Book Review: Kings of the Wyld, by Nicholas Eames

I saw this book praised repeatedly on many an online source, and was in the mood for some classic, light fantasy.

I wasn’t disappointed. Kings of the Wyld is tremendous fantasy, touching all the important aspects and with plenty of humour, that is sure to delight anyone who ever played D&D.

What to expect

If you’ve ever played fantasy role-playing games and wondered how the world would really look with all those adventuring groups running all over the place, this book has the answer. Eames presents us with a rich, detailed, classic fantasy world that still has plenty of unique twists. In particular, there are plenty of adventuring bands that would feel familiar to RPG fans, which get both the fame and treatment they deserve.

One such band, coming back from retirement to save one of their members daughters, are the protagonists of the novel. Eames slowly builds up the tension and the stakes by exposing us to new details, and scale of adventures rise from the village where the story starts to the epic battle at the end.

What I liked

First and foremost, I love the humour and the small homages to classic D&D. Though not necessary to enjoy the novel, they enrich the experience. One also cannot but love the characters, each both representing a classic architype and having their own little twists or personality. Eames does a wonderful job of presenting real people dealing with real and powerful issues, and balancing it with touches of humour that make you laugh and feel from the first page to the last.

What to be aware of

The band of heros are coming back from retirement. Expect a lot of jokes about cracking knees and issues of parenthood – i.e. the novel’s themes run to mature rather than YA.

Summary

If you’ve ever played D&D in its various forms, you’ll love Kings of the Wyld. In fact, if you enjoy epic fantasy in general you’re bound to love this book for it’s characters, humour, adventures, and charm.

I suggest you get a copy – I know I’m eagerly looking for the second novel by Eames!

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