An enjoyable collection of tales, Sword of Kos: Hekaton, is actually the second in a series. I was not aware of this when I purchased the book, but the collection was complete in itself and I had no trouble reading and enjoying the stories without having read the first volume. Based on reading Hekaton, I plan to pick up the first book as well.
The stories in the collection each focus on one or more residents or visitors to a fantasy version of the ancient City of Kos in the eastern Mediterranean. Overall, Hekaton reminded me of other 'Shared World' anthologies, like the Thieves' World' anthologies. Occasionally there is interweaving of main characters in one story as cameos or walk-ons in others in Hekaton, and I would have been happy to see more of this, as I felt the interconnectivity of the narrative especially in these parts.
The main body of the book is encapsulated in the introduction and epilogue - the musings of a Guard Captain regarding his expectations of the wild celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Cataclysm. All the stories take place in and around the Hekaton, but not all of them revolve around it. I think this is a good thing, as having all the stories intimately connected to the festivities would be too much. As it is, with the varied action and plots, some of which are only tangentially related to the festival, the reader gets a broader feel for the City and its workings.
Swords of KOS: Hekaton is written with the understanding of the RPGness of the world, specifically Dungeons & Dragons. This is lovingly done, and obviously with long understanding of the tropes of the D&D experience. Races, classes, class abilities and the tropes of the genre are a part of the world. For example, Adventurer is a profession understood in the world, in the same way as Bricklayer or Highwayman, and is viewed sometimes more like one than the other. The characters in the stories are diverse, possibly with a proliferation of rogues. Paladins, rangers, wizards, clerics and fighters are also represented. As a long time gamer, I have to say, i liked the game references.