Adventures in reading and writing from Big5Plus, lesson the first
r/suggestmeabook: I want a Swords and Sorcery adventure that will make me laugh—and occasionally choke up.
Yes, I loved this book. The effortless with which Nicholas Eames moves from smartassery to makemewannacry is impressive. He even throws in some wisdom here and there:
Clay suspected the booker had bullied the midwife that pulled him from the womb, but there wasn’t time to speculate now.Nicholas Eames, Kings of the Wyld
I didn’t expect to love it—which may, in part, explain why I did. There’s nothing like overly high expectations to ruin a book for you. I don’t naturally gravitate to Swords and Sorcery, but enough posters on Reddit (r/fantasy) had mentioned it that I decided to pick it up.
He has an interesting technique that he uses pretty consistently: almost every chapter ends with a teaser (that often sounds like a spoiler), and it’s picked up in the next one. Sometimes the teaser is misleading; sometimes it’s not.
This technique definitely makes it hard to put the book down. Each time I thought, “Well, I’ll stop at the end of this chapter,” dammit, there’d be one of those statements and I just had to find out what the hell it meant.
The characterizations are consistently good. He can sum up minor characters quite well with descriptions, as in the one of Etna Doshi:
She was short, stocky, and walked with the telltale Phantran swatter that was one-quarter useful for staying balanced on a ship’s deck and three-quarters cocky bravado.Nicholas Eames, Kings of the Wyld
It helped me escape the current existential angst, so it’s a good read in and of itself, as well as one of those that you read to learn about good writing.