yes, you should read this book as soon as you can.

Similar to one of the main themes of the book, a new generation of mercenary Bands will always try to outshine the old legendary Bands in their pursuit of glory; it seems like it will be tough for Eames to top his debut with its sequel, Bloody Rose. Let’s just say I can’t wait for him to prove me wrong.

Kings of the Wyld is a new addition to my ‘favorite debuts I've ever read in my life’ list. This list consists of The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss, The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch, and Malice by John Gwynne. It was a splendid, fun, and full-hearted wyld (see what I did there?) reading experience. The fantasy genre has got a new voice, and that voice is singing gloriously. Just from reading this debut, I’m brave –and confident—enough to claim that Nicholas Eames is the next name to enter the big leagues in the fantasy genre.

Recommended? Hell fucking yes. To every fantasy fan, you should read this ASAP. In terms of debut or the first book of a series, it’s one of the best out there. Also, you have a very talented son, Terry!

Side note: The physical form of this book is damn gorgeous. Richard Anderson did an amazing job with the book cover. Here’s the proof. Trust me, it looks even better in real life.

You can order the book from: Blackwells (Free International shipping)

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Profile Image for Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin.
3,538 reviews9,969 followers
March 12, 2022
UPDATE: $2.99 Kindle US 3/12/22

This book freaking rocks! ❤️

What can I even say? You can read the tons of glowing reviews about this book. They are all true!

These mercenaries were the it band back in the day. Now they are old, most of them settled down with a kid or kids, and haven't really gotten together in awhile.

Clay has plans with his wife and little girl until Gabriel comes to his door asking for Clay's help. FYI: Clay's little girl, Tally is precious and pretty bad to the bone we find out later.

Anyhoo, Gabe wants to get the band back together to help him save his daughter Rose who is off in a bad place to fight in a war.

Rose is pretty bad @ssed herself as she grew up fighting. She even brought down a cyclops all by herself. And Gabe trying to explain it to Clay was just classic.

"And then came the cyclops."


Gabriel looked at him askance. "Big bastards, one huge eye right here on their head?"

Clay leveled a glare of his own. "I know what a cyclops is, asshole."

"Then why did you ask:"

"I didn't. . ." Clay faltered. "Never mind. What about the cyclops?"

I could put so many excerpts in this review but I won't.

Clay tells Gab no at first but when he's putting Tally to bed she makes him do it. She's so precious. I already said that. Clay was so afraid of leaving his wife and Tally but he did. They can hold their own and he hopes to see them again.

Clay finds Gab and off they go to get the rest of the dudes and some other stuff but you can read the book.

They get Moog first, he's a wizard and has a freak store. Don't ask. He's freaking hilarious though. Clay and Moog are my favorites even though I love them all.

Then there is Matrick who is a king now but goes with them. Another funny story about that.

And then Ganelon. I think I got them all. Anyway, they meet all kinds of bandits, monsters and weird people along the way. The spiders the size of dogs I would not like at all, although there are cannibals and other kinds of monsters and ogres etc. But those spiders, no, just no.

Oh and they hope they don't get the rot while out in the Wyldwood. That is self-explanatory. Moog has been looking for a cure for years and I won't tell you if he finally finds it or not =)

These guys go through hell and back. I'm not going to say if anyone dies or what happens after. I just wonder what the next book is going to be about after that epilogue. I'm sure the author will think of something =)

There are references to rock bands in the book that is so different and cool. The book is just all around awesome and I highly recommend it to all fantasy lovers!

MY BLOG: Melissa Martin's Reading List
Profile Image for Mark Lawrence.
Author 72 books51.7k followers
October 1, 2023
I liked this a lot, and I can see why it has done so well. Eames is an excellent writer and funny with it too. I very rarely laugh out loud at books, but I did once with this one. Right near the end there was this (that is much funnier in context):

What’s that, honey? What was I doing while Uncle Gabe was duelling a god with all of civilization at stake? Why, I was wrestling in the muck with an exceptionally tenacious cow.

& it also sets up something that reminded me of a certain horse kick...

The conceit of the book is to model monster-fighting mercenary bands as rock bands, with the same fan following, flamboyant style etc, even stretching it to being booked for gigs by agents.

There is a very D&D flavour to the setting both in the range of monsters (sampling heavily from the Monster Manual ... though perhaps copyright dictates that is done only where there is some prior mention in old tales). Magic is highly prevalent, more generally through the medium of enchanted items than through spells. There’s an abundance of magic swords, enchanted armour, and “miscellaneous”, for example a horn that spews an insect swarm and a hat that serves up an endless array of food. A lot of it isn’t exactly original, but the combined effect feels fresh and entertaining.

The vibe is distinctly Pratchett-esque though with a darker edge. It starts with the frontman of what was once the world’s most famous band, Saga, attempting to reunite the gang, something that put me in mind of Simon Pegg in the fine 2013 film, The World’s End. His daughter is in some serious shit and needs rescuing.

The only issue I have with the book, and it’s very definitely one of personal taste, is that I had a hard time engaging emotionally with the story, and that’s important for me. It’s very hard to move successfully from humour to something that matters emotionally and back again in the space of a few pages. And the weirder and more wild the world the more distance the text has to bridge in order to make things feel “real” so that the reader cares. Additionally the abundance of magic makes it unclear how important any given thing is. Is that leg going to grow back or will our hero be on crutches to the end of his days? Is that slow poison +really+ fatal or will the next treasure chest reveal a potion of neutralize poison? It all factors into the caring issue if you don’t know what’s at stake.

The last few chapters build to a very exciting finale with a massive sprawling battle. Eames’ fight scenes are excellently executed and endlessly imaginative. You should give the book a try, and not only so you get the owlbear jokes. It’s a hoot.

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Profile Image for Emily (Books with Emily Fox).
554 reviews60.5k followers
July 11, 2022
I really wanted to like this book but I didn't.

I wasn't nearly as attached to the characters as I wanted to be, I was frankly bored and the humor... I could acutely feel that I wasn't the target audience.

Not for me. DNFed at 292. I tried. I really did.
Profile Image for Matt's Fantasy Book Reviews.
265 reviews3,989 followers
November 18, 2022
Check out my YouTube channel where I show my instant reactions upon finishing reading fantasy books.

An absolute blast from the first page to the last, and quite simply one of the greatest fantasy books of all time.

As a prolific reader of fantasy books and very involved in the fantasy book reviewing community, I've had many people recommend that I read Kings of the Wyld. I've been very clear with people that one of my largest criteria for whether a book is good or not, is how fun it is to read - and virtually everyone I have spoken to about this book claims it is one of the most fun fantasy books written in recent years.

I am pleased to say that not only do I fully agree with this assessment, I would go a major step further and say that this is one of the greatest fantasy books ever written.

Story: 5/5

The story here is somehow both a blend of something that has been done a thousand times, and something completely fresh and unique. At it's core it's about a father trying to rescue his daughter who is stuck in a castle that is besieged. But this basic premise is just a means to tell the true story here - which is a group of old retired mercenaries who have to "get the band back together" for one last adventure.

This story is chalk with 70s rock references, but I do not think you need to have a deep appreciation, or really any appreciation for 70s rock to be able to thoroughly enjoy this story. But if you do, you will notice a large number of easter eggs sprinkled through this story that are fun every time you notice one. I have a decent knowledge of 70s rock and I picked up quite a few, and am confident that I missed a large number of them.

The story is split up into three distinct portions - and while I do not want to ruin what each of these three entail, I will say that each of them are equally enjoyable. The plot here is not complex, but is riveting and will guaranteed put a huge smile on your face throughout the entire book and keep you entranced.

The thing that is really special about this plot for me is that I am not used to reading a story with the heroes being older. 99% of fantasy books have protagonists ranging from children to adults in the their prime - and it is such a refreshing change of pace that it makes me honestly wonder why more stories don't utilize this as their hook. It's such a fun dynamic and I dearly with more authors would utilize it.

World Building: 5/5

The world building in this book is special. The world feels vivid and alive, with many different locations being visited throughout this book due to the characters never staying in one place more than a chapter or two, and each feels extremely well fleshed out.

The world is a typical "D&D style" world - with some really unique aspects to it such as the "The Heartwyld" - an enormous forest that completely separates the two halves of this world - that is host to innumerable horrific beasts that the main characters must cross.

Fantasy Elements: 5/5

The fantasy elements to this book are so perfectly done. There isn't a heavy focus on magic in this book, but there is magical equipment aplenty, with fantastic backstories to each of them. There are innumerable mythical beasts that make an appearance here, some of which play central to the story with incredibly well written action sequences. There are magical portals, flying ships, and the list goes on, and on, and on.

I love the non reliance on a magic system to tell this story, but that it also has countless examples of fantasy elements to the story littered throughout this book.

Characters: 5/5

The characters in "The Band" are really what makes this story special. Each of them slowly gets introduced in this book and the pacing at which it does this is absolute perfection because it gives plenty of time to explain their backstory, fully delve into their amazing personalities, and lets them slowly get integrated into the relationships with the rest of the main characters. They are all perfectly unique - and in the hallmark of a well written characters, each of them will long remain stuck in my brain.

Writing Style: 5/5

Okay I lied up above, the writing style is truly what makes this a special story. It blows my mind that an author who has never had a published book before this was able to churn out a masterpiece in writing such as this. The way he progresses this story is magnificent, with well described scenes and characters, constant hilarious banter between the characters that, and somehow he writes a book that parodies classic rock but within the confines of an epic fantasy story. It's a joy to read how Nicholas Eames constructs the words on the page, and I cannot wait to read more of his works in the future.

Enjoyment: 5/5

Few books have I enjoyed more than this one, and I can solidly say that this book is easily within my top 10 favorite books of all time. I will recommend this book to literally any fantasy fan going forward.

Profile Image for James Tivendale.
318 reviews1,345 followers
August 16, 2023
I received a free copy of Kings of the Wyld in exchange for an honest review. I would like to thank Nicholas Eames and Orbit Books.

Saga were a world famous band containing five legendary mercenaries who were feared, respected and completely admired. Bards' sang their praises, ladies wanted their babies, and children wanted to emulate them. Essentially, everyone throughout the lands of Grandual knew the tales of this crew's awe-inspiring exploits when they tackled the unbelievable dangers in the notorious Heartwyld but that was nineteen years ago...

Then, Clay Cooper receives a knock on his door from the band's ex-frontman Gabriel who looks aghast, dishevelled and like a ghost of his former self. He had approached Clay because he truly believed that there were no other options. The news which Gabriel presented to him was harrowing. The task proposed being completely preposterous. However bizarre that all seemed to Clay - his once best friend and former band mate pathetically pleaded to him, stating that "it's time to get the band back together." And so it begins...

The main positives to me in this narrative were the brilliant humour throughout which makes Kings of the Wyld a hell of a lot of fun and also the main ensemble that we follow, the way that they have been excellently crafted and their "friendly" banter. Such conversation is usually along the lines of how they have aged, are stupidly drunk, have gotten fat and occasionally the humour is just caused by certain individuals downright weirdness. Moog is the only person over the age of eight who believes in Owlbears! It isn't all humour and bags-of-laughs though otherwise, this wouldn't have made me care as much if I thought that I was following the adventures of five comedians. Every individual in the band has had more than ten lifetimes worth of horrors, confrontations, and sometimes heart-breaking moments. This juxtaposition made me really empathise with and root for these guys. perhaps even made me feel as if I was in the crew myself. Much like an 80's metal band, the individuals flaunt and worship their instruments. The Saga members each have distinctive weapons (Blackheart, Vellichor, Syrinx...) for their tours and gigs, some of which even hold legendary status and in addition, Moog the magician and my favourite character has a magical hat. He is this world's equivalent of a keyboard player after all. ;) Do not get confused though. Saga do not get up on stage and play amazingly atmospheric renditions of November Rain. Tours and gigs in this world usually mean destroying monsters or almighty foes for a fee.

This is a fast-paced, excellently written, and extremely enjoyable fantasy story. I will go so far to say that it could even be some fantasy book readers wet dream especially with the amounts of monsters, mythological creatures and races presented here. At some points, it was as if I was reading a Final Fantasy game, including Skyships! Truth be told, this isn't recreating the genre or pushing it in extravagant new directions by any means, but imagine this if you will. Eames is a crazy fantasy writing chef. He has a pot preparing a meal/book over his self-made fire in a Heartwyld-like forested area where he plans to rest beneath the stars for the evening after he creates and then eats some grub. He enthusiastically throws in his favourite genre influences and then some unfamiliar bizarre fantasy tropes into this metaphorical mix, stirs it up with the good characters, spices it with the humour, and throws extra obscure ingredients in that he finds lurking around and befitting his taste (A talking doorknob anyone?) Perhaps this composed mixture shouldn't work but fortunately, it really does. That being said, for someone brand new to the genre, I would say that this isn't the best place to start and that isn't a negative; I just think Kings of the Wyld wouldn't be fully appreciated by that person yet.

A few final points: - To begin with I believed that the whole band terminology usage here would get slightly annoying but it stayed on the right side of awesome and was original. The finale was excellent but I think it ended perhaps a bit too promptly and could have been fleshed out to focus slightly more on characters feelings following the conclusion rather than just the outcome itself. The pacing throughout the whole story was excellent with shortish, action packed chapters that gave me the "just one more chapter" buzz. In addition, I thought I would point out that there are some very cool and strong women characters in this book as I haven't mentioned them so far. This book is a complete standalone so if you are a reader who has to have all six books about before beginning them then do not worry. The world here is huge and the map is beautiful. The Band #2 when it is released will throw more adventures our way in this realm but who knows if it will be Saga we follow or a new up and coming band many generations later.

Like my pal, Peter Tr at Booknest stated, this could very well be the debut of the year. If I hadn't read Ed McDonald's Blackwing already then I would agree now. Both are brilliant, both taking completely different directions with the stories they wish to present and of course, it isn't a contest, it just shows avid readers and fans like me that the fantasy scene is in excellent hands with these great new authors.

Thank you for reading, James Tivendale.
Profile Image for Melanie.
1,176 reviews98.9k followers
August 26, 2018

ARC provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

This is such a beautifully crafted adventuring mission that surrounds a charming band of mercenaries, as they travel from town to town, on foot or sky ship, prepping for what is likely to be their last tour. And these towns are filled with, and surrounded by, every type of fantasy creature and monster that you could ever wish for: Centaurs, Treants, Owlbears, Direwolves, Ogres, Goblins, Kobolds, Gorgons, Wyverns, Chimeras, Gnolls, Harpies, Daevas/Succubus, Trolls, Cannibals, Dragons, Phoenixes, Gremlins, Giants, Slimes, Nymphs, Blood Eaters/Vampires, Moonies, Rakshas, Shifters, Golems, Gargoyles, Demons, Death Knights, Minotaurs, Cyclops, and so much more.

This mercenary band, Saga, was once the greatest band in all of the five kingdoms of Grandual, but after almost twenty years of no longer adventuring, the members find themselves a little older, much slower, and, for the sake of kindness, their bodies a lot softer.

Yet, even though they are older, slower, and softer, they all did their fair share of leveling up and did an even bigger share of killing dangerous monsters in their pasts. Not only do they have a reputation that precedes them, they also have some pretty legendary weapons.

Clay Cooper/Slowhand, who wields Blackheart - a wooden shield made from a very famous battle with a Treant. Clay is working on the Watch, and is happy with his simple life as a husband and father.
Gabriel/Golden Gabe, who wields Vellichor - a sword that is much more powerful than humanly imaginable. Gabe hasn't made the best choices in life, but now is in the dire need for help.
Matrick/Matty Skulldrummer, who dual wields Roxy and Grace - now royal daggers. Matrick is now a King and in a very unhappy and unfaithful marriage.
Arcandius Moog, who carries a Bag of Holding - filled with a vast array of weapons, and a hat that conjures refreshments on a whim. Moog is living in a wizard tower, trying to find a cure to a deadly disease.
Ganelon, who wields Syrinx - a massive battle axe made from the stuff of nightmares. Ganelon has spent the last nineteen-years alone in captivity.

“As individuals they were each of them fallible, discordant as notes without harmony. But as a band they were something more, something perfect in its own intangible way.”

The important mission that is throwing Saga back into the spotlight, and forcing them out of retirement, is that Golden Gabe's daughter, Rosie, is trapped deep inside the Heartwyld, in the ruins of Castia, with four-thousand other people. Everyone in Saga knows that this could very well be a suicide mission, but all the members have their different reasons, or lack thereof, for agreeing to help Gabe on this impossible tour.

“But I need you to believe in one more story, Rose.” If Gabe’s voice had been stone before, now it was harder, colder, the mask of ice on a mountain’s wind-scarred face. “I am coming to Castia,” he said. “I am going to save you.”

The Heartwyld is a very dangerous place, filled with many of the creatures I listed above, but in the Heartwyld people can also contract a body eating disease called "the rot" that eats you away very slowly, eventually killing you. It is noncontagious, but easily picked up when an individual spends too much time in the forests of Heartwyld, and is truly the biggest fear in Grandual.

The mercenary bands of today aren't what they were in Saga's day. No one wants to get the rot, but everyone wants to be a hero. So instead of venturing into the forests to kill dangerous monsters, like Saga did back in their day, people in the cities just breed monsters and the bands fight them in the arena to prove their worth and to claim their fame.

“Life was funny, and fickle, and often cruel. Sometimes the unworthy went on living, while those who deserved better were lost.”

And what would this story be without a good villain? Lastleaf, a Druin (which is kind of like a bunny person and makes my heart so happy), is a villain that will also make you feel a great deal of empathy. He is the Master of the Heartwyld Horde, and he wants the destruction that is taking place in Castia to spread, and to enter all the five kingdoms so he can rule, but also because the creatures in Grandual are always deemed monsters and treated inhumanely. I mean, the biggest form of entertainment is to force these monsters, which are being bred in captivity, to fight in arenas against these bands just looking for fame.

This story will make you self reflect and think about what your definition of evil is. Is it the "bad guys" that are performing evil acts to free their people from the terrible treatment they are receiving, or is it the "good guys" doing terrible things to creatures they deem inferior and to each other, on the land they stole from the creatures in the first place.

“You’d be surprised how many choices one makes due to the intrinsic nature of self-preservation”

Between the Heartwyld and Lastleaf, Clay and the gang feel rather hopeless about their chances to rescue Rosie throughout the story, but with some good luck, new information, magical portals, great friends, and wonderful new acquaintances, they are able to have one last amazing adventure that will go down in history.

“This moment, is when you step out from the shadow of the past. Today you make your name. Today your legend is born. Come tomorrow, every tale the bards tell will belong to you, because today we save the world!”

This book reads like you're playing a fresh Dungeons & Dragons campaign, or you're starting a new character on World of Warcraft, or reading the lore behind a new Magic the Gathering set. There are so many nods at other fantasy stories, too, and I appreciated every smile I was forced to make because of them. This book is an ode to fantasy lovers, readers and gamers alike, and the immersion is nothing short of wonderful and all encompassing.

This book is a fantasy lover's dream, with the funniest banter, from characters you can't help but root for and fall in love with. I am so impressed with Nicholas Eames' debut novel, and I see nothing but amazing things in his future. Also, Moog is everything I've ever wanted in a wizard, and I will read any and everything with that little adorable cinnamon roll in it.

Needless to say, my nerdy self absolutely loved and devoured this story. This book is for sure under-hyped and truly is a shining light in today's new fantasy releases. I recommend this with my whole heart, and hope you, too, give it a try, because it is so very worth it. I unquestionably cannot wait to get my hands on book two.

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The quotes above were taken from an ARC and are subject to change upon publication.
Profile Image for Sean Barrs .
1,119 reviews44.8k followers
April 28, 2019
I found The Kings of the Wyld underwhelming and totally unworthy of the hype surrounding it.

Now I’m going to start with the strengths. The book made me laugh. There are so many moments of irony and slapstick comedy. And some of them were well executed and timed perfectly, though others bordered on plain stupidity. Moog, the wizard of the band, was just way too ridiculous to function. He fucks up constantly and most of his antics felt forced. As time went on, the book started to feel like a Dungeons and Dragons campaign where the characters resemble overly enthusiastic players who were just trying to make each other laugh with their in-game antics.

Considering these guys were on a life or death mission, they had way too much fun in the process. So, because of this, there was a certain lack of immersion. I couldn’t engage with the plot and I seriously hated the geeky references, references to famous video-game lines and creatures from DnD. The world was a mess and the humour (the only strength of the book) became irritating. For example, at one point, the wizard throws his phylactery (his cure for erectile dysfunction) which results in the band all getting raging erections whist their trying to escape from their assailants.


I liked the idea of old retired warriors coming back together for one last mission but was disappointed with their lack of spirit and passion. For me, the antagonist was by far the most interesting character. I wanted to read his book. In a way, although his actions were violent and terrible, he had a just cause for being so angry. And I don’t think any of the band could engage with or understand his stance. He was determined to free the creatures that have been rounded up for sport by the humans. He was tired of the way they have crushed the Wyld to near extinction and bullied the fantastical races into subjugation. Although he was the bad guy, his stance felt quite relevant to modern concerns over the environment. I wanted to see more of him.

The writing was also quite amateurish, verging on fan-fiction quality to the point where I’m surprised it wasn’t edited with a harsher hand. Now that’s a bold thing to say, this book has clearly done very well for itself with readers and reviewers acclaiming it as the best debut of 2017, though I certainly read better books that were published that year. Maybe I just like my fantasy to have more seriousness and less stupidity. Maybe I just like characters that don’t feel like cartoonish morons bumbling their way to victory. This was not for me at all.

Consider me very underwhelmed and disappointed, it was a relief to finally finish because I found myself wanting to edit large parts of it which is never a good feeling. I want to get lost in a world, not feel like it needs re-writing. I am the minority here, there are very few negative reviews of this, and even fewer critical ones.

For the right reader this clearly works, though I am not that reader.

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Profile Image for Ira Perkins.
18 reviews38 followers
June 6, 2023
The best comedic fantasy book I've ever read! If you want a hilarious rollicking romp of a fantasy book, do yourself a favour and go and read this book!

Final Rating: 4.7/5 🌕🌕🌕🌕🌕

This is a book that takes the classic quest narrative and turns it on its head with a healthy dose of irreverence and humour. Imagine a world where mercenary bands are like rock stars, complete with groupies, tour buses, and a die-hard fanbase. Add to that a cast of characters that are as flawed as they are endearing, and you've got the recipe for a book that's both hilarious and heartfelt.

The book follows the story of Clay Cooper, a retired mercenary who is drawn back into the fray when he learns that his old bandmate, the famed Gabriel, is in trouble. Along with a motley crew of fellow mercenaries, Clay sets out on a quest to save his friend and restore his band, Saga, to their former glory.

World-Building: 4.5/5
The book's setting is a land called Grandual, which is a sprawling and diverse continent full of all manner of landscapes, kingdoms, and creatures. From the vast forests of the Heartwyld to the frozen tundra of the North, the world of Kings of the Wyld feels like you've been plopped straight into a old school classic rpg - nostalgic to the core.

One of the key features of the world-building is the existence of "bands," which are groups of mercenaries who travel the land and take on various quests and missions. Each band has its own reputation and history, many of whom parallel the stories and names of rock bands of the 1960's, 70's and 80's. By taking down the various wyverns, basilisks, chimera and other assorted baddies (most of whom are able to talk) they hope to gain enough glory to be become legendary "stars" in the world of Grandual. While it may not be the most complex fantasy world ever created, it was still a delight to inhabit!

Characterization: 5/5
The characters are a riot! The five members of the titular "band" all have different skills and personalities, and their interactions with each other are what drive the story forward. But it's their banter and chemistry that really make them jump off the page. Their relationships and interactions are a major part of what makes the novel so enjoyable, and their journey together is one that will stay with me for a long time to come. Even the "bad guy" was so well realised that I found myself rooting for him at points.

Individual Stand outs? Definitely Clay Cooper, whose sense of duty and loyalty to his friends make him a compelling protagonist. His dry wit and understated humor (especially as a complement to the frontman, Gabriel) are the drum-beat to this story. And then of course there is Moog the onsie wearing, outrageous and flamboyant, innocent-like-a-child, and optimistic-even-when-his-spells-go-very-awry wizard. Easily the character that made me laugh out loud the most!

Ahhh Moog! Such a fan!

Plot: 4/5
The plot is fast-paced and action-packed, with plenty of twists and turns to keep readers engaged. While not amazingly original in terms of overall narrative arc - there was enough there (especially when combined with the pacing, humour, world building and characters) there to keep me "just one more chapter"-ing along, which is always a good sign. I also liked how the plot managed to balance the subversion of a number of classic fantasy tropes while also cleverly nodding to many others.

Enjoyment: 5/5
I think it should be noted that the humour probably makes or breaks this book. It is so ubiquitous (even in rather deep or action filled moments) that if you don't gel with it, or prefer a more serious story then I would probably avoid this book.

With that out of the way. You should know. This book is hilarious!! I can count on hand the authors that have the ability to make me laugh out loud while reading (Douglas Adams, Terry Pratchett, and Trevor Noah) and Nicholas Eames is now one of them! Whether through witty banter between band members, stupidly clever music/band references, puns or some of Moog's common outrageousness, the laughter just made this book phenomenal! I really liked how the novel never took itself too seriously, and the humour provided a nice counterpoint to the intense action and danger that the characters may be facing.

As an aside, one of the reasons I'll re-read this book is to see if I can spot any other humourous "easter-eggs" that I didn't uncover on my first pass - there are literally hundreds!

Alongside the laughter though were a number of heart-wrenching moments as old friends (who have been through thick and thin together) have to make some really difficult choices. Also, many of the characters in the book are grappling with their past mistakes and failures - indeed, for many, the reason they decided to join up to one final tour is at least in part to make things right. This layered with the themes of friendship and camaraderie made for some truly heartwarming and gut-punching moments. Tears? No. Welling? Yes.

Prose: 5/5
The writing style of the book is engaging, witty and fast-paced. To me it felt like reading a blend of Terry Pratchett (although without the satirical social commentary, and with more of an emphasis on clever wordplay and situational comedy), Scott Lynch (with similar blends of humour and action, but maybe this is a little more lighthearted than the world of the Gentleman Bastards) and with a dash of Joe Abercrombie (certainly not as dark/gritty, complex or realistic as Abercrombie, but fast paced and action filled like many of his novels). All of those author's are massive green ticks in my eyes - and so it should come as no surprise that I found the writing style here to be highly entertaining and engaging.

Final Thoughts
In short, Kings of the Wyld is a book that deserves to be shouted from the rooftops (or, perhaps, from the top of a wyvern). It's a raucous, rollicking, and utterly charming read that will leave you wanting more. So gather your adventuring party and set forth on this epic journey – you won't regret it!

The three books I'd recommend if you like this book (or if you like these three books I'd recommend this book) would be:
- The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch
- The Blade Itself by Joe Abercrombie
- Guards! Guards! by Terry Pratchett

Final Rating: 4.7/5 🌕🌕🌕🌕🌕

Final Rating: 4.05/5 🌕🌕🌕🌕🌑

My favourite books of 2023 in preferential order
1. The Shadow of the Gods - (My Review)
2. The Lies of Locke Lamora
3. The Forgetting Moon - (My Review)
4. Kings of the Wyld - (My Review)
5. Red Seas Under Red Skies - (My Review)
6. The Escape Artist: The Man Who Broke Out of Auschwitz to Warn the World
7. Empire of the Vampire - (My Review)
8. Assassin's Apprentice - (My Review)
9. Golden Son
10. Leviathan Wakes - (My Review)
11. The Winter King - (My Review)
12. Gardens of the Moon - (My Review)
13. Deadhouse Gates - (My Review)
14. The Song of Achilles - (My Review)
15. Red Sister - (My Review)
16. Babel: An Arcane History - (My Review)
Profile Image for Mary ~Ravager of Tomes~.
350 reviews943 followers
February 6, 2018
While reading this book I made the following status update, and as I progressed through Kings of the Wyld it only became more true:

You know when you've tried a bunch of different soup brands that all have delicious looking labels but taste like shit, and finally you find a soup that tastes as good as it looks? That's how reading this book feels.

This is because I've read Fantasy books where the primary thing people tell me in their recommendation is "It's really funny."

Books like Traitor's Blade, Prince of Fools, and even Theft of Swords to an extent, I began reading because I expected they would be hilarious. And hilarious they were.

But my problem with those books is that they did not hold my attention otherwise.

Kings of the Wyld is one of the first Fantasy books of its ilk that provided a complete package for me.

✓ A group of old men reuniting after the "end credits" & reliving their glory days of badassery.

✓ A gripping quest plot through a wonderfully crafted world.

✓ An excellently written sense of humor.


I have heard that Nicholas Eames was inspired by Ready Player One, but I am of the opinion that this book "wore it better" if you will.

Where Ernest Cline's references are so densely packed into the story that they sometimes alienate the audience, Eames seamlessly includes his allusions with the same subtley you can observe in video game easter eggs. They're there for those who can appreciate them, but they aren't so in your face that you're left feeling like the only person in history who has ever had a joke sail over their head.

I'm sure that I didn't pick up on every nod in this book, but I particularly loved the video game references & the "music group" terminology.

Everything from Final Fantasy to Portal is referenced & it gave me a blessed sense of nostalgia while reading. Terms like "going on tour" and "headlining" were used, and the series itself is even titled The Band.

I really enjoyed how this book didn't take itself so seriously, but still delivered a rollicking escapade full of action & entertainment & genuinely believable characters. Specifically our central character, Clay Cooper, is an absolute gem.

My only real issue with this book is that there were a few times I felt myself falling out of concentration when fight scenes popped up. My friend Liam mentioned in his review that he would've liked to feel more connected to characters outside of Clay, and while I agree with the sentiment, I am expecting we will have that opportunity in future installments & so I'm willing to withhold judgement for now.

Ultimately, an incredibly fun ride. It confidently turns our Fantasy expectations on their heads in hysterical & unexpected ways. Would absolutely recommend for nerdy Fantasy lovers looking for a laugh!

Edit: it's been brought to my attention that Nicholas Eames has amazing parents who read reviews of his book, so hi mom & dad congrats on having a really cool & talented son!
Profile Image for Luna. ✨.
92 reviews1,236 followers
June 10, 2017

"And so it goes, thought Clay. Life was funny, and fickle, and often cruel. Sometimes the unworthy went on living, while those who deserved better were lost."

This was a buddy read with everyone.

Well, I’ll be a kobold’s cock ring, this book was so incredible. Kings of the Wyld made the inner rocker in me want to go to a heavy metal concert and headbang until I get a headache because I'm hardcore. That's seriously how good this book is. I was meant to be in a 35 year book slump but my slump lasted approx one second and vanished on page one of this novel. It was love on page one. I just love this authors writing style so much and believe it or not THIS IS A DEBUT NOVEL! I still can't believe it, this author is so talented. I loved everything about this book especially the humour. "I know the whole ‘gorgons turning men to stone’ thing is a myth,” he said quietly, “but I’m hard as a rock right now.” It was hilarious, I understand this book wouldn't be everyone's humour, it was pretty goofy however for me I was actually laughing out loud, the inner goof in me went into berserker mode. The book is not only humorous but it also is very emotional, I cried at some parts. You know the author is extremely talented when your laughing at one sentence then crying like an ugly savage clutching your heart because of the feels the next. This book is totally a special hidden gem and should be on every monster lover, rock music lover & video game lovers shelf! There is so many references to Rock n Roll (lucky I got most of them because let's face it I'm a total headbanger. like you will find me fighting people in the mosh pit) & it also has a lot of video game references mainly D&D and Final Fantasy (0 knowledge in this compartment) but it didn't affect my reading experience because I googled all the monsters 🤓. It's just a huge monster mash.

"What Clay mistook for the mating cry of some forest creature turned out to be Moog’s quiet cackle."

The story is written in a singular third person perspective, which I found refreshing and I actually really enjoyed the way the story was told. I feel like all characters got enough page space and I had time to fall inlove with every member of Saga. I really enjoyed the plot of the story aswell, basically it's about a band of five men. Not your traditional band of rockers but instead a band of mercenaries who hunt and kill monster, Saga once the toughest band alive. broken up 19 years later, now the members are washed up old, fat and drunk (I imagine smelly aswell) legends of the past. An old band member shows up on Clay Coopers doorstop begging to get the band back together to save his daughters life, for one more tour across the dangerous monster filled Heartwyld. This book reminded me of a battle of the bands kinda set up with its heavy musical influence. Every character played their part in the band,
Gabriel/Golden Gabe = main singer/front man.
Gabe once the prettiest one of the band. Now a tired old man. His an old badass with an even older cool sword.
Clay Cooper/Slowhand = Bassist.
our main character and the spine of the band, like the only thing I can think to say about clay is "his a good man".
Matrick/Matty Skulldrummer = drummer.
One of my favourite characters. Matrick was once a savage street brawler, who named his knifes after the first prostitutes who had a threesome with him. (Roxy and Grace). Now a fat father of five kids, who he didn't unzip his pants to make.
Arcandius Moog = Keyboard. A gay wizard who wears onesie pajamas. My absolute favourite character, I honestly love him so much. You know Moogs my favourite character when during a fight he throws honey ham hocks and hard cheese out of a magical hat.
Ganelon = Lead Guitar. So obviously our badass hot guy, who likes to shred. His still the exact same as he was. He hasn't changed one little bit in 19 years. Ganelon is the bands professional killer & quite possibility the reason why the book washed me into the abyss of badassery.

Image found on authors blog. Artist is Mike Solomon.

Aside from the fact that the book is in a series, it reads like a standalone, this book concludes the story of Saga, I'm unsure if they will be featured in the future novels however I'm so happy with their conclusion. But kinda want more Saga? Anyway the plot itself is pretty much a slow burn, the humorous tone of the story kept me reading and happy until the action began. Definitely a fantastic debut novel and I'm looking forward to the authors future books. Especially because Rose was the queen of badassery, so I can't wait for her story.

One thing that didn't impress me was there was ham hate contained in this book. HAM HATE. "Ham.” "Ham,” the woman growled, as though uttering the name of a bitter enemy." I know what your thinking. Why am I getting worked up over ham? Well I'll tell you why it's because I am a ham enthusiast.

This story needs to be read by every epic fantasy fan out there! Don't dismiss it as cliche as soon as you hear it has monsters, because the author definitely puts a spin on the whole monster theme. Definitely to be read by all gamers & music fans, plus it's front cover is absolutely needed on every shelf. It's so badass.

P.s the whole time reading this story I was just expecting Alice Cooper to conjure himself out of the book and start singing poison to me.

Seriously this added to the humor because I literally imagined saga like a glam band.

P.s.s. Everytime I look at the cover and see the quote "the boys are back in town" the song by Thin Lizzy plays on repeat in my head for hours. It's actually driving me mad.

You can find this review and my other reviews at Booksprens.
Profile Image for John Gwynne.
Author 38 books11.2k followers
April 7, 2021
Kings of the Wyld is 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.

I read Kings of the Wyld a few years ago now and absolutely adored it. Since then, two of my boys have joined the bandwagon and also loved this story. In the time that has passed I still fondly remember the wonderful band of characters that Nicholas Eames created. In my mind that is the mark of a great book.

Definitely one of the best reads of mine in recent years. It is a fun and serious story essentially driven by friendship that is written in an effective and powerful way. I think one of the many things that makes this book distinctive is that not only fantasy readers will enjoy it, but I believe that many who do not frequently delve into the genre will also gain a lot from Kings of the Wyld.

“Among them is a renegade king, he who sired five royal heirs without ever unzipping his pants. A man to whom time has imparted great wisdom and an even greater waistline, whose thoughtless courage is rivalled only by his unquenchable thirst."

It was so funny and hilarious, but what set it apart for me was its character and heart.

A full 5/5 stars from me.
Profile Image for William Gwynne.
376 reviews1,713 followers
June 14, 2022
I now have a YouTube channel that I run with my brother, called 'The Brothers Gwynne'. Check it out - The Brothers Gwynne

Just finished Kings of the Wyld. To put it simply, it was incredible. Such a creative, original, fun and thoughtful read. I loved it.

With Kings of the Wyld we follow the perspective of Clay Cooper, the equivalent of the bass player of a band, the steadfast member of the group. He is surprised to see his old friend, Gabriel, who says he needs the old mercenary band to get back together, to save his daughter.

Alongside the humour and characters that Nicholas Eames has become famed for, I am surprised I have not heard more talk about his prose. It is fantastic. I mean, this is part of the opening paragraph...

“His shadow, drawn out by the setting sun, skulked behind him like a dogged reminder of the man he used to be: great and dark and more than a little monstrous”

This perfectly formed the character of Clay Cooper in my mind, as well as the mood and atmosphere of the book, as it seems simultaneously severe and playful. I think the way Nicholas Eames exploits his prose is masterful in the way it is used to exemplify character, whilst also being so easy and accessible to read. It remains simple, but effectively does so much. There are so many quotes I could have picked out, for so many reasons. Whether it be witty, insightful, poetic, or all three at once, Nicholas Eames’ prose is punchy and brilliant.

At the heart of this story is the characters. The members of Saga, who used to be the most famous mercenaries, are beyond their prime, but drawn together through the unbreakable bonds of friendship. Despite the trials and tribulations they have undergone in their own disparate lives, when one needs the rest, they will be there. How awesome is that? The theme of friendship acting at the core of a story will never become boring, and in this Nicholas Eames portrays it beautifully.

“‘Gabriel leaned forward in his chair, the flame of a father’s fear and anger alight in his eyes. ‘It’s time to get the band back together.’”

Alongside the characters and prose which I have established I thought were both brilliant, the plot continues in this vein. With a story driven by characters and humour, I expected the plot to be affected. Alas, I was wrong. The plot is used to harness and propel the relationships that Nicholas Eames explores, and is on its own unique, quirky, funny and compelling.

The world is that of monsters, mercenaries, numerous races, relics and magic. We see much of what we know and love of the ‘old fantasy’ brought back here in a fresh light. Nicholas Eames in this has created a book that we as the reader can disappear in with awe, but he has also injected serious themes commenting on many levels of mental health, in what I would say is the perfect balance of severity and humour.

“A little embellishment was so often the difference between a good story and a great one"

I would say that in this, Nicholas Eames has crafted a masterpiece in storytelling. These characters could become iconic, they are that good. The plot is engaging and compelling and immersive. The tone mirrors that of life. There is humour, there is friendship, and there are the hard times. Whilst there is a strong point in the humour, it must be emphasised that it is not to the detriment to other things. Humour was not employed for the sake of it. It correlated with characterisation in a realistic manner that made me want to be part of this group of friends. In a read, you cannot ask for more.

So, after my rambling proclamations of love for this book, I hope that you give Kings of the Wyld a go, if you have not already. Clay Cooper and the whole gang will remain close to my heart for long to come, and I will most certainly be wanting to re-read this in the future. It goes straight into my list of favourite books of all time, and is up there with being simultaneously one of the funniest reads as well as being thought provoking.

5/5 STARS - One of the best books, yet alone debuts, I have had the pleasure to read
Profile Image for Daniel B..
Author 3 books32.5k followers
February 28, 2020
The fantasy book equivalent of getting extremely drunk with your best friends and going out on a bender. Oh and also one of your friends has a kid who needs to be picked up at a party gone south.


So you rally the whole frat and crash the party and get her ass home safely.

Full review here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rvDcv...
Profile Image for edge of bubble.
248 reviews155 followers
June 15, 2017
massive buddy-read with cheaters who started the book early amazing people.

The cake is a lie.

Looking at the reviews, I could find just one review under 4 stars rating and I know only one person who didn't fall head over heels in love with this book. So welcome to my verra bitchy lonely I liked this book, but over all, it was a disappointing experience review.

I adored KoW for the first 100 pages or so. The feelies every word evoked, the adorable humour, the interesting setting and most of all, the amazing writing... Almost everyone in the buddy-read was having a great time with a lot of laughs, but I think my emotion patches were malfunctioning, since it was mostly sadness with a chuckle here and there for me. Still, it was a great read, in a different way.

But The Cuckold King aka Matty broke the spell. I disliked him and seeing the shallowness of his character caused me to look at the others with my bitchy-coloured glasses too.

Basically, the whole plot felt like a recyled monster fight, fought by unkillable bots in a game choke full of every fantasy creature the author could think of. There is even a chapter named "Sheer Dumb Luck" that summarises what's going on, quite well.

our heroes *on the left* vs anyone and everyone *on the right*

If, this book wasn't the most hyped book I've seen in GR to date, with splendid reviews that kept raising the expectations for me, I might have enjoyed it more. But phrases like "a mixture of Joe Abercrombie and Scott Lynch and Patrick Rothfuss" in almost every review, set the bar very high, took this book out of the "parody" box to a more serious line. And led me to believe that I was about to read a book which tackled serious concepts in a non serious way, that there would be a hidden depth to the story. Something would come out of the pages and slap me with a WOW so hard, I'd drown in my amazement. But what I got was the same rthym;

And then;

I absolutely hate it when heroes/heroines die in a book, after all the emotions I invest in them, it affects me bad. Usually, I get sad about even side characters' death. But here, I wish all of them had died. And somehow, their deaths was the thing that set the epic ending to motion. I would be mad, call the author some unsavory names, but also call this book a masterpiece of debut novels. Because there's great imagination and writing here!

Another thing that went over my head was the references to songs, games etc. I only caught one or two, and of course " the cake is a lie " line. And that's ironic, in a way. Would I be amazed with this book, and overlook the lack of depth in the story, if I was able to discern those secret messages / be a fan of those games? I don't know. But the tasteful soundtrack list author has posted in his website, definetely upped my enjoyement.

I loved buddy reading with everyone, but this experience made me realise, that I am a shitty buddy reader and others' reactions sometimes changes my expectations and make me doubt my own reactions. So I will go back to lurking in group read threads for the books I'm enjoying but will not join another one, unless it is just one or two people.
Profile Image for Ginger.
790 reviews378 followers
August 1, 2019
Bloody fantastic!!! All the stars!

I’m going to tell you all a big secret of mine. You ready?
I’m great at reading epic fantasty books but I’m down right terrible at reviewing them!
The secret is out! ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

So here goes!

Kings of the Wyld was one of the best fantasy books that I’ve read in years. It had the perfect balance of humor, camaraderie and action all in one fantastic book!
Honestly, I wish I could give this more then 5 stars because I loved everything about it! From all the great characters in the band, the monsters, the journey through Heartwyld, to the ending.

I’m actually not sure which character was my favorite from Clay Cooper who’s the reliable and cautious member of the group Saga, or the funny and brilliant Moog who’s the magician of the band.

Saga was the name of the band that Clay Cooper, Moog, Gabriel, Matrick and Ganelon were apart of when they were younger, tougher and crazier.
They would go into the Heartwyld, which is a huge forest with every type of scary and crazy monster hiding in it. They would forge together as a team, capture the beast and rid the surrounding area of whatever was killing people. It could be a dragon, a horde of centaurs, a chimera, to a crazy cyclops. This book had every cool and great monster/beast in it!

Now Saga has been disbanded. The members are all older, fatter, drunk or just don’t have the heart to battle anything these days.

Kings of the Wyld starts off with Gabriel showing up on Clay’s door asking for help in rescuing his daughter from a horde of monsters that has surrounded the city of Castia.
The castle and city are in ruins and people are dying everyday from the monsters and beasts.

Gabriel finds a way to talk Clay into making one last stand and journey through the wilds of the Heartwyld again. But first, in order to do this impossible task, they’ve got to get the band back together!

Kings of the Wyld had a great rock and roll vibe to this book along with excellent dialogue and well thought out world building.

Would I recommend this book? Your fucking sweet ass I would!! I can’t wait to read the next book in the series, Bloody Rose!

Seriously, kudos Nicholas Eames on writing one of the best well rounded, funny, and action packed books with tons of heart! I would laugh so hard my sides would hurt and then next, I would be sad and crushed by some of the dialogue between the band members.
It's just great writing and characterization.

And yeah Moog, I want an owlbear now too. hahaha!
It can’t get much better in the fantasy genre then this!
Profile Image for Niki Hawkes - The Obsessive Bookseller.
737 reviews1,264 followers
June 27, 2021
I read Kings of the Wyld as part of a Buddy Read with my favorite Goodreads group, Fantasy Buddy Reads (where the author even showed up to say a few gracious words – how cool is that?!). This is one of those unique books that got devoured as soon as it came across my radar. If you have any knowledge of my colossal TBR pile, you know that most things that land on it sit there for 5+ sometimes even 10+ years before it gets read. The premise for Kings of the Wyld sounded so interesting, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to read it asap.

The book was hysterical.

And not just mildly amusing, but the kind of funny that still has me laughing at some of the moments several months later. To set the stage, a retired band of mercenaries (who have become old, fat, and in some cases drunk) pull themselves back together to go on a quest. The main character goes reluctantly, and his sardonic attitude towards everything is what gives this book such a strong voice. All of the characters were individualized and funny in their own way (my favorite of which being Arcandius Moog – the gay wizard who’s quite comfortable questing in a onesie, thank you very much), but they all had to put their differences and arguments aside to accomplish their goal. Add to that a ton of nerdy references, and you have one hella fun book!

What surprised me the most was not just the funny stuff, but how equal of an impact the more serious, deeper moments had on the story. They may have been far between, but the emotional investment I felt was just as strong as for a fantasy without all of the humor. It meant to me that Nicholas Eames was in it to write more than just a fun book – he also succeeded in producing one with substance.

I’ve discovered throughout the years that I am a somewhat impatient reader. There are so many books on my TBR that it becomes increasingly difficult to stop everything and just enjoy each book for the journey it offers. Kings of the Wyld was mostly about the journey – the pacing focused more on character-building and humor than it did the destination (that is, until things got rolling near the end, then it didn’t let up). What I’m trying to say is, Kings of the Wyld reinvigorated my passion for discovering new authors, took me out of my carefully laid reading plans, and made me appreciate the journey for the first time in a long while.

Overall, this is going to be a very easy book for me to recommend. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had customers ask me for a funny fantasy book and all I could do was point out two popular authors whose humor didn’t quite work for me (Piers Anthony and Terry Pratchett… masters of their genre, but not works that I could personally stand behind based on my own experience… don’t be mad at me.) Finally, I have the start to a killer fantasy with tons of humor and substance – one that I can recommend with confidence. If you’re sick of the same old stuff, or are in the mood for a good laugh – Kings of the Wyld is my pick for you!

Via The Obsessive Bookseller at www.NikiHawkes.com

Other books you might like:
Traitor's Blade (Greatcoats, #1) by Sebastien de Castell Theft of Swords (The Riyria Revelations, #1-2) by Michael J. Sullivan Legion (Legion, #1) by Brandon Sanderson Old Man's War (Old Man's War, #1) by John Scalzi Dragons of Autumn Twilight (Dragonlance Chronicles, #1) by Margaret Weis
Profile Image for TS Chan.
719 reviews884 followers
November 29, 2019
In a year full of impressive fantasy debuts, Kings of The Wyld earned itself a top spot among the greats.

As I have not been gaming for almost two decades now, a lot of the RPG and Final Fantasy references did not click with me. Regardless, I still had an awesome time reading this book. Unlike Ready Player One which I found to be enjoyable mainly because of the 80s pop culture references, Kings of the Wyld resonated with me because of its characters and story.

I did get the homage to the music bands of old vs the recent ones (it's been over 30 years since I've fallen in love with Duran Duran and am proud to see them still going strong). And being in that demographic group, I can't help but agree that the overall quality of the bands back in the day was much better. While I am not saying that there are no standouts in the modern era, they are but far and few in between. Ok, I am digressing.

The characters are the highlight of this novel. I pretty much loved every band member of Saga. Even though the story was told solely from the third person perspective of Clay Cooper, I was still able to know the other band members well enough to appreciate their characterisation. Just when I thought that I found my favourite character, one or another will do or say something that makes me love him just as much. Gabriel, Moog, Matrick and Ganelon are all awesome in their own unique way and that solid bond of friendship between these guys is truly touching. Even the supporting characters, notably a revenant and a two-headed monster, were highly likeable. Eames also gave us a villain which I can completely empathise with.

As individuals they were each of them fallible, discordant as notes without harmony. But as a band they were something more, something perfect in its own intangible way.

Of course, great characters alone do not make a good tale. What was most compelling to me was the beautiful simplicity of the story. It was a story of a father's love for his daughter. And behind that, a friend's love, compassion and empathy. Eames then took that simple story that was full of heart and made it utterly entertaining with two killer ingredients; humour and mythological monsters.

With a blend of sarcastic and ironic humour, sometimes crude or laced with innuendos, and occasionally slapstick even, the narrative never ventured too far into grimness before it drew me back with laughter.

While a lot of the gaming references flew over my head, I did appreciate and enjoy how the world was built upon almost every mythological monster in the fantasy genre - be it in books or games. Some which I'd come across back during my teenage years when I used to immerse myself in Fighting Fantasy books by Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone.

Remember these?

Eames has a prose and writing style that engages the reader without too much flourish that can distract from an immersive experience. With good pacing and well-written action scenes, the pages just flew by whenever I pick up the book. While this is the first book in a series, it can be read on its own as its ending wrapped up the story satisfactorily.

All in all, a fantastic read that is full of heart and loads of rollicking fun.
Profile Image for Hamad.
1,048 reviews1,381 followers
July 8, 2019
This review and other non-spoilery reviews can be found @The Book Prescription

Actual Rating: 4.25-4.5 stars


🌟 If you have been following my latest posts, and specifically my book discussions. I talked about my YA crisis in the latest one and how books are all becoming the same to me. I have been reading more adult books and Kings of the Wyld have been on my radar for a while. It has been getting mostly good reviews and I think it deserves the hype.

🌟 What is this book about? I feel I can’t pass the opportunity to explain this because this is very unusual and very new. Contrary to the common sterotypical main characters in literature, the characters here were famous back in the day. They were one of the most famous mercenary groups called Saga, the group basically disassembled and now they are getting back together for one more adventure!

🌟 The writing is unique and I am not sure if it can be called satire as I have never read that but it certainly was hilarious. To mix fantasy with humor is quite a daunting task because they are 2 polar opposites and the author did a great job in getting a good balance. It kind of had the Funny but serious Marvel movies vibes to it. Sometimes I would have preferred if the author took a more serious tone because it would have worked a little bit better than humor. However, for most of the book, I did enjoy it and did not mind it. However, I think readers should go into it expecting this.

“You should write a book,” Matrick suggested.

Kit snorted. “Who wants to read the self-pitying lamentations of an old revenant?”

“There’s your title right there,” said Ganelon.”

🌟 The characters were my favorite part of the story, we have old, fat, drunk, loud, obnoxious and silly old men who were glorious back in the day. Clay is the nice one, Gabe is a leader, Moog is my favorite and is like the comic relief in the group, Ganelon is the powerful one and Matrick is a drunk cuckold king. Talk about creativity!!

“As individuals they were each of them fallible, discordant as notes without harmony. But as a band they were something more, something perfect in its own intangible way”

🌟 The pacing is good, It was not fast but it did not stretch out either. The endings of each chapter left me wanting more and more and so it was easier to go through than expected. I need to mention that chapter 49 was AMAZING!!! And the last chapters after that were all great.

🌟 Summary: Kings of the Wyld was an unusual read in a very good way. I like the writing, the characters and the whole idea of this book is just creative. I also liked the closure of the story and it left me completely satisfied. I will be getting Bloody Rose and reading it soon!
Profile Image for Celeste.
933 reviews2,385 followers
March 2, 2019
You can find this review and more at Novel Notions.

Man, this was so much fun!!

First of all, I love classic rock. Like, a lot. Seriously, the soundtrack of my childhood consisted largely of Queen, Journey, Styx, Foreigner, and other bands of their ilk. Saturday mornings are still meant for “Your Love” by The Outfield and “Jessie’s Girl” by Rick Springfield.

So, when my friends started gushing about a fantasy novel filled with musical references from one of my favorite eras, and promising that it was funny to boot, I added it to my list. But something else always seemed to grab my attention, and it stayed unread on my list for months. That is, until my lovely friend Petrik sent me a copy as a surprise early Christmas gift. With my very own copy in hand, I finally cracked KotW open. And I’m so glad that I did!

I don’t know that I have ever described a book as “rollicking” but this one definitely was. "What if mercenaries were treated like the rock bands of the fantasy world?" is basically the best jumping off point for any book ever. The use of music industry terms, like headliner and touring and booker and frontman, were all really fun additions. I’m in a band, so seeing a band equivalent in a fantasy setting was exciting and incredibly entertaining for me. Also, I loved all of the band and song references. I know there’s no way I caught them all, but any time I did catch one I was messaging friends with cyber squeals of joy. I’ll refrain from giving any away, because the search for musical Easter eggs is half the fun!

And the music references weren’t the only ones Eames included. Video games and and movies and classic fantasy novels were all referenced, as well. Here’s my favorite, a reference to The Hobbit:
“The place was a hovel, but not the cozy hovel of the sort inhabited by poets and scribes, crammed with bookshelves, candles, and antique curios. Nor was it the sparse kind of hovel, occupied by little more than a ragged blanket and a straw-stuffed mattress: It was a kubold’s hovel, and that meant shithole.”

I genuinely busted out laughing when I read that paragraph, and it makes me smile every time I remember it. There are so many lines like that in this book. But there was also depth here, lines that actually made me stop and think, which stood out all the more because of the predominant humor throughout the majority of the book. For example:
“But what does a mirror know? What can it show us of ourselves? Oh, it might reveal a few scars, and perhaps a glimpse—there, in the eyes—of our true nature. The spirit beneath the skin. Yet the deepest scars are often hidden, and though a mirror might reveal our weakness, it reflects only a fraction of our strength.”

See? That’s deep stuff, man. And that deep thought sprung right from the head of our main protagonist, “Slowhand” Clay Cooper. I enjoyed Clay so much. I loved all of the members of Saga, a classic band getting together for one last adventure and the central focus of the book. But Clay was definitely my favorite. If Saga is to be equated with an actual musical band, here are my thoughts on what instrument each member would play. Golden Gabe is the frontman, as we already know from the book itself, but the rest are all strictly my opinion. I believe that Ganelon is the lead guitarist, because lead guitarists of rock bands tend to be destructive and more than a little crazy and are often lady magnets, all of which apply. Moog plays the synthesizer, because he’s kooky and does his own thing but it somehow always works out with what the rest of the band is doing. Matty Skulldrummer would have to be the drummer for obvious reasons.

That leaves Clay. I think Slowhand is an appropriate stage name for a bassist. A bassist tends to be the binding agent in a band, the person who quietly holds everything together and keeps the song moving in the right direction. The bass-line is the heartbeat of a song, and Clay Cooper is without a doubt the heartbeat of Saga. Also, I have a thing for bassists; my husband is a phenomenal one.

All of that randomness to say: I really loved this book. And honestly, I could go on about the employment of such a wide array of fantastical creatures and magical weapons and intriguing mythology, but I want to leave as much as possible unknown for others to discover for themselves. There were a couple of writing choices that I would have changed, like doing away with a few of the plethora of similes employed in the prose, but there was nothing that bothered me enough to keep me from giving the book five rocking stars. If you’re looking for something that mingles humor with heart, that will make you feel nostalgic and keep you entertained as you search for various pop culture references, I’ve found no other novel that can top this one.
Profile Image for Sebastien Castell.
Author 48 books4,308 followers
August 31, 2016
No spoilers as the book isn't out yet, but this is a terrific read for fantasy fans who enjoy a mix of old-school adventuring told in a modern voice and with a rock and roll flair. Nicholas Eames knows how to take the tropes of heroic fantasy and simultaneously revel in them while often turning them on their head. Lots of fun to be had here.
Profile Image for Heather Mclarry.
198 reviews13.9k followers
August 25, 2023
honestly such a fun fantasy book. Loved the world and loved the guys. The writing was so descriptive. The characters were so lovable and funny. I just had such a good time reading this
Profile Image for Bradley.
Author 5 books4,109 followers
January 27, 2018
A battle of the bands! A total rock out with their cocks out. Well, swords, anyway.

I wasn't at all sure what I was going to make of this. I mean, epic fantasy is all great, but I was worried that it was just going to be another cookie-cutter, however well-written.

Not so!

In fact, it reads like a novel of aging rockers getting their lives out of the gutter to go on one last tour, not only recapturing the time that they were once the best of the best, but going out in a real blaze... just as long as they hash out all their failings and pick up the pieces one last time as well. :)

The novel is super fun on both sides of this mashup. It's a glory filled echo of all our most favorite old school rocker bands, their ignominy, their weaknesses, their absolute perfection. It's not only a road trip, but it's also one of the tightest character-driven novels I've seen in a long time.

The other side is pure mercenary fantasy gold. I think just about every fantasy trope is treated as an old hat here, our world-weary tattooed rockers having already seen it all, done it all. Being fat and old and having lost a few magical weapons along the way is just the start of the tale, however, and getting their heart back is just as fun as the side quests.

But damn. What A Ride. The whole novel is funny and tight and a pure delight from start to finish. Don't let the light tone fool you, either. All these characters feel real. And the blowout at the end? Holy crap! I haven't had quite this much fun with a new fantasy since... well, it feels like forever! (Not true, but I do go through a barbarian hoard of books.) :)

I totally recommend this for... everyone who loves old school rock and anyone who loves bloody fantasy. :)

Profile Image for ❄️BooksofRadiance❄️.
614 reviews764 followers
November 22, 2018

"Get the boss, this bunch looks like trouble."
'And they do. They do look like trouble, at least until the wizard trips on a hem of his robe.
He stumbles, cursing, and fouls the steps of the others as he falls face-first onto the mud-slick hillside.'


BRILLIANT. So. Damn. Brilliant. 

Alright, my mind is all over the place at the moment to write anything coherent so let me wrap this up by saying that if you’re on the fence about reading this little gem - get it together and READ. IT. 

Just a little preview of what you’ll get...

✨ A band of hilarious ageing mercenaries past their prime on their ‘one last quest’ to save a loved one. And the adventures/shit they face along the way. 

✨ Did I say HILARIOUS! (I can’t remember the last time I laughed this hard reading a book) and charming, well-crafted characters and full of witty and delightful banter. 

✨  A fast-moving plot with not a single boring moment and... oh the dialogue, guys! The character interactions!

✨  The number of weird-ass creatures and the many, many types of monsters you’ll come across is simply something you'll just have to experience for yourself. Trust me. 

✨ And MOOG! Moog is, to put it plainly, a little bundle of joy. A ray of sunshine. The sweetest, most kind-hearted character who'll kill you with laughter. My favourite one, probably on par with Clay. 

So, in a nutshell, guys, this's basically 0.5%/100 of what you’ll get. Imagine what else is hidden inside...
Profile Image for Michael Britt.
171 reviews1,992 followers
May 29, 2017
This book. THIS FREAKING BOOK! Man, I'm blown away, yet again, by another book this year. It's been a pretty amazing year of books, and this one comes very close to topping that list.

"Hit it like you hate it."

I'm convinced that Canada births some of the most gifted Fantasy writers. You've got Steven Erikson, Sebastian de Castell and now, added to that list, is Nicholas Eames. This is, quite possibly, my favorite debut novel. Right behind Traitor's Blade by Sebastian de Castell and Theft of Swords by Michael J Sullivan. After dabbling so much in multiple POV books I've grown to not like first-person POV's quite as much. Since the person we're getting the POV from tends to either be a Gary Stue/Mary Sue (I think that's the right terminology) or extremely annoying. Eames had done something quite remarkable here and given us Clay Cooper: a protagonist that is flawed enough to seem real, but awesome enough that I never got sick of his POV.

Something that can make or break a book for me is, by far, the characters. I can deal with a crappy plot, as long as the characters are well written. This book excelled in both areas. But I like to keep my reviews spoiler free so I'll focus on the characters in this section. We get this band of mercs that are among the best bromances I've ever read. They're hilarious, bad ass savages. It would be folly for me to try and pick my favorite. They each being their own awesomeness to the table. Seriously. Usually there is at least one character that's too perfect or just annoying. He has managed, like he did with Clay, to create a whole band full of unique characters that being something to the table to help strengthen the group.

I thought the classic rock references would eventually get old, but to my surprise and satisfaction, he did it perfectly. Some hidden so well that you might miss the majority of them. Also, the video game feel you get from it is subtle enough that it doesn't over power the story, but you'll pick up on it if you've played these games. D&D seeming to be one of the biggest influences.

Now, to touch briefly on the story. I'll keep this spoiler free, as well. Eames has managed to create a story with the most perfect mix of grim dark and humor. It doesn't feel like he set out with a goal to write a grimdark story and I loved that. It was just a byproduct of the world he created. His prose is among some of the best, as well. He's managed to write a story vivid enough to make you feel like you're there, but it's tight and fast-paced enough for you to not get bored. To me, that seems like a tough thing for authors to balance. And he's done it so well. There were so many laugh out loud moments that I thought I was going to get kicked out of the coffee shop.

I don't think I could ever do this book justice with a review. If you're a fan of Fantasy and have a love for classic rock or video games, pick this up, immediately. If you're just a fan of well-written Fantasy, pick this up, immediately!
Author 1 book360 followers
March 8, 2017
I may be taking a risk here, what with being still on March and all that, but I'll declare Kings of the Wyld debut of the year.

Clay Cooper leads a peaceful and quiet life. He takes some shifts in the City Watch, he drinks a couple of beers in the King's Head, and spends some quality time with his wife and daughter. Or at least he used to. Because right now he's robbed, hungry, on the road, and trying to do the unthinkable; re-unite his old mercenary band called Saga, cross a forest full of every possible monster you have ever imagined and then some, and face a horde of one hundred thousand strong. What could possibly go wrong?

“But what does a mirror know? What can it show us of ourselves? Oh, it might reveal a few scars, and perhaps a glimpse—there, in the eyes—of our true nature. The spirit beneath the skin. Yet the deepest scars are often hidden, and though a mirror might reveal our weakness, it reflects only a fraction of our strength.”

I started this review by saying that I'm taking a risk, but the true risk here was taken by the author. Eames wrote a story of tragedy and darkness, but in an amusing, humoristic and light-hearted tone. To do so without turning the work into a parody, talent and experience are required. Eames has the first but not the second. And yet, he pulled it off, and more than successfully so.

Eames is excellent with prose, in fact one of the best that I've recently reviewed. He uses an intense "thriller-like" method of pacing which he successfully mixes with the humorous tone he introduced with a specific character's appearance. While Eames tells a straightforward story, he also gets into some strong explorations of the characters' characters, pasts and motivations, things that help to carry the story. He is also great in the small reversals of scene, especially those concerning the characters. You may dislike, even hate some of them, and then love them or realize that you were unfair.

All in all, Kings of the Wyld is a pleasant, poignant, well-told and engaging story, and Nicholas Eames is a talented author who's here to stay.

You can find more of my reviews over at http://BookNest.eu/
Profile Image for Markus.
476 reviews1,565 followers
February 12, 2020
“This is not a choice between life and death, but life and immortality! Remain here and die in obscurity, or follow me now and live forever!”

There are two ways to read this book, from what I can tell. You can read it as a fantasy novel (what it indeed may have been written as), and expect a stunning well-crafted narrative of epic proportions equal to the giants of fantasy literature. And you’ll be horribly disappointed when you notice all the aspects in which it falls flat. There is simply too much inconsistency, flagrant use of deus ex machina, overused sexual humour and a story that essentially stops being good three quarters of the way through as the author decided he needed to wrap up quickly. That’s the first way.

Alternatively, you can read it like the novelisation of a Dungeons & Dragons campaign. This reading justifies nearly all of the above, your expectations are significantly lowered, and you can simply enjoy the book for what it seems to be.

The evidence for the second reading being the best one should be plentiful and convincing: the setting has generic lands and kingdoms that nobody cares about and do not matter to the story. The story is centred on groups of adventurers practically functioning as heroic rockstars, even going so far as to have band names. We follow them adventure, make camp, be ambushed, fight random arrow fodder creatures, and indeed both enter dungeons and fight dragons. There are poorly veiled references to classic D&D creatures, the humour is juvenile, there is a lot of modern references being close to breaking the fourth wall (including fantasy viagra), and there are artifacts with ridiculously unrealistic and unexplained names. And the author states clearly that the world of the Forgotten Realms is one of his biggest inspirations. It shows.

The heroes are, of course, your average D&D group. You can almost see them being played by a group of adventure-addicted young men in a dim suburban basement surrounded by half-eaten boxes of delivered pizza. Their DM has even deigned to give them all iconic magic weapons with illustrious backstories. This means, naturally, that they are hardly the deepest. They are cardboard cutouts with little in the way of personality except nostalgic heroism. But, as with any D&D campaign, the splendour lies in the NPCs.

"After what happened to my parents, and what I did to those children, what could I have become but a monster?"

Larkspur is the best of the bunch, and it is a rarity to read about a character whose role is improved by being hit in the head. Others are almost equally intriguing: the murdering adulterous queen with the laughably unimaginative name, the druins, dark and mysterious remnants of a mythic past, Jain the thieving bandit with a heart of gold, and on and on. The group’s undead bard (what a wonderful idea) is another example:

“You should write a book,” Matrick suggested. Kit snorted. “Who wants to read the self-pitying lamentations of an old revenant?” “There's your title right there,” said Ganelon.

From the unrealistic and unbelievable to the straight up trashy (in a fun way); from references to World of Warcraft and The Elder Scrolls to the most fan service-heavy segments of any fantasy, this is a all-encompassing nerdy pop culture phenomenon more than anything else.

Overall, Kings of the Wyld is not an excellent book in any technical way. It is not among the greats of the fantasy genre and it is not a memorable piece of literature. It will not win any hard-hitting awards, nor does it deserve them, but nor does it need them. What it is, however, is perhaps the finest ever example of turning the classical Dungeons & Dragons experience into a novel. Nearly every attempt at this turns out a disaster, but Nicholas Eames succeeds.
Profile Image for Samir.
111 reviews177 followers
September 23, 2018
“Then again, that was the point of being in the band, wasn’t it? A tiger, however fearsome, could be hunted into a corner. It fought alone, so it died alone. But to hunt a wolf was to constantly look over your shoulder, wondering if others were behind you in the dark.”

This is a year of many great debuts so far and I think it is safe to presume that this will be one of the best, if not the best. This is one the best debuts I have ever read and I can't remember having so much fun since the Lies of Locke Lamora and the Theft of Swords. That being said, this goes straight to my all-time favorites shelf.

There was a time when Saga was the best band of mercenaries in the known world and their escapades remained legendary even today because glory never gets old. Speaking of present times, mercenaries have changed; there were no more touring across the lands of Grandual and the notorious Heartwyld and killing whatever you were hired to kill. Mercenaries (bands) today are doing gigs in the arenas and the only thing they are after is fame. Clay Cooper, once a proud member of Saga, is living an ordinary life, enjoying the comforts of home with his wife and daughter. But then, an ex-bandmate turns up at his door asking for help. His daughter is trapped in the city under siege on the other side of the world and time has come to get the band back together for one last tour.

This is a tale about a quest with impossible odds, a quest that will take you on a fun adventure and you’ll be excited as Bilbo was when he was on his way to Erebor

but it is also a tale of friendship and camaraderie between a fantastic group of characters and you’ll have a hard time picking your favorite one. If you like hit first, ask questions later, always eager to fight warrior, then your pick would be Ganelon. If you like kind-hearted, goofy characters, Moog is your man. Or your wizard, your preference. For a laid-back hedonist type, look no further than Matrick. No one can dislike an adventurous and charismatic character like Gabe. The last, and most certainly not the least, a silent but strong type, which is, of course, Clay. The heart and soul of this group, reluctant to be considered as a hero or a leader of any kind and most eager to help those in need.

You can see straight away that Eames is fan of video games not just because of the quest like storyline but because of the vast number of RPG elements like the various creatures in this world, scenery, legendary weapons, armor and skyships. I think that is more than enough to make every fan of JRPGs and MMORPGs happy.

I was an avid gamer when I was younger so I had my fair share of RPGs and reading this was like a trip down memory lane. This book is the best RPG I have never played. In addition, it also has the best soundtrack, well, if you’re a fan of classic rock like I am. Don’t let this observation mislead you; you don’t have to be a gamer to appreciate this book, this one will appeal to all fantasy fans alike and there are no sufficient words to recommend this fantastic book enough.

I mentioned the soundtrack so you’re probably wondering what the hell I’m on about. (Owl)Bear with me. If you go to the author’s web page you can find a lot of great stuff there like the map of the world, various art of the characters and yes, you guessed it, the soundtrack, which inspired Eames while he was writing. I was listening to these songs while reading and it worked great so not only did the author successfully managed to channel the spirit of the songs into the story but he also gave me a movie like experience as well.

Since I digressed into the topic of music, there’s nothing I can do now, I guess I’ll keep on rambling. Throughout this novel you’ll come across a lot of rock music easter eggs. For instance, the band’s name is Saga and I might be taking a shot in the dark here but I think that is an homage to the Canadian rock band of the same name, but there is one reference I’m very certain of and that is the Riot House, a place for mercenary bands to gather round and participate in all kinds of debauchery. Riot House was the nickname of the Hyatt Hotel in LA and it was a hotel of choice for touring rock bands in the 60s and the 70s like Led Zeppelin, the Rolling Stones, the Doors, the Who and the rest of the superstars of the era, and you can imagine what kind of stuff must have happened there and reading about it here made me grin with approval.

Even though this is a lighthearted and fun fantasy there were a lot of touching moments and as I was reading them I could almost swear someone was cutting onions nearby. Author did a great job of delivering scenes that put you through a roller coaster of emotions and it will make you appreciate this story even more.

One thing that I particularly enjoyed were the fighting sequences, they were gripping, energetic, suspenseful and mixed up with just the right dose of humor and every time they were done, I was craving for more.

I had so much fun reading this rollicking adventure and I would recommend it to all fantasy fans but especially to the fans of Michael J. Sullivan because of the way the characters are written and Scott Lynch because this novel has that kind of flair with its witty, sharp dialogues and plenty of twists and turns.

Kings of the Wyld is the first book in The Band trilogy but it can be read as a standalone because the story wrapped up with no loose ends and next book in the series, Bloody Rose, will cast a new set of characters which I can’t wait to meet and accompany them on their adventure.
Profile Image for Overhaul.
321 reviews705 followers
April 19, 2021

Reyes de la Tierra Salvaje le concedo para mí unas merecidas cinco estrellas. Mi primer consejo sobre el libro es ¡no leáis la sinopsis! revela para mi demasiadas cosas. Lo mejor es empezar a leer, disfrutar y descubrirlas. Bien, ¿Que tenemos por delante en este libro? Pues tenemos una fantasía de aventuras muy divertida y altamente entretenida. Tenemos una banda de mercenarios formada por un mago que está como una chota, un buenazo, un lider deseperado por cierta situación, un gerrero/maquina de matar y un rey borrachuzo. Tenemos una gran misión por delante llena de aventuras, tenemos monstruos, aliados, enemigos, peligro por todas partes, situaciones delirantes. Pero sobre todo hay amistad y mucho humor. Tiene un tonillo socarrón que le va genial a la historia. Esta es una historia sobre la hermandad , una historia, sobre la familia y el paso del tiempo. Personalmente este libro y su autor, han logrado sorprenderme.

Dos cosas que realmente destacan en este libro son los personajes y el humor. Se trata de reunir a la banda, llamada Saga, lo cual esto significa que de manera inevitable se van a juntar cinco personajes (y vaya personajes) diferentes. Cada uno con su propia personalidad, situación y locura propia. Juntos de nuevo. Después de casi dos décadas de inactividad, ninguno de ellos es lo que solía ser. Pero volver a estar con esa banda, con los que llegaron un día a ser grandes como gigantes. Esos amigos con los que tuvieron ese gran pasado siendo conocidos como los Reyes de la Tierra Salvaje. Y aquí yace una de las grandes cosas sobre esta historia y esta banda. Y es ese lado humano, ese lado realista, cotidiano y humano. Muestran la gloria pasada de su juventud. Cada miembro tiene una personalidad muy específica y desarrollada que trae este sentimiento de que, incluso si como lector no estuviste allí en sus días de gloria, de alguna manera todavía sabes a qué se refieren. Y yo me lo pase genial con ellos. Me rindo ante esta banda.

El humor es algo que resalta y también está a la par con la historia, tanto los chistes fuertes y descarados como las pequeñas sugerencias más sutiles que también te hacen sonreír y con esos comentarios desternillantes. Fue realmente fantástico estar pasando las páginas, siguiendo a la banda en sus aventuras y a menudo me hacían sonreír o reírme de algunos de los acontecimientos o payasadas de los personajes. Lo cual hizo que haya sido una lectura muy agradable y me enganchó desde el principio. Por cierto, soy FAN del mago, Moog. Está muyyy loco. Cuando lo conocemos a él y su llamada magnífica filacteria fálica.... bueno... aún no lo he olvidado xD.

Reyes de la Tierra Salvaje de la editoria GAMoN fue su novela de estreno y vaya estreno por la puerta grande. Además yo había leído anteriormente Promesas de sangre el cual es un estreno más actual de la editorial y ya puso el nivel alto. Terminé bastante sorprendido de lo buena que resultó ser esta historia y contento de haber aplazado otras lecturas y leérmelo ya.

El autor Nicholas Eames tiene un estilo de escritura muy inmersiva, vacía de términos inútiles y florecientes y bastante directa al grano. Un tonillo socarrón que le va de lujo con humor y referencias. Como dijo un buen amigo por aquí en goodreads, es para leerlo con unas palomitas y una Coca-Cola, o una cerveza.

El mundo que ha creado el autor es muy bueno. Ha construido un mundo que se siente extenso y rico. Ofreciéndole suficiente historia al lector para sumergirse por completo, sin nunca permitirse tampoco demasiado en información que interrumpe el flujo del libro, sin relleno vamos. Cuando lo estás empezando a leer te da la agradable sensación de estar un mundo de fantasía medieval de espada y hechicería de la vieja escuela. Me gustó eso. La sensación general y el tono de la historia es otro punto. El autor acertó en el equilibrio. Su mundo de fantasía es un lugar bastante lúgubre lleno de monstruos y algunos sucesos oscuros, pero eso se vio mitigado por el hecho de que la historia tenía un montón de humor y un humor que era la verdad genuinamente divertido a carcajadas a veces esto ya de manera personal. Nos proporciona personajes y momentos alegres para equilibrar las cosas más oscuras. Me encanta. Es una historia trepidante, a menudo frenética, que te lleva de un lugar y de una aventura extravagante a veces, a otra. Algunas veces, como he dicho, los eventos que tienen lugar son un poco incrédulos, extendiendo los límites de la plausibilidad, pero no todas las batallas se ganan con habilidad y, a veces, todo lo que se necesita es un poco de suerte... o mucha xD. La verdad yo creo que es un mundo que el autor podría seguir dándole uso y creando más historias. Es autoconclusivo. Hay un segundo libro que ojalá lo traigan pronto pues sin duda lo leeré.

Mi último consejo y lo mejor que puedo decir de esta gran aventura. ¡Leedlo y disfrutadlo!
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