Published: February 21, 2017
Pages: 544 (Paperback)
My Rating: 5.0/5.0
GLORY NEVER GETS OLD.
Clay Cooper and his band were once the best of the best — the meanest, dirtiest, most feared crew of mercenaries this side of the Heartwyld.
Their glory days long past, the mercs have grown apart and grown old, fat, drunk – or a combination of the three. Then an ex-bandmate turns up at Clay’s door with a plea for help. His daughter Rose is trapped in a city besieged by an enemy one hundred thousand strong and hungry for blood. Rescuing Rose is the kind of mission that only the very brave or the very stupid would sign up for.
It’s time to get the band back together for one last tour across the Wyld.
I could count on one hand the number of books that appeal to my humor as much as Kings of the Wyld does. I wasn’t expecting a book that would make me laugh so often and I find myself already trying to foist it on friends so perhaps they will find as much enjoyment as I did. Don’t get me wrong now, this story wasn’t all laughs and definitely had some moments that would have downright brutal if the humor wasn’t there to soften the blows. The real theme of Kings of the Wyld is very serious and is as solid as the best fantasy books.
Imagine if our 80’s rock bands were instead bands of men fighting the horrors of the wyld. They have the same memorable names, hordes of screaming fans, and sometimes even ridiculous themed costumes. A few decades ago, bands like Saga roamed the wyld killing threatening beasties of all shapes, sizes, and species but eventually the famous bands began to break up, members went their separate ways and began to settle down, go to prison, or catch incurable diseases. Twenty years later the bands of old have been replaced by new faces, who don’t want to or have to work as hard to garner the same adoration that bands once did. The wyld begins to grow strong, the city of Castia is under siege by a horde, and Saga is getting back together to save the daughter of Golden Gabe, once leader of this fabled band.
The story is told from the perspective of Clay Cooper, watchman, family man, and formerly retired member of Saga. Mere pages into the book and Gabriel shows up on his doorstep begging for help to save his daughter Rose. Clay reluctantly agrees and they set off to gather the rest of the band members up for one more rodeo. The members of Saga are magnificently lovable, the foes they encounter are terrible, and there are so many quotable lines that my book would have had tropical bird-style plumage from all the sticky notes poking out the sides. Clay was wonderful, but Moog was a riot of fun. His never-ending sack of marvels was ridiculous and if I could, I’d so have a hat from which you could pull fully prepared meals. Nicholas Eames even wrote the secondary characters so well that I’d go buy novellas about their life stories!
In short, Kings of the Wyld is one of my best book purchases probably ever. I have not a single regret and am beyond pleased to know that there are future books in store for readers. If you like lovable tough guys, dangerous adventures, and reading about the variety of ways you can fall in battle (trampled, charred, stabbed, eaten etc.) than you’ll love this book. Everyone seems to want a Saga tour t-shirt (definitely a cool idea), but I’d settle for an owlbear.