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.
The best way to describe this book is like a machine that isn’t functioning properly. The gears are turning, but aren’t connected so the machine isn’t running. Each of these gears, characters, world building, pacing, and plot, all have their weaknesses (some more than others) and strengths.
The characters of The Kings of the Wyld are easily the best part of the novel. The concept of the retired band members getting back together for another walk on the wyld side to save someone’s daughter is an idea I’ve never read before. Each of the band members are introduced one by one as they slowly get the band back together. Each of the characters have their own quirks and distinct personalities, so their spaced out introductions make it easy for readers to get a grasp on who they are now and who they were in the past.
The world building was okay, to say the least. It’s a mash of different sources, so nothing is truly original even though it feels familiar. Every fantasy and magical creature you could think of is featured in Kings of the Wyld in some fashion. This is clever to a certain degree on Eames part by invoking readers’ previous knowledge to let them do the hard work in terms of world building, however he relies upon it too much.
The pacing is inconsistent throughout the novel. At some points I was falling asleep while at others I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough. This is an action packed fantasy ride, but Eames sometimes chooses to focus on such mundane and useless sequences that detract from the overall story.
This book is funny, but a lot of the jokes are juvenile at best. There were too many unfunny dick jokes. Again, some of the jokes detract from the scene instead of bolstering it.
Overall, Kings of the Wyld is a rock and roll kind of fantasy novel (see Eames playlist) that just didn’t work for me. I loved the characters, but not much else.