August 20, 2018

REVIEW| Kings of the Wyld

Kings of the Wyld (The Band #1)
Nicholas Eames

UK Publisher: Orbit Books
UK Release Date: February 21st, 2017

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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.


Kings of the Wyld is basically what would happen if mercenaries were like the old rock bands that I listen to, way too much, and decided they were going to do a final tour by playing a game of Dungeon and Dragons.  

I wanted to love this book, and for the most parts, I did. 

The concept was what sold me. Nostalgic, old men in an RPG sitcom. And it was funny! In fact, this book just showcased why playing D&D and RPG can be so much fun! This concept even fueled my own humorous short story. It had exactly what was offered on the tin, but there were just a few things that left me unsatisfied. 

The pacing felt off. In fact, it felt like it was a relentless sequence of events that weren't quite crucial to the plot. One thing would feed into another and wouldn't give my poor heart a break from all that physical combat. There were no calm moments, to let me catch my breath, everything was life and death - and perhaps, that just isn't for me anymore?

It felt that there was no inner conflict within these circle of friends, and that there was off it, was my biggest issue. I just kept feeling frustrated at the complete lack of woman written in a positive light. They were just plot points that gave the blokes their depth of character. Most of the woman were wives or fellow mercs that were ruthless and felt one-dimensional villians. They were the constant nemesis of these old and crass men. 

That being said - I did really like the found family feeling that Eames was able to portray across. I liked the way in which that we are introduced and how each of their motivations brought these characters to life, even if they could have had a little more development in the stewing pot. For some reason, I just had Merlin, the one from Shrek 3, in my head every and all times Moog was in a scene.

The world building kept feeling like a D&D campaign, which I think worked in its favor - even OWLBEARS - but the pacing of a D&D campaign just didn't work in the novel format.

I'm thinking of picking up a copy of Bloody Rose. There's promise and I'm excited to give it a go.


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