The Copper Promise by

All the other cells in the dungeon stank of fear, but not this one.
–Jen Williams - The Copper Promise - c.2014

The Copper Cat trilogy #1

Gallo has grown bored of waiting for his companions, Wydrin aka The Copper Cat and Sebastian the ex Ynnsmouth knight, and so has decided to venture into the caverns beneath the Citadel without them. He’s certain he will find whatever treasure they’ve been sent to find, or at least speed them on the way. What’s the point in just hanging about waiting?

But the rumours about what lurks in the dark aren’t just rumours, they are based on the fact that no one who ventures down ever returns.

The main characters are, in role-playing terms, a paladin, a rogue/thief, and a mage. And they go off on quests that take them from here to there, and with various baddies to encounter and overcome along the journey. It feels like a game, with the bad-guys becoming harder to defeat and the good-guys levelling up(or learning) how to defeat them. And to start with the book felt very generic. A solid read, but nothing special.

It stayed a solid read, and never grew into anything fantastic, but it does have elements that’ll make you want to read it. There’s a dragon after all, and dragons are never not worth investigating. And there is a whole army of female lizard-esque soldiers intent on destroying the world, only maybe not all of them. There is the wise-cracking Wydrin. There’s Sebastian, who was kicked out of the knights on account of Show Spoiler ▼

. That’s not a major spoiler btw, you’ll have figured it out way before he reveals it. Show Spoiler ▼

Overall the book is little too clunky and episodic to make it work all the time. It is very much a case of go here do that go somewhere else. Some of that is down to the style, Williams likes brevity and conciseness. Usually it works, but on one or two occasions I did have to reread a paragraph to clarify what was actually going on.

I was all set to praise it because it is that rare thing, a stand alone epic fantasy novel. But I see on Williams’ website that it is actually “the first in an epic fantasy trilogy” but still, it works as a stand alone. The story is mostly resolved with possibilities not cliffhangers at the ending, so I’m not going to knock it for that.

If you are an epic fantasy fan give this a go, its an enjoyable read.

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