Promises of Copper

TheCopperPromise-144dpiThe Copper Promise
Jen Williams
Angry Robot
paperback $14.99
ebook $4.99

Wydrin and her companion, the disgraced knight Sebastian, are adventurers for hire.  When they take a contract from a nobleman who has been overthrown, they get a little more than they bargained for.  The Citadel is rumored to contain vast treasures, but no one has ever lived to find out.  They intend on being the first.  What that don’t know is that there is something imprisoned in the Citadel and imprisoned for a very good reason.  Before they’re done a whole lot of people will wish they hadn’t survived.

The Copper Promise was an enjoyable book.  There are multiple viewpoint characters, some f them more likeable than others.  The differences in the characters was one of the strengths of the book.  Rather than infodumps, the world is revealed on a need-to-know basis.  And while a map would have been nice, the geography isn’t as important as the story.

Wydrin is an interesting character, moreso than Sebastian in my mind.  The story moves along at a nice clip and has several intertwining plots at times.  The chapters tend to be short, so you can read it while waiting somewhere (think the doctor’s office or the DMV) and feel like you’re making progress.

The only negative was that at times the death toll is huge.  Williams doesn’t spend a lot of time focusing on the carnage, at least not in great detail.  I’m not sure if this is a good thing or not.  There’s a fine line between reveling in details of destruction and cavalierly ignoring the human consequences of one’s actions.  I’m not sure where the line is.  I think Williams tried to not drift too far in either direction, a trick that’s hard to pull off.

Still, that’s a minor quibble.  The Copper Promise was a great heroic fantasy read, full of danger, armies, demons, and strange magic.  In other words, a lot of fun.

The sequel, The Iron Ghost, is released in North America on January 3rd.  I’ll definitely be reading it.

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