The Copper Promise

The Copper Promise by Jen Williams

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.


The Copper Promise is Jen Williams Epic Fantasy debut, when I first found this title on the Headline website I also saw four other books by Jen Williams and was actually a bit confused, only to later find out that The Copper Promise combines those four books/parts into one. I for one am actually quite a sucker for a good questing story and with the mentioning of it in the synopsis I got really eager to find just how The Copper Promise it's story would start to unravel. If I look back on the whole story I can safely say that Jen Williams has managed to create a very interesting, engaging and cool debut that has more than enough good things working in her favor. 

Like I already mentioned above The Copper Promise is divided into four different parts: Ghosts of the Citadel, Children of the Fog, Prince of Wounds and Upon the Ashen Blade. All these stories follow up on each other with more or less direct scenes. Though I felt a bit of a break between Children of the Fog and Prince of Wounds, also it is I think quite possible to read a few as short stories, most have a clear start up and closing that make them some bit self contained, but when you look at them on the bigger picture, all four stories make up one very fine whole. 

In The Copper Promise you follow a band of unlikely adventurers. The book does start of with a pretty grim torture scene but then you are transported to the heroine of the story Wydrin of Crosshaven, also better known as the Copper Cat and her sword in arm, Sebastian Caverson, once a devoted knight in name and doing and now only the latter remains, he has been exiled from his order. Wydrin and Sebastian have taken to selling themselves as bodyguards for about anyone who needs a coin and with the mentioning that their new employer Lord Frith is planning to go deep into the Citadel, a place of many, many riches, they readily except, it's too good on offer to refuse. Now you might think well this is a pretty basic setup of the story and perhaps it is. However I found it very enjoyable to read, I read a lot of UF and SF lately and getting back in the Epic Fantasy/ Sword and Sorcery really did me good. And once they are in the Citadel, the storyline of The Copper Promise all of a sudden broadens quite a handful in a great direction. When I read the cover I thought it would purely be a heist story, but with our trio of adventures making their way further and further in the damp surroundings of the Citadel, the true intentions of Lord Frith become clear, he isn't their for it's riches but for something more. Here the history of the Citadel plays its part, in the past the mages locked away the four gods that ruled the world. So you can imagine that there must be plentiful power down there. 

Coinciding with Lord Frith gaining a lot of power is the release of something terrible... Lord Frith, Wydrin and Sebastian are lured by their good friend who went ahead without them, to release a god... Y'Ruen. With her waking up and with the Citadel that once contained her in ruins, all of Ede is in turmoil and how do you stop a God? And all this stuff only happens in the first part of the book, so a big wow right there. 

What also impressed me about The Copper Promise was how Jen Williams managed to keep the pacing all through out the book, the first part dealt with the setting of the story and action-reaction. The second, third parts dealt with building up the tension of the story and showing a lot of the world and the characters itself, whereas the fourth and final part was one grand finale. 

The second part of the book Children of the Fog, was something different if you would compare it to the first part of the book, having just been spit out of the Citadel, Wydrin, Lord Frith and Sebastian find themselves in a remote location in Blackwood forest and the small town of Pinehold, it did feel like a bit of a slight detour but soon you are introduced to the bad guy of Pinehold, Fane, and this should ring a few bells with who have read the first part. He is the one that has done terrible deeds to Lord Frith and is still doing them to the inhabitants of Pinehold. Fane is still in search of the riches of the Frith family vault. Our band of adventures see it to their task that they have to free the people of Pinehold from Fane's terrible reign. However at the side of Fane are the Children of the Fog, a set of twins with untold and fearsome powers. And in the back of everyone's mind is the power that is now roaming free raining down destruction with her flame, Y'Ruen. In this second part there is a lot of exposition in terms of the characters and you learn more about their pasts, all in all nicely done. 

After the ending in the second part the whole cast takes off in their own directions and you follow each adventure separately. Wydrin goes back home, Sebastian pursues his own goal and Frith sets out to train his new found powers. In this third part, Prince of Wounds it feels like it's all gearing up to one final confrontation, our heroes need to train and hone their skills, in order to grow stronger to defeat Y'Ruen. I liked how Jen Williams showed every character for themselves, I already had a good feeling about how they played together as a team but now seeing them separately again added a nice few layers of depth to their stories and also with three separate events taking place, you learn about three new places. Jen Williams never lost my attention in this part I was very intrigued by all the happened and mainly the things surrounding our exiled knight Sebastian and of course Frith with his new powers. The story of The Copper Promise by this point went above my expecations. And then to think there was still one final part to the book.

Part four: Upon the Ashen Blade. This final part doesn't let you put this book down. With all that I had come to know about the story I had to had to had to finish it. And I can guarantee you it wont disappoint you.

Storywise and character wise The Copper Promise works greatly. If I hadn't know that it was a debut I would have guessed that Jen Williams has been writing fiction for quite a few years already. She writes her stories with set confidence: she presents herself and shows she is here to stay. The book was logically divided into four part that in my opinion can be read separately but considering it on the whole makes one very fine whole. The story itself undergoes some transitions that completely turn the story upside down (in a very good way). A heist-turned-saving the world turnaround! The Copper Promise is surely an epic adventure you don't want to miss. 

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