'An outstanding debut which will make you laugh and cry and hold your breath. This is a book that has it all' (K. J. Parker)
Clay Cooper and his band were once the best of the best - the meanest, dirtiest, most feared and admired crew of mercenaries this side of the Heartwyld. But their glory days are long past; the mercs have grown apart and grown old, fat, drunk - or a combination of the three.
Then a former bandmate turns up at Clay's door with a plea for help: his daughter Rose is trapped in a city besieged by an enemy horde 100,000 strong and hungry for blood. Rescuing Rose is the kind of impossible 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.
©2017 Nicholas Eames (P)2017 Little Brown Book Group
Camaraderie, adventure and nutjobs.
I could definetly compare this to Abercrombie's "The first law" series. It shares many themes, though this book is better. It has a broader spectrum of emotions. It's quite funny, even though it can at times be dark. You feel for the characters in it, you care.
I havent, I don't think. He was great though. I was a bit sceptical due to the accent, but it worked really well. He manages to differentiate voices very well, he adds feeling and emotion at the right times... When there is humour, he makes you honestly think that the character finds whatever is going on amusing.
He even pulls of gritty voices. I am pleased.
It is very long, so no.. But I did finish it in a couple of days, it was more or less impossible to put down.
Never heard of either the author or the narrator before, but this was just magnificent... It's like finding a brand of whisky that you've never even heard of before, sampling it and finding something that has the exact amount of sweetness and complexity, countered by a smokey and warm taste.. With an after touch of sensation that leaves you considering it even after you've finished.
A man with a child in his ears - @ShutterSpin.
"It's a thousand miles to Castia, we've got an airship full of gas, half a tub of deep heat, it's dark and we're wearing cuirasses . . . Hit It!"
Sometimes words fail me, as anyone who's read one of my reviews will likely concur! However, this is just a special case of wordlostiness because this book tickled me in places where most are sensible enough to not even consider venturing. Clay Cooper is reforming the band for one last, final gig to save a bandmate's daughter. This being the fantasy genre the band is of course a mercenary band and the daughter is trapped in Castia surrounded by a ravening horde.
All sounds reasonable but what unfolds is a joyous cacophony of The Blues Brothers, films like RED and the Expendables, wonderful homage to the institution that is D&D and to my happy surprise classic rock. I think the beauty of it is that it's a great fantasy road trip tough action comedy even if you don't like any of those things but they do add some real spice if you do.
It is above all character-led and just like some of those movies you'll find yourself warming to Clay, Gabe, Moog and co as they are warmly depicted and very, very human for fantasy characters. I see one reviewer has likened them to Joe Abercrombie's First Law series characters going so far to say that these are better. It's certainly fair to draw parallels, I think if like me you loved Logan Ninefingers you'll find a lot to like in "Slowhand" Cooper. I wouldn't go as far as saying this book is better in that regard as Abercrombie was going for something more complex in terms of character relationships.
The narration is surprisingly good. I've always rated Jeff Harding's hard as nails gravel tones as Jack Reacher but I did raise an eyebrow when I saw that he had been chosen for this. Here he gets to show much greater versatility and a chance to show his genuine talent as a narrator. An excellent performance indeed!
This book genuinely pressed most of my buttons. I was continually smiling at the classic rock references, both in terms of the story especially with "bands aren't like they were in the old days" and the continuous name checks; a wizard called Moog, place names like Coverdale, a "gambling house" burning down near a lake doubtless spreading "Smoke on the Water" and my personal favourite, an axe named in honour of the holy trinity themselves.
So, even if you are not a fan of the music or old RPGs I have little trouble recommending this to anyone who enjoys action packed fantasy with a good helping of humour.
Note to author: I'm not sure how anyone can doubt the existence of owlbears when they are clearly described in even the First Edition Monster Manual. Tsk tsk!
The fantasy is preserved and surprisingly improved upon by the wry and sharp humour which affectionately pokes fun at all the tropes fantasy stories are reputed to embrace.
It's hard to find a story to accurately compared KotW to - it would be more appropriate to describe it as Game of Thrones tones interlaced with Diskworld humour.
The charming southern drawl possessed by the majority of the main cast make it easy to find yourself attached to them - however the character of Clay Cooper, who effectively narrates the story and takes the listener on the journey with him is a particularly charismatic figure, whose tones made the entire experience akin to listening to a friend tell your their life story.
Couldn't stop listening to this book. Jeff Harding's voice brings a twist to the fantasy genre which I loved.
Eames fleshes out not only the ragtag band of bygone heroes, but brings a depth to the host of minor players. Giving some funny and bittersweet moments to this story.
Great story and Jeff was fantastic I loved every minute of it and will listen to it again.
This book was from start to finish laden with self referencing humour and external references that had me grinning from ear to ear during my commute. Subtle nods to classic RPGs, fiction, and gaming tropes. Intermixed with fun and interesting twists on some old ideas to keep everything fresh.
While you don't need to know your Giant Tarantula from your Tarrasque to enjoy the book you'll defiantly get more out of it. The author does a good job describing the important elements of the exotic monsters encountered on the bands travels, however some of the more brief nods will go over the heads of some readers, especially during the climaxing chapters there are extremely large numbers of monsters mentioned in brief quick succession.
The narration was on point with only a couple of words such as Cuirass sounding off and one or two times during the action where the character inflections seemed to get a bit muddled. Not enough to distract for more than an instant. Each major character gets their own distinct voice so it's never a struggle to work out who is talking.
I've been looking for something to get stuck into for a while. The book has a great balance of strong characters and story. The adult themes and language make it real but fantastical enough to make you laugh.
Very funny in places, very charming all the way through - this is fantasy that rocks. A lovely cast of characters made interesting through the eyes of an amusing, wry narrator this is a road trip adventure fantasy that wears its influences on its sleeve.
Not exactly epic fantasy and not for those who are too purist in their tastes, but it has an epic feel about it and a lighthearted tone that I just very much enjoyed. Don't want to spoil too much, so I'll just say it was a pleasure to read the adventures of this band as they rambled on - this book has a whole lotta love from me.
Very well narrated too; though there's one dodgy edit just before the finale.
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