I just finished No Loyal Knight, the debut novel by my pal John Wick (of Wicked Dead Brewing Company fame, among many other feats of game design and narration). I had hoped to buy it at Gen Con, but John had sold out by the time I made it back to his booth late on the last day of the show. I ordered it online and finally got around to reading it.
It’s a fantastic book, in many senses of the word, and a crying shame it didn’t find a home at a large publisher who could seduce John with monstrous advances and hollow promises of fame. Seriously, I skipped sleep to keep reading it, and that’s a precious commodity around my house.
It’s a mix of Pulp Fiction and modern magic, a blend of Tim Powers and Raymond Chandler served neat. That pushes a number of buttons for me, although apparently not with the editors at the large publishing houses to which John’s literary agent submitted the manuscript. After exhausting the big-press options for the book, John decided to publish it himself in both PDF (electronic) and POD (dead tree) formats. Thanks, John!
I’m not entirely sure I grokked the ending, but with all the chaos in my life I can only read in short, stolen bursts. It took me a while to see where everything was going, probably because I wasn’t paying enough attention at first, especially regarding the nonlinear narrative. The book looks like a series of barely connected short stories at first, but they eventually swirl together into a climax that hits like a hurricane. Still, I enjoyed the writing on every page, and I hope to go back and read it through again, something I almost never even think of for any book.
Go and order this book from John. He tried to give me a copy for free, but I insisted on paying for it. It was worth every lucky penny.