Wydrin of Crosshaven, a.k.a. The Copper Cat, and her companion Sir Sebastian, formerly of the Knights of Isu, have a job to do. They have been hired by the withered Lord Frith to go exploring the caverns beneath the Citadel; a dangerous job but he promises good coin. Little do they know what they could awaken down there, nor what Lord Frith is really after.

The word ‘nightmare’ occurred to the Thirty Third although she wasn’t entirely sure what it meant.

Originally published as four novellas, The Copper Promise retains an episodic feel. There is an overall story arc but each stage of their adventure feels slightly partitioned. It’s a good, fun read, even with the pacing niggles. There are dragons, near-death experiences, lost magic and plots aplenty.

It’s more about the adventures than character development. There are little glimpses into the inner turmoil beyond their facades, but they could have been fleshed out so much more. I hesitate to call it a romance, but when someone announces they feel a certain way about another, you would have hoped to have some sort of build-up. Instead, there’s just not-so-subtle comments about their appearance. Maybe adventurers just have repressed emotions that they find difficult to share.

The written word is powerful precisely because anyone can use it. We learn the words and find great meaning in them, even if we lack the raw power of the mages to work spells.

Having said that I loved the brood army and their slow transition from killing machines to individuals. I would have read a whole book from their perspective. There are some lovely little observations about words in their chapters, a few of which are echoed in Frith’s. Words are powerful things, they give us identity and power, if chosen wisely.

I did like the characters by the end, it was small things that endeared them to me but also their loyalty and friendship, despite them not showing it emotionally. Their actions speak louder than their words.

The Copper Promise is published by Headline and is available now in paperback and ebook editions. Thanks go to the publisher for providing a copy for review.

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Also reviewed @ A Fantastical Librarian

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book free of charge for review purposes only. Receipt of a book does not guarantee a review or endorsement. My reviews are my honest opinion and are not biased for the purpose of personal gain.