As Neal detailed, it’s about a world plagued by monsters and the group of guys who used to be the best at battling them. The band, Saga, is made up of five guys: Gabriel, the front man with a legendary sword and endless hope; Clay Cooper, Gabe’s second hand with a Thor-like hammer and a life-saving shield; Moog, a gay wizard inventor; Ganelon, a stone-cold deadly warrior; and Matrick, a drunken king who’s good with a couple of daggers. Actually, Nicholas Eames describes them best about half-way through the book:
Among them is a renegade king, he who sired five royal heirs without ever unzipping his pants. A man whom time has imparted great wisdom and an even greater waistline, whose thoughtless courage is rivaled only by his unquenchable thirst.
At his shoulder walks a sorcerer, a cosmic conversationalist. Enemy of the incurable rot, absent chairman of combustive sciences at the university of Oddsford, and the only living soul above the age of eight to believe in owlbears.
Look here at a warrior born, a scion of power and poverty whose purpose is manifold: to shatter shackles, to murder monarchs, and to demonstrate that even the forces of good sometimes enlist the service of big, bad motherfuckers. His is an ancient soul destined to die young.
And now comes the quiet one, the gentle giant, he who fights his battles with a shield. Stout as the tree that counts its age in aeons, constant as the star that marks true north and shines most brightly on the darkest night.
A step ahead of these four: our hero. He is the candle burnt down to the stump, the cutting blade grown dull with overuse. But see now the spark in his stride. Behold the glint of steel in his gaze. Who dares to stand between a man such as this and that which he holds dear? He will kill, if he must, to protect it. He will die, if that is what it takes.
“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.
Decades after the members of Saga went into retirement, Gabe is grappling with the fact that his daughter has taken up the reins battling monsters in his wake. While she’s good, she’s young. Rose finds herself stuck in a city that would take the band weeks to reach.
In Castia, Rose is being held hostage and running out of food and water. The city is under siege by a powerful, bitter druin named Lastleaf. He’s upset due to some deep-seated family drama. They encounter Lastleaf as they attempt to make their way to Rose, but he proves to be just one of the many enemies they have to face along the way.
If Gabe can get them all to follow him for the sake of his daughter, Saga can show the world they’re not just a bunch of washed up fighters. And as it turns out, they’re not so much washed up as they are incredibly rusty.
The joy of this book is in the comedic relief, the depth of the issues even the monsters are battling, and the relationships you build with each of the oldies but goodies. It is somewhat long, but take your time to enjoy the writing and characters.
I’m excited to move on to the next book, Bloody Rose!
Interested in reading it, too? Buy it from Amazon here!