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Kings of the Wyld

The Band, Book 1
Narrated by: Jeff Harding
Series: The Band, Book 1
Length: 17 hrs and 48 mins
4.7 out of 5 stars (241 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Winner of the 2018 Gemmell Award for Best Debut

Winner of Fantasy Faction's Best Fantasy Book of 2017 Award

Winner of Reddit Fantasy's Best Debut Novel of 2017 Award

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

Critic Reviews

"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)

"A fantastic read, a rollicking, page-turning, edge-of-your-seat road-trip of a book." (John Gwynne)

"Could very well be the debut of the year." (Fantasy Book Review)

What listeners say about Kings of the Wyld

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Fantastic!

One of my favourite authors Mark Tufo mentioned he was reading Kings of the Wyld. I thought I'd see what it was like.
Nicholas Eames you have a new fan. Jeff Harding is a great narrator. Laughed out loud in parts.
The battle scenes were enthralling. Great book. Had every supernatural creature and then some.

3 people found this helpful

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Some Will Like It - Others Wont

I wanted to like this book. I really did. It came recommended to me by someone I knew and it has some very good reviews. Before I go on I will also say this - I didnt finish it. I came close but couldn't quite bring myself to get through. But I suspect this type of fantasy appeals to some more than others - here is why. This book is what I guess you would call “popcorn” fantasy? It’s a bit of fun and basically unchallenging. I found the premise to be interesting-ish, the characters uncomplicated and the story convenient. It reminded me a lot of another book that got tons of good reviews that I didn't like - Monster Hunter International. More focus on the action and the adventure rather than world building, great story and memorable characters. It heavily borrows from other mythology and I sometimes found that a bit irritating (but a lot of people really like this). It also had some very convenient or rushed components for the sake of - im not sure what - maybe not boring the audience? I also wasn't a fan of the narration because I tend to like fantasy to be more neutral in accent rather than anything really specific - in this case heavily American. I suspect for this reason I might have liked this book more if I actually read it myself rather than have listened to the narration, so that my imagination could have filled in more of the gaps. That said I COMPLETELY understand why people like this book. My type of fantasy is Sanderson, Abercrombie, Feist or Rothfus so this isn't really in that group. It's a bit of fun escapism - a bunch of friends off on a quest with a lot of monsters and action. If that's what you are after - you will love it.

2 people found this helpful

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Tough as nails are the Kings of the Wyld

I only brought this book because Jeff Harding was the narrator, I think Jeff could even make a bad book sound book. I really enjoyed this story, lots was Witt an humor, filled with fantasy characters an lots of action.

2 people found this helpful

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Great fun story

I only listened to this because I love Jeff Harding narrations but ended up loving this great rollicking adventure. Great humour in it also. It really is worth a listen if you like a fast fun story.

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could not listen to narrator

narrator has a thick american accent, voices are good, but natural narration voice is painful.

1 person found this helpful

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Outstanding Story and Narration!

I loved everything about this book. A fantastic fantasy story with well fleshed out characters who you root for til the very end, the comedic spin and exciting set pieces made this a joy to read. One of my new favourites.

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Great f***ing book

couldn't stop listening obsessively. have never read any fantasy before except game.of thrones, this has turned me on to the whole genre. take 10 minutes to get over the narratirs voice and you'll decide it's perfect.

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Easy book to listen to.

Not the most complex of stories, nor very unpredictable.. still though very enjoyable. It’s a nice “in between” book to give you a break from more heavy stories.

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The heavy metal of fantasy

great book, very different to my usual read fealt like a heavy metal version of a standard fantasy book

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love the characters

I appreciated the angle of how the hero's of this book were, old and sore and should be retired. They were on their last adventure not from might of strength or noble justice. Very unique and adorable, great story, I just loved this book.

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  • Andrés
  • 21-05-2018

a love letter to roleplayers

If you enjoy dnd or other RPG's and have a dry sense of humour you are probably gonna enjoy this book.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Kristian Blilie Berg
  • 16-03-2018

Great tale

Somehow is both relatable, fantastical. funny and somber all at once. Would listen to again.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 26-08-2020

What a fun ride.

Is it the most complex world with a hard magic system? No. Have we seen this kind of story before? Yes. Does it take it self serious? No. And still this book was amazing, it had me from the start to finish. I just love the callback to old rock ledgends. It felt like an amazing D&D campain with your best friends.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 26-08-2020

Excellent!

Loved it. True DnD and lovable characters. The story borrows a lot from the Dungeons and Dragons mythos but manages to put its own spin on it.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 27-07-2020

great fantasy + super humor = fantastic book

I love the humor and the old guys. A fresh breath on classic fantasy. A small warning though, the language is a little strong, but that's part of the fun... but if you don't want your younger children asking what clusterfuck means, perhaps it's not for the youngest audience. Both thumbs up. Way up.

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  • David
  • 22-08-2019

faaantastic

Loved the book. Hours flew by. Felt like a tale og an old D&D party.

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  • Chad Morrison
  • 30-10-2018

Most enjoyable tale.

This book will be in my top ten of 2018. Give it a go, story of friends, family and the love of a father.

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  • Constantin Pietschmann
  • 06-08-2018

refreshing taste of comedic fantasy

I'm not usually someone who enjoys comedy, but I was pleasantly surprised with this one. the perfect flair of self-referential fantasy clichés, dark grit, humour and D&D references. I fun ride.

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  • Frederic
  • 16-07-2018

A magical mix of adventure, humour and philosophy

The author has a gift for describing the perspectives of old retired heroes, and bring comedy to otherwise terrible events. Voice is fantastic. Read. Listen. Repeat.

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  • znidarsic.blaz
  • 20-12-2017

The narrator is chosen poorly

The "Murican" accept doesn't fit the book or is even preformed in a coherent fashion. Somehow it sucks the life out of the book while making it seem that it's being narrated by a 13 year old trying way too hard to make the main character seem though and masculine. There's little to no nuance. Alternate voices for other characters aren't that bad but the intonation and tone overall are quite drab for my ears Considering returning the book.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Mads
  • 05-03-2017

Gritty and humorous.

If you could sum up Kings of the Wyld in three words, what would they be?

Camaraderie, adventure and nutjobs.

What other book might you compare Kings of the Wyld to, and why?

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.

Have you listened to any of Jeff Harding’s other performances? How does this one compare?

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.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

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.

Any additional comments?

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.

20 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 28-02-2017

A refreshing and enjoyable take on a classic tale

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

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.

What other book might you compare Kings of the Wyld to, and why?

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.

Which character – as performed by Jeff Harding – was your favourite?

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.

11 people found this helpful

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  • Robyn
  • 13-07-2017

A proper sword swashbuckling adventure

Written with a light, humorous touch, and very well narrated. This was a good find!
Some laugh out moments, which I always appreciate. Proper "boys-own" adventure - though some pretty feisty ladies in it too.

The title suggests there are more books to come in this series, and while there are lots of hooks /additional characters who could go on to lead their own stories, this particular story is nicely wrapped up with no gaping loose ends.

A great listen, and I will look out for future books by Nicholas Eames.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Jon Thompson
  • 01-03-2017

Great fantasy book. best I've read in ages.

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.

6 people found this helpful

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  • FIONA
  • 28-02-2017

ther was nothing I didn't like about this book .

Great story and Jeff was fantastic I loved every minute of it and will listen to it again.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Christopher Morris
  • 06-03-2017

A love lettter to classic tabletop RPGs

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.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Hobbs101
  • 15-03-2017

I laughed, I cried and I nearly crashed the car!!

WARNING - start this book and you can kiss family and your podcasts goodbye for a time.
You know when you find a fantasy book that you think was written for you? this is it. No brooding Hero's here, well maybe one. it's full of funny one liners. Great story telling and characters you believe in. Great narration to top it off. well done to all involved. A great geri-action fantasy book

4 people found this helpful

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  • Markos
  • 05-03-2017

Great

Great story, really funny, best story I have listened to for a while. Good action adventure

4 people found this helpful

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  • "sharky18"
  • 17-07-2018

Every Mythical monster you can imagine and more

Kings of the wyld is a book for a fantasy enthusiast. Full of every monster and creature you can think of. I quickly realised that this book is not meant to be taken seriously, unlike most fantasy books. The story has a constant edge of light humour through out. It is unpredictable whilst being simple. I would say that the author is creative with all his monsters but I honestly couldn't say as I feel that most of them if not all of them have been copied from a range of fantasy books. There is even a few 'Nods' and easter eggs. I did enjoy Kings of the wyld although the story sometimes jumped. I also found it very American. it didn't help by the narrators strong accent, although his performance was good I still found it a bit cheesy in some places - not very fantasy Mythical world feel, but more of a modern day American slang! other than that it was good. Not amazing but good.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Mr. J. S. Beeson
  • 17-03-2017

Awesome

Great fantasy for starters, also a brilliant rock parody with more easter-eggs than you'd believe.

3 people found this helpful