My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Oh my god this book was HILARIOUS!!
“Go get the boss,” says one guardsman to another. “This bunch looks like trouble.” And they do. They do look like trouble, at least until the wizard trips on the hem of his robe. He stumbles, cursing, and fouls the steps of the others as he falls face-first onto the mud-slick hillside.”
Eames takes the idea of old rock bands that get together for one last tour and turns them into mercenary groups to create a brilliant fantasy novel. There are mercenary bands that go on “tours” of the wild and take on numerous monsters for their shot at fame and glory. If that sounds interesting to you, just wait.
Like in real life, old rock bands will sometimes get back together for one final farewell tour. The same happens with this book, a group of old friends and warriors get back together to make one final trip to save one of the members daughters, and plenty of ass-kicking and hilarity ensues.
Seriously, there is nothing bad to say about this book! I loved every second of it.
The characters were amazing! First we have Clay “Slowhand” Cooper, who is our central character and the story is told from his POV. He carries a huge shield called Blackheart and basically he uses that as his primary weapon, and hes good at it. He’s also kind of a softy and one of those silent types and I love it.
Then we have Gabriel, also known as Golden Gabe. Its his daughter Rose that they go off to rescue (although she does a pretty good job of holding her own). He carries a sword that was made by a Druin (more on them later). Gabe is the face of the group and was loud and in your face in his youth, but now is more unsure of himself since losing his daughter.
Mattrick is the third member who after their group disbanded, became a king. He has five children, none of which are his own because his wife is a little….affectionate, with her guards and men passing through. He wields daggers, and was once a thief.
Mattrick’s best friend is Moog, who is one of my favorite characters. Moog is the groups wizard, and when we first meet him he is running a very interesting little business out of a dilapidated tower. He sometimes creates more problems than he solves, and was a big source of comic relief in the book.
Then we have Ganelon, who unlike his bandmates, hasn’t really aged since they disbanded. That’s mainly because he was turned into stone as punishment for killing a prince. He’s the muscle of the group, always killing the most monsters and is by far the most violent of the group.
And the bad guy is a Druin named Lastleaf. He’s a badass immoral, who has three swords strapped to his back and has a huge army that he has laying siege to the city where Rose is at. Also, he has bunny ears. Which is fantastic.
Basically the entire plot of the book is this group of guys past their prime (knees popping while climbing up mountains, throwing out their backs, growing old and fat) that make their way through a monster infested forest to fight Lastleaf and his army of monsters all to save Gabe’s daughter.
This book will make you laugh out loud and sometimes cry, and you will really feel for the characters. Do they survive? Do they save Rose and defeat Lastleaf and his army? You’ll just have to read it to find out!
“The pool,” said Kallorek, pointing. “The pool, right there.”
“You mean the pond?”
“I mean the pool,” growled the booker. “Get in. Swim.” He accompanied these words with effusive gestures that set his jewellery ringing.
Clay examined the pond. “Swim to where?” he asked.
“What do you mean swim to where?” Kallorek’s brow deepened.
“Is it a healing spring?” Gabe asked. He flexed his arm, wincing as he extended it fully. “Because I think my elbow—”
“Listen, fuck your elbow!” Kallorek blew up. Clay had forgotten how short the booker’s fuse was. That big toothy smile one moment, and the next …“It ain’t a spring, or a pond, or a godsdamned sea nymph’s bathtub. It’s a fucking pool. Just a pool! You swim around in it to relax.”