I discovered this book through Barnes and Noble’s Science Fiction and Fantasy blog. It was described as being about aged adventurers. Which is of interest to me, as I am also an aged adventurer. I have often pondered what it would be like and in truth have taken to creating older characters because I just don’t have the interest in playing the 20 something’s just starting their lives anymore.
Okay. A little about me time. My name is April and I am a pencil and paper table top roleplaying gamer. I’ve been one since 1979 when I “tricked” the tall, skinny, pimply faced geek in my art class into inviting me to play. Little did I know that the denizens of the gaming world at that time would have welcomed me with open arms for many different reasons…two of which were my breasts. You see, I’d seen the group of guys playing this game on the bus during an honor roll field trip (yeah.. geeks AND nerds) and I wanted in on it BAD. But, I was too shy or uncertain of myself to just ask to play. I thought and thought and decided that if I played too I could approach them with common ground, instead of just being a silly girl who wanted in on their fun. So I asked for the Dungeons and Dragons game for Christmas… and low and behold, on Christmas morning there was a box full of the things you need to play, rule booklet, adventure pamphlet, character sheets and soft plastic chewable dice. I spent the rest of the holiday break pouring over everything and I convinced my dad to create a character and play with me. My dad really was awesome and I think he really loved the idea of the imagination play. But. When it came to melee we just couldn’t seem to wrap our heads around the rules. So, finally, back in school… and then almost an entire year to work my courage up and realize the geek chieftain was sitting next to me in art class later, I asked him (knowing full well) what was in that funny brown bag he ALWAYS carried. D and D you say?… Wow. I have that game, but I can’t figure out the melee…. Oh come play with us! We’ll help you figure it out! We play Friday after school in Mr. B’s room! … and I was IN… and I was hooked for life.
That geek chieftain and I are celebrating our 32nd wedding anniversary (going on 39) this year. Needless to say, we are now said aged adventurers and I find myself wondering where all the fantasy stories about older people are? .. and then BAM! BnN blog points me to a treasure.
My favorite view of this man… no longer so skinny or so pimply, but still a huge geek and an amazing useless fact hoarding nerd. Oh… and I believe I forgot to mention that we raised two gaming geek boys who have found two gaming geek chicas to liven up their lives!
My youngest, DeForest with his pixie Kristen… and my oldest, Hans with his Zelda queen Olivia… Yes they are cosplaying and yes they are gaming… at their parent’s table, with their parents. Can’t ask for more than that!
But anyway. I digress. Back to the book…
What if groups of heroes acted like, and were treated like rock stars? What if the members of an adventuring band had qualities and weapons that matched their role and instruments? Within the Kings of the Wyld you will find a lead singer who wields a sword and charm with equal skill, a guitar man with an axe, a drummer with two knives and the ever-present, quiet, unassuming, stalwart bass man whose “weapon” of choice is a shield, and a wizard… well… I’m not sure what instrument player the wizard represents unless he is key or soundboards, with a bag of holding that he pulls the most amazing and quirky devices from. This book will break your heart on one page and have you snorting coffee, laughing out loud or groaning at the puns on the next. The author dances a fine line and does a fabulous job of not falling into the abyss of trite. Indeed, many of the quotes heard uttered are from popular sources and at one point I began to wonder if Mr. Eames had been given a challenge list by his friends to see how many he could actually include. I would say Mr. Eames won the bet and used the entire list, which does nothing to detract from the depth of the story or the heart of the characters. In truth it reminded me of so many gaming sessions over the years where one could have heard “Fritz! They killed Fritz!”… or “It is known”… or “I’ll be back” (full horrible Arnie accent and all) echoing through the house from the game room. As I read I found myself putting the book down and reminiscing about past characters and their exploits.
This is a great read. Humor, heroes, heart. How can you go wrong?
I’m looking forward to the next installment in his “band” series, where he promises to move on to the next generation of heroes hoping to make a name for themselves like the rock stars of old.
5 of 5 Mr. Eames, and a shout out to my older gamer friends, telling them this is a “must read”!
…and just for giggles, since this book does make one giggle… here is a photo of my beloved GM way back in the day…