Verdict: 5/5 stars. Nicholas Eames delivers a fun, fast-paced story with a “voice” the rest of us can only dream of.
What I loved:
Voice/Style: Kings of the Wyld draws you in almost immediately with prose that is not only clear, effortless, and crisp, but personal. He’s able to deliver on a lot more humor than most books (especially “second world” fantasy) are able to, and I’m one jealous writer. Seriously, this book would be worth reading for nothing more than Moog the gay wizard and his hilarity.
Setting: Kings of the Wyld is unapologetically fantasy, and I love it. I don’t think the almost ridiculous slew of monsters and tropes work without Nicholas embracing them (and the genre) 110%, which he does. As a result, the world feels rich, full, perfect.
Characters: This is where Nicholas really nails it. Each of his characters is introduced well, and each has a consistent, unique personality. He tells a compelling story within a semi-ridiculous world, and it works, really well.
Pace: Eames knew what kind of book he was writing, and stuck to it. Thank god, we finally got a fantasy book that doesn’t bog down to tell us all about the world, or meaningless politics, or the author’s views on life or humanity. The action is constant, with beautiful world-building woven in skillfully.
Plot: Many books take on the “feel” of a movie, especially modern fantasy. Everyone wants Netflix or Starz or HBO to buy the rights to their book and make them rich (can’t blame them). While Kings would do very well as a movie/TV show, I’m fairly certain that Eames wrote this book to be the genesis for a video game, which is fairly unique. But this book really felt like a well-written fantasy adventure game… one I’d really like to play.
Go read this book.