I recently received The Iron Ghost by Jen Williams from headline for a review, only to realise there is a book I need to read before The Copper Promise.
When the book arrived, I was very surprised that this had not been brought to my attention sooner. I mean check the cover (You can’t go wrong with dragons.)
Williams sets the scene from the start with the brutal torture of the young Aaron Frith, Lord of the Blackwood for the location of his fathers’ vaults are in the dangerous Blackwood forest.
“There is a grave out there in your precious forest, and isn’t for me.” She turned back to the torturer. “The mallet, I think. I want his legs broken.”
Frith sets on his path of revenge, seeking the help of two sell-swords;
- Sebastian, An ex knight of the ynn brotherhood, who is a bit of an oaf, but is a loyal and caring man of honour. He is a powerhouse with his large sword he carries on his back.
- Wydrin aka ‘The Copper Cat’, a talented thief and trickster, skilled with knives and the art of disguise. This witty red-haired heroine is the life and soul of the story who only appears to be in it for the gold, but as the mission becomes more intriguing, the copper cat just begins to show a more compassionate side for her companions. For some reason, I couldn’t help picturing her as ‘Tank Girl’ played by Lori Petty from the cult 90s movie.
There was a blast of brilliant white light, and this the guards did notice, but Wydrin stood in front of the pit with her arms raised up and shouted some more things about the sea and waves of adulthood and they went back to their game. Priests do get away with a lot of nonsense. She thought.
Frith is not entirely honest with his sell-swords about his intentions when he hires his sellswords until they are within the haunted Citadel full of traps and terror. When Frith finds the power of the mages he takes it in a selfish act with no care of the consequences for the others. During the citadel tomb raiding a powerful goddess, a dragon is released who becomes intent on destroying everything in her site. It’s so good to have a mean dragon again, they all seem so friendly these days. Don’t worry I am only 70 pages in.
“When they are done they give me bits to play with.” She looked up and gave him that unsettling grin again. “I like the heads best of all.”
Frith not only has his lordly arrogance but now possesses very powerful magic, his vision is tunnelled with anger, his mind is bewitched and he has no control unable to control the power of the mages. He is only intent on one thing, revenge.
You will fly through this novel of 538 pages, split into 84 short and energetic, dark chapters with witty entertaining lead characters who are like the Top Gear team of the fantasy world, with Frith being the grumpy, arrogant Clarkson, throwing punches when not getting his own way, Seb as May and Wydrin being Hammond. Sorry.
Warning contains God’s, Knights, Mages, Swordfighting, Dagger throwing, Enchanted armour, Fire breathing dragons and most of all lots of frolicking fantasy fun.
Right, now onto The Iron Ghost, looks fabulous.