Title: The Copper Promise
Author: Jen Williams
Published: February 13th 2014
Publisher: Headline Books
Genre: Epic Fantasy
Length: 535 pages
Source: Paperback purchased from Waterstones
Book Blurb (via Goodreads):
There are some far-fetched rumours about the caverns beneath the Citadel…
Some say the mages left their most dangerous secrets hidden there; others, that great riches are hidden there; even that gods have been imprisoned in its darkest depths.
For Lord Frith, the caverns hold the key to his vengeance. Against all the odds, he has survived torture and lived to see his home and his family taken from him … and now someone is going to pay. For Wydrin of Crosshaven and her faithful companion, Sir Sebastian Caverson, a quest to the Citadel looks like just another job. There’s the promise of gold and adventure. Who knows, they might even have a decent tale or two once they’re done.
But sometimes there is truth in rumour.
Soon this reckless trio will be the last line of defence against a hungry, restless terror that wants to tear the world apart. And they’re not even getting paid.
I am a lover of fantasy – epic or otherwise – so when I spotted the second book in this trilogy on NetGalley, I immediately requested it. Of course, I didn’t realise it was the second book at the time, but that led to me buying this book and I am so happy that this series now exists in my reading library. It’s like Joe Abercrombie but less morbid, I suppose is the best way to describe it.
Wydrin and Sebastian are mercenaries for hire – the self-styled Copper Cat with her trusty blades and the banished Ynnsmouth Knight with a chip on his shoulder make for a great team. When they’re hired to investigate the Citadel – said to be haunted by the ghosts of the Mages who once lived there – they think of the friend who went in ahead of them and never returned, as well as all the coin they’ll get from their noble master. But the horrors that are hidden beneath the ancient dwelling are more than they expected and the chain of events that come to pass brings chaos to everyone in the land.
There’s something about a multiple-POV, all singing all dancing epic fantasy with lots of disaster and small battles and dragons that I just love to read. This one started off a little slow for my liking but it soon picked up pace and then all hell broke loose. Going from cool adventure in an abandoned place to there’s a beast out destroying the world – along with everything in between – was a wild ride from start to finish.
I loved the group dynamic: the young, brash warrior girl with her trusty blades; the older, wiser, banished knight with a chip on his shoulder; the maimed lord out for revenge. It’s the typical band of ‘heroes’ from most fantasy stories but they worked so well and they were fun to read.
While it does have the typical long journey, epic quest-style going on, there’s several story lines to follow and each character has their own thing going on – even when they’re together. The thing that sets this apart for me is the fact that it is a lot more light-hearted than most epic fantasies tend to be. There’s humour amidst all the doom and gloom and that just made it even more engaging for me to read.
The best part of this for me was definitely Wydrin. She’s an awesome, badass character and I’m looking forward to seeing what new adventures she goes on in the next two books.
About the Author
Jen Williams, fantasy writer and Lego obsessive, is the author of The Copper Cat Trilogy and The Winnowing Flame series. She is represented by Juliet Mushens, and is partial to mead, if you’re buying.