The Copper Promise (The Copper Promise #1) by Jen Williams
Released: August 28th 2014
My Rating: 4 stars out of 5
Find it on 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. (from Goodreads)
I really enjoyed The Copper Promise. There were a lot of things going on and several storylines to follow, but I think everything connected together well and I loved the characters and how they developed over the course of the book. Definitely looking forward to the sequel.
There were a lot of characters so I'll only talk about the main few. Frith, I think, was the character who developed the most. At the start he was only concerned with power and revenge and didn't care much about anything else. He was a bit snappy and harsh (though it was completely understandable) and was basically just using Sebastian and Wydrin so he could get the mages' power. However, after spending time together and after saving the others as well as being saved from many terrible fates, the trio grew closer and Frith actually started to care about them, especially Wydrin. He risked his own life to help them out and he generally became more considerate, and less selfish and impulsive. I liked watching his character grow, and I especially enjoyed his training with Jolnir, though I think the secret surrounding Jolnir was kind of obvious from the start and Frith really should have figured it out (though I guess he was preoccupied).
Wydrin was a funny, slightly reckless character that you couldn't help but like, and she made me laugh a fair few times. I think she was my favourite character and I liked the way she handled difficult situations and didn't give up easily. She managed to get out of a lot of tight spots in her life (using a variety of creative methods), so you had to respect her for that. I also liked her friendship with Seb and how she was a loyal friend who was just trying to look out for him, even when he was being difficult and kept hiding things from her. She was worried about him a lot but didn't really know what to do to help, so mostly just used her sense of humour to try and make him laugh. Seb often made comments about her taste in men while obviously hinting about Frith and I must admit I did like reading about Frith from Wydrin's point of view because it was obvious she was interested but that didn't stop her from making sarcastic comments about Frith or pointing out holes in his plans. And for all her talk about not getting paid and having to risk her life for this dangerous mission, she never abandoned her task.
Sebastian was the most mysterious character. The reason he was kicked out of the Knights wasn't hard to guess but his attachment to them still after the terrible way they treated him, and also the way he always felt the need to help people no matter how fruitless it may be, showed he was a very courageous and honourable sort of person (though often too trusting; he and the rest of the group really should not have trusted Gallo in the beginning, it was so obvious something fishy was going on). So the weird link he had to brood army who were awakened by his blood and now slaughtering people everywhere was very interesting, and the way he was willing to do something he knew was wrong and stupid in order to try and save other people made it difficult to guess what he was going to do next. The link to the brood army wasn't shown as much in the second half of the book until the end but after the way things turned out I am wondering what Seb plans to do about it all in the next book.
Plotwise, there were a lot of separate stories going but I liked reading about them all. Frith's revenge and Wydrin and her brother and the mages and trying to find a way to defeat Y'Ruen and Frith's training and Seb and the brood army - I liked it all! Certain parts did feel a bit slower than others and I preferred the scenes where everyone was together to the chapters where they were apart. I did however really like the plan that was put together to try and defeat Y'Ruen and it felt like something that could actually feasibly work but could also fail as well instead of some random crap pulled out of thin air that you just knew would fix everything instantly. I would have liked to find out more about the gods though and where they came from, because the backstory we did get was very interesting. I also wanted to know more about the brood army, because Seb wasn't really their "father", his blood was just used to awaken them and yet it had a great and unexpected influence. [Spoiler, highlight to read] I liked reading about members of the brood army starting to develop individuals wills and taking on their own names but I did wonder why they kept on murdering people if they didn't want to and had to wait to be told to stop by Seb instead of stopping themselves, when they clearly could have since they had their own free will. Even if they didn't want to risk their mother's wrath for no reason, they did so anyway after Seb told them to stop so it was a bit weird [end of spoiler].
Overall, The Copper Promise was a really enjoyable fantasy novel and I look forward to continuing the series. Definitely recommend to fantasy fans.