The Copper Cat #3: The Silver Tide by Jen Williams (Headline)

Tales of the Black Feather Three and their exploits abound far and wide, and Wydrin of Crosshaven, Lord Aaron Frith and Sir Sebastian have become sell swords in demand. Having foiled powerful mages and evil magic, they now face a challenge unlike any before – in the form of Wydrin’s mother.

Devinia the Red, notorious pirate and captain of the Poison Chalice, is intent on finding the fabled treasure hidden within the jungles of the cursed island of Euriale. She needs the skills of her daughter Wydrin and her companions to get there, and our heroes cannot resist the lure of coin and adventure. But no explorer has returned from the heart of the island, and it’s not long before the Three find themselves in the clutches of peril. Deep within the island of the gods, there are remnants of forces best left undisturbed…

The Copper Cat Trilogy has been one of my favourites of recent years in the epic fantasy genre. It’s fun, engaging and well-written, feeling a lot like David Lynch’s Gentleman’s Bastard series and working really well as a result. The characters have been really fun to follow and it was great to see Aaron Firth Wydrin, and Sebastian Caverson return even if this is the conclusion to the Trilogy. We follow them on their latest assignment from the deadly pirate (and Wydrin’s mother) Captain Devinia the Red , and it’s great fun to read as the novel never slows down, making use of an active imagination to tell a fascinating story.

The Silver Tide sends our protagonists to an island that nobody had ever returned from, and it’s interesting to see how the setting shapes how the book plays out, making uses of a Nassau-like location. However even the bravest of pirates knows that to venture beyond the Two Birds boundaries is to not return, and it’s interesting to follow the three through this journey that splits up the three, sending Sebastian on one mission whilst Wydrin and Frith on another. This blend of narrative allows for an incredibly entertaining read, and it’s not often nowadays you see fantasy that isn’t afraid to use pretty much everything that the genre has to offer.

The pace is electrifying and manages to make use of the fantasy creatures in such a way that doesn’t feel cheap. The sheer range of things that are featured in this book is fascinating, there’s Dragons, Gods, and Time Travel, and that’s just for starters, as Williams holds nothing back in order to create an amazing finale.

The interactions are great throughout the book, with some brilliant exchanges between the characters that only makes you miss them more when you finish the novel. There are plenty of themes that are used here to great effect that really help develop the characters, making them all the more captivating and ensuring that I won’t forget them in a hurry.

I really didn’t want this book to end as these characters have been so much fun to read over the course of the Trilogy, and there was also the worry that the ending would be a letdown. However, any doubts were quickly pushed aside. Williams manages to make everything work together so well and as a result, that makes it three out of three for The Copper Cat, making the Trilogy as a whole a must-read for fantasy fans.

VERDICT: 9.5/10


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