So I finished reading Kings of the Wyld by Nicholas Eames last week and I loved it. I wrote a review for it on Goodreads but I thought that might be something to include in my blog as well. I’ll also include what book I started after Kings of the Wyld and what other media I have been consuming lately. I thought it would be kind of cool for my readers to get a glimpse into what stories and other outside forces are influencing me currently.
So let’s get into it. Heres my review on Kings of the Wyld by Nicholas Eames.
Five middle-aged rockers sit down for a Dungeons and Dragons campaign with a hilariously twisted dungeon master at the helm. The greatest band of mercenaries in the world: Saga are those middle-aged rockers and Nicholas Eames is that twisted DM.
Slowhand Clay Cooper had made a nice life for himself after the band broke up. A steady job as a village guard, a loving wife, and a daughter he adores. When the ex-frontman of Saga, Gabriel, shows up to ask for help, Clay's initial response is to refuse. Gabriel's daughter and her band are trapped in a city under siege by thousands of monsters from the Heartwyld. Clay's conscience eventually gets the better of him and the pair embark on a journey to get the band back together. With all five members of Saga reunited, they trek across the Heartwyld (a vast strip of brutal land inhabited by monsters and riddled with an infectious disease) to get to the besieged city on the other side to rescue Gabriel's daughter.
Nicholas Eames' humor is the best part of this book, in my opinion, but the rest isn't too far behind. Raunchy and ridiculous at times, the jokes, gags, and horseplay remind me of what one might find within a real-life group of close friends. It's what made the band so believable. Jokes aside, the story has everything a fantasy geek would want in an adventure like this. Enchanted weapons and armor, spells, monsters, mountains of loot, and even a horn that vomits a swarm of bees when blown. There are also moments that hit the reader right in the feels like a gauntleted uppercut of emotion. Gregor and Dane broke my heart in the best kind of way. I won't spoil anything, but I have never seen anything like their relationship before. Possibly the most unique thing I have read in a long time and the whole thing almost made me ugly cry. Each of the characters is strong in their own ways but Ganelon is a beast inside and out.
The critiques I have are minimal. I think Eames accomplished what he set out to do but I have a couple of little nitpicky things I personally didn't like. Some of the fights could have had higher stakes. Many of the characters felt like they couldn't be killed, so I didn't worry about them. Some of the magic made things a little too easy at times, though it was used in unique ways. One of the subplots could have been more impactful if it wasn't solved by a strange plant the band was given quite easily.
I think anyone who enjoys reading crazy humor and healthy doses of fantasy tropes in their adventures would love this book. I personally can't wait to start the next part. I give Kings of the Wyld 4 out of 5 stars because even though I thoroughly enjoyed it, there was still a star's worth of things I would change, personally.
After I finished Kings of the Wyld, I finally picked up A Little Hatred by Joe Abercrombie. I have been excited to get to this book because I have been hearing amazing things since its release last year. I enjoyed The First Law trilogy and I loved each of the standalone sequels based in this same epic fantasy world Joe has created. I've praised Joe on my blog in the past for his character work and his effective and honest prose that seem simple and easy to read on their surface. The more you look into them, however, you can imagine how much time and thought Joe put into the selection of each word. A Little Hatred is the latest installment and the peak so far in Abercrombie's writing as he is always honing his craft.
A Little Hatred is book one of the new First Law trilogy, The Age of Madness. So far, I’m loving it. It’s great to see this unique take on fantasy. A generation has passed since the First Law ended and the characters you knew so well have grown children making their own legacies. Also, the world is at the beginning of an industrial revolution. Farms are being bought or taken from the families who have worked that land for generations. Skilled laborers are being replaced by automation or cheaper child labor. Cities are overcrowded and sewage fills every gutter. Inadequate living conditions, disease, and lack of sleep have caused accidents around the new machines. Missing fingers, arms, and legs, the workers turn to an organization known as The Breakers. They break machines and burn down manufactories to fight against The Owners.
Meanwhile, the son of Black Calder, Stour Nightfall has broken the peace in the north and burned the capital of Angland: Adua’s protectorate in the savage northern frontier.
So far I’m only a quarter of the way in and the set up is killing me. We have war in the north, revolt in Adua, and unrest in Ghurkul to the south has been mentioned several times. It will be interesting to see what comes from that situation. It’s hard to put A Little Hatred down to do my own writing.
Besides reading, the wife and I have been watching The Expanse on Amazon based on James S.A. Corey’s series of the same name. I would love to read it, but it’s sci-fi and my TBR is stacked full of fantasy (because I'm currently writing fantasy) that I have no time to read. Maybe when I’m writing a sci-fi book in the future when I’m done with Well of Bones, I’ll pick The Expanse up. Corey is putting out a book each year in that series it looks like, so there is no telling how many there will be in the future.
We’re nearing the end of season one and we like it so far. The story is interesting and has us hooked. We like how they keep the science believable regarding space travel, navigation, etc. I’m assuming it is accurate enough. I’m not an astrophysicist.
Other than all that, I’ve been working, both turning wrenches for the Army and some of the usual stuff around our little hobby farm (fencing, tilling, building animal enclosures/shelter, etc.) I’ve also been playing Call of Duty to relax and turn my brain off. Not much influence in my writing from COD but I am learning some new insults over the mic.
Thanks for reading. I enjoyed sharing my current stream of influences with you all and I will be sad when I’m done with A Little Hatred even though the next part is set for a September release.
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Until next week,
Well of Bones