I finished reading Kings of the Wyld by Nicholas Eames, and man, what a fun novel that was! This isn’t so much a review as my impressions.
KotW is about as good a D&D-ish novel can be. I don’t mean fantasy in general; even though it is nowhere acknowledged, if you know Dungeons & Dragons, you will see it all over these pages, and love it more for it. This novel is what D&D games tend to be like, what they wish they could be like, and I mean that in the best way possible.
The world of KotW is one of mercenary bands, adventuring parties, that are treated like we treat rock bands. They have names, gimmicks, frontmen/women, go on tours, and have fan bases. It takes the D&D adventuring party trope and goes all in, and it works beautifully.
The characters, a bunch of 40-something retired adventurers coming back together for one last gig, are relatable, especially for me as a 40-something reader with some of the same aches and pains. They talk and behave like the old friends they are, with problems and issues born out of a lifetime working together, without going into the in-fighting trope that plagues so many other stories.
The book does some other things really well, things I want to address individually later on, but as an overall read, even with some minor problems here and there, it is a great read in the genre with a unique twist that makes it stand out as its own thing. I’m definitely looking forward to the next book in The Band series from Eames.