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Kings of the Wyld is fantasy at its best

If you have read epic fantasy, specifically the swords and sandals kind, with horses and castles and magic and the like, then Kings of the Wyld is the story that comes after all the action.

Do you ever stop to wonder what happens after all your favorite fantasy heroes have killed the dragon, saved the princess and gifted the kingdom its freedom?

Clay Cooper, Gabe, Matrick, Moog the Wizard and Ganaleon were the fantasy heroes of old. In a world of magic and myth, skyships and elves and the undead, Saga was the greatest band of mercenaries to ever live.

They killed everything that could bleed, laid low entire kingdoms and carved their names into the hearts of every man, woman, and child. And then they went away.

Now Clay Cooper is old and fat, he has a wife and a daughter, and his life has new purpose. So when Gabe, famed leader of Saga, comes calling, Clay is none too happy.

Saga might have receded into the annals of history but the call to adventure has only grown stronger. The world is now awash with new bands, mercenaries both young and old, male and female, all hellbent on claiming the glory that Saga so casually threw away.

But Gabe cares nothing for glory. His daughter Rose is in a whole heap of trouble and he needs his bandmates to help him save her. Unfortunately for Gabe, the times have changed and everyone he thought he could count on has found new life elsewhere.

Not just Clay who has a family to protect, but also Matrick who is now King of his own land, Moog whose great magic has garnered him a grand title and the respect of his peers, and Ganaleon, who has all but vanished.

Gabe has one mission. He must find his friends and beat the spirit of adventure back into their skulls. Only then can he hope to save his only child from a fate worse than death.

Kings of the Wyld is Nicholas Eames’ debut novel but you wouldn’t know it, what with the amazing prose, the finely crafted plot and the amazing banter. The premise of the novel immediately draws you in.

Sure, the magic and the fantastical creatures have some merit to them. But the true soul of Kings of the Wyld is the arc of growth that its protagonists are forced to undertake.

Clay and his friends are not just old. They are washed up, both physically and in terms of their reputation. They understand Gabe’s plight. But they also know that they are nowhere near as fast or as strong as they used to be.

Age has caught up to them, and even the best of them can barely walk a mile without getting winded, let alone facing off against the darker creatures of the unrestrained wild. To follow Gabe on his journey to save his daughter is to ultimately commit suicide.

Watching Clay and his aging friends slowly but surely rekindle bonds that broke decades ago gives Kings of the Wyld its spark. Though, of course, the fantasy elements are quite memorable. Kings of the Wyld feels like an online RPG come to life.


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