Kings of the Wyld
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 ...more
Legit question! To begin with, I actually don't believe there are any especially wise people in this book! It's sort of about people making unwis…moreHeya!
Legit question! To begin with, I actually don't believe there are any especially wise people in this book! It's sort of about people making unwise decisions in the name of friendship, family, and love, so--Wait! ....nope. No wise people. Moving on!
I'd say most of the main characters have a shade of horrible in them: one's a murderer, another a drunk, Gabe is a negligent father (or has been, until now), Clay has a brutally violent nature he can't always suppress. Moog's probably the best of the bunch, if you don't count obsessive fixation and arrested development as flaws =) I certainly didn't go out of my way to make the women worse.
The thing is, KINGS OF THE WYLD is about five male friends, an old mercenary band, that get together after a long retirement. Does it have enough women in the book for my liking? No, it doesn't. That's just not the story I was telling. Will I do better in future books? You're goddamn right I will!
Alas, when your five protagonists are male and it's important to you (in this case, me) to feature women as well, they've gotta be antagonists. I tried to give every 'bad' character, male or female, a sympathetic side, and I'd even argue that Jain (outside of being a bandit) is one of the best and most moral characters in the whole book. Also, one of the most dangerous and deadly characters, Larkspur, is by no means evil. She's just looking after herself and no one else--something I believe is justified by her past.
Minor spoiler: I intentionally tried (by way of Matty's words later in the book) to give Matrick's wife, who had five children with other men, a legitimate reason for doing so. She felt unloved, and cheated of the man she thought she was marrying. While his friends cast blame on her, Matrick knows inside that he's just as shitty a husband as she is a wife.
I like flawed characters. And I like when someone who does something bad has a justifiable (even to them) reason for doing so, and I'd say this applies to both my male and female characters. Although my core 'band' is made up of dudes, I think the female characters that surround them are funny, flawed, adorable, badass, powerful, vulnerable, resilient, capable, and awesome. The story may not be about them, but it would suck without them.
Diversity, inclusion, and representation (especially in the fantasy genre!) are important to me, and if I'm lucky enough to make a career out of writing, it will be a career that works to forward all of those things. Having written a book about five male friends, I can assure you that its sequel, BLOODY ROSE, will feature women far more prominently, though none of them will be (just as none of us are) perfect.
And come to think of it, no one in that book is very wise either.
I hope this addresses your question! Thank you so much for asking it, as I really do appreciate the chance to address this very important topic. (less)
I've signed with Orbit for three books, and though each story is very standalone (different bands in each) there is noneth…moreHi! Thanks for the question!
I've signed with Orbit for three books, and though each story is very standalone (different bands in each) there is nonetheless a complete story arc running through them, in that the events of books 2 and 3 are predicated on what happens in book one.
That said, I'd love to do some offshoot stories with various characters, and very possibly a prequel (or short story collection) featuring Saga someday.
Hope that clears it up! Thanks again for asking.
Imagine this: legendary rock bands that have disbanded, such as The Beatles, Led Zeppelin or Nirvana, come back for one more tour. Now replace the rock bands and concerts with mercenary bands and killing monsters. I won’t go into any details on the music allusions, but it’s ubiquitous throughout the wh ...more
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 ou ...more
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 danger ...more
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, Chime ...more
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 Blad ...more
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...
"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 bu ...more
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 ...more
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
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 ...more
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 characte ...more
Actual Rating: 4.25-4.5 stars
“WHEN WE SEEK TO RULE ONLY OURSELVES, WE ARE EACH OF US KINGS.”
🌟 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 i ...more
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 ba ...more
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 ...more
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 ever ...more
"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 Swor ...more
"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 ...more
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 t ...more
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 Lie ...more
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.
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 ...more
The book reads like a D&D quest and our characters either had the cheat codes or an endless supply of quarters to make it through to the "battle of the bands" and get their names on the high scores list. That said the writing was excelle ...more
What a peculiar book. When I started reading “Kings of Wyld” I was a bit distracted, couldn’t connect to the characters and felt like reading a random book, hah even thought of putting it on hold and read some other time. Putting my crappy POV aside, I was surprised as this book is really well written and it feels so. Though the story is not so unexpected or new (It reminded me of Joe Abercrombie), it’s quite quick-paced, it has monsters, peculiar hi ...more
Ok, ok, so I’m a little bit late to this. In fact, I’m so ...more
This is an impressive debut which walks a fine line between epic and grimdark fantasy interspersed with humorous elements.
It's a great tale of friendhip between mature characters who are in for something they might be way too old for.
Although there is constant humor and a bunch of more or less well disguised pop-cultu ...more
"But life, Clay knew, didn't work that way. It wasn't a circle; you didn't go round and round again. It was an arc, its course as inexorable as the sun's trek across the sky, destined at its highest, brightest moment to begin its fall"
3.5 Stars: ✰✰✰ ½. Full review is now up! Let me know what you think =].
Two things before I even write this review: I really try to not be a "contrarian". Meaning that I try to never be that guy who bashes a good book just because everybody else lik ...more
The story was interesting enough. The legendary mercenary band Saga are ...more
I always say that I hardly ever give 5 stars to a book straight after finishing it, because I like to be sure, and 5 stars cannot be given lightly (yes, I'm such a pain in the ass sometimes). Well, screw it, screw my former 4 stars, this one gets a 5.
Also, I swear way too much below.
Well, how fucking enjoyable was that!
For the simple reason th ...more
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At his shoulder walks a sorcerer, a cosmic conversationalist. Enemy of the incurable rot, absent chairman of combustive sciences at the university in Oddsford, and the only living soul above the age of eight to believe in owlbears.
Look here at a warrior born, a scion of power and poverty whose purpose is manifold: to shatter shackles, to murder monarchs, and to demonstrate that even the forces of good must sometimes enlist the service of big, bad motherfuckers. His is an ancient soul destined to die young.
And now comes the quiet one, the gentle giant, he who fights his battles with a shield. Stout as the tree that counts its age in aeons, constant as the star that marks true north and shines most brightly on the darkest nights.
A step ahead of these four: our hero. He is the candle burnt down to the stump, the cutting blade grown dull with overuse. But see now the spark in his stride. Behold the glint of steel in his gaze. Who dares to stand between a man such as this and that which he holds dear? He will kill, if he must, to protect it. He will die, if that is what it takes.
“Go get the boss,” says one guardsman to another. “This bunch looks like trouble.”
And they do. They do look like trouble, at least until the wizard trips on the hem of his robe. He stumbles, cursing, and fouls the steps of the others as he falls face-first onto the mud-slick hillside.”