The Copper Promise #2: The Iron Ghost by Jen Williams (Headline)


Beware the dawning of a new mage…

Wydrin of Crosshaven, Sir Sebastian and Lord Aaron Frith are experienced in the perils of stirring up the old gods. They are also familiar with defeating them, and the heroes of Baneswatch are now enjoying the perks of suddenly being very much in demand for their services.

When a job comes up in the distant city of Skaldshollow, it looks like easy coin – retrieve a stolen item, admire the views, get paid. But in a place twisted and haunted by ancient magic, with the most infamous mage of them all, Joah Demonsworn, making a reappearance, our heroes soon find themselves threatened by enemies on all sides, old and new. And in the frozen mountains, the stones are walking…

One of the debut books of 2014 that I really enjoyed was Jen Williams’ awesome The Copper Promise, so when I heard about the sequel The Iron Ghost, there was no way that I wasn’t going to read it, having been so impressed by the first book. It was good to see that the follow up was just as good, offering a suspenseful, action packed and fun sequel that fans of the first book should really enjoy.

Following the events of the first novel, Sir Sebastian and Lord Aaron Frith now find themselves with plenty of suitors for their services, and are experiencing the perks of being in high demand, and then, they make the mistake of taking up an easy job in the distant city of Skaldshollow. Of course, this job isn’t as easy as it sounds on paper, and soon the characters are thrust back into a conflict where they’re beset from enemies on all sides, allowing for a very interesting second act, that’s well plotted an keeps up the pace of the first novel delivering another strong impression on the reader. Far too often, fantasy trilogies fail at the second hurdle, but I’m happy to say that The Iron Ghost is certainly not one of those.

The characters themselves continue to remain some of the best parts about this book. Sebastian and Aaron Frith are great fun, and it’s good to be reacquainted with them in the sequel. Joining them are the equally excellent additions of characters like the most infamous mage of them all, Joah Demonsworn, who makes a worthy antagonist for the two characters. They are given more depth here and pushed into new and exciting situations that helps keep the book feeling very entertaining indeed.

The pace of the book is excellent and there is never a dull moment. The story is well plotted with confidence and the detail to the world that we’re presented with really helps readers immerse in the story and you’ll be left wanting to read even more. The detail in some of the action sequences is fantastic to see and the focus on the characters, particularly Joah Demonsworn, allows for a very interesting read. The Iron Ghost has a bit of everything that you could want to a sequel of a book that was already a strong debut.

The Iron Ghost was easy to get through, and was something that you don’t have to put too much effort into reading as you’ll find that the pages quickly fly by. The writing is incredibly solid and the book once again keeps the feeling of old, good epic fantasy that remains very fun to read. Williams has solidified a place on my must-read list going forward with a very strong second act, and if you haven’t yet had the chance to read The Copper Promise trilogy, then you should certainly give the first novel a try, because there are a lot of things to love about them both, and I really wouldn’t be surprised to find the sequel on my best of list come the end of the year.

VERDICT: 9/10

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