Kings of the Wyld is fantastic, imaginative, and unique. One of the most impressive debuts I’ve read in a LONG time.
So the premise of KotW is that it is set in a Dungeons & Dragons style world with humans and monsters living side by side and not really getting along too well. Oh, and adventuring parties are treated like rock bands. Quests are called gigs, going on an adventure is referred to as touring, and all the bands have epic names such as the band in question, Saga.
It’s a unique take on the sword and sorcery genre and it works damned well. The story starts with Saga long since broken up, and washed up front man, Golden Gabe, looking to get the band back together to go and rescue his daughter, Rose, from the biggest, baddest monster horde the world has ever seen. We follow along in the head of Slowhand Clay Cooper, a man who really just wants to go back home to his own wife and child.
So the books is fantastic and no mistake, it roars along at a pace. We start off with Gabe getting the band back together, and then move on from there. More and more of the world and its denizens are revealed over time and it all leads up to a blistering finale.
I enjoyed the hells out of KotW, and every time I put the book down, I wanted to pick it back up again. BUT, I never had any trouble putting it down in the first place.
Quick tangent here. There is a difference between comedy and humour. This is a personal preference, but I love humour in books, humour that is set within the world and a part of it. I hate comedy in books, jokes told from the narrator’s perspective just fall flat and only serve to drag me out of the narrative.
Why the tangent, because as much as I loved KotW, there was too much comedy in it for me. There were times when a line, while witty and quite brilliant, just detached me from the world and made it easy to put the book down and do something else.
That being said, one other thing the book had was heart, and when that was on show it gave me goosebumps. The times when a character bore their soul to another, or spoke with passion instead of comedy made me love this book.
I’ve struggled with a rating on this one, but I’m gonna go with 4 stars. Just a bit too much comedy for my liking, but still an amazing book and one I definitely recommend every give a go.