Kings of the Wyld by Nicholas Eames

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Clay Cooper and his band were once the best of the best, the most feared and renowned 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–the kind of mission that only the very brave or the very stupid would sign up for. (taken from Amazon)

Filled with blood, guts, and a surprising amount of heart, this is everything a fantasy book should be. I loved this epic adventure: even more so, because the characters were long past their glory days. I guess you’re never too old to be a hero.

Having settled down with his family, Clay has no intention of getting sucked back into the life of a warrior. But when his best friend asks for help rescuing his daughter from the midst of a besieged city, Clay rushes back into the fray. Before attempting to brave an entire army in an ill-advised rescue attempt, Clay “Slowhand” and his friend Gabe, have to gather their old band back together, which proves to be more a journey than you’d think.

The writing in this book is fantastic! The battle scenes, while many, never became “same ‘ol, same ‘ol”. I was surprised by how different each fight scene was from the others. I know that sounds like a weird thing to write about, but as a reader of fantasy, I’ve often found myself getting bored by the similarity between different fight scenes in a book.

If the battles were interesting, that’s nothing compared to the characters. I loved every single one of them. My favorite is a toss-up between Clay and Ancandius Moog, the band’s wizard. Moog was so kind-hearted! He was also a bit of a hit-or-miss wizard: sometimes he was incredibly useful…other times, not so much. Part of his background was tragic and sad, which only led to stronger character development.

Clay was wonderful in every aspect. It’s rare that I like a main character as much as I liked Clay. Because they’re often tasked with moving the story along, I tend to find them annoying (I’m looking at you, Harry Potter). But Clay was a loyal friend,  and someone who did what was right even when it wasn’t easy. I loved his wry sense of humor, his realistic viewpoints, and his tenacity. I also loved his giant shield.

I guess it’s pretty obvious at this point that there isn’t a single thing that I didn’t love about Kings of the Wyld. Every fantasy reader needs to pick this book up.

Have you read this book? What did you think?

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