This was a fun and entertaining book and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
The gimmick is that in this world, mercenary companies are called bands and are treated like 60’s/70’s rock bands. Saga were the biggest of them all but they all went their own separate ways and have grown old and out of touch with the new scene. That is all until Gabe the frontman tries to get the band back together to help rescue his daughter who formed her own band and is being besieged by a huge army of monsters.
I was a bit wary of this going in, as though I had heard a lot of good things about it I thought the gimmick might get a bit much after a while and take away from the story. I was wrong. Though some of the band names made me roll my eyes a few times, at heart this is an old school swords and sorcery novel with magic, monsters and battles galore.
Magic is of the old school unexplained variety and generally takes the form of objects. The battles are short and intense (except for the end which is long and intense) but what really stood out were the characters. The whole book is told from the POV of Clay, the rock steady shieldman (bassist) of the company and his is a nice head to inhabit. All of the band are done well, and though conforming to some archetypes (of both fantasy novels and rock bands) they are so likeable that it just all adds to the story.
I’m notorious for not noting the writing much when reading but I did notice it here, there were some beautiful paragraphs of description and observations and it fitted well with the story. This book is definitely tongue in cheek in places but I was surprised by how emotional parts of it were, I was expecting full on parody but half the time I forgot about the whole ‘band’ thing and was just reading a really good book with all the moments you want from one. It takes half the book to get the band back together but in no way does it feel drawn out, it moves well and the action scenes are really well done.
I recommend this to anybody looking for something a little different, a little same, and while not deep it has depth and is just plain fun.
4 stars out of 5