The Copper Promise, by Jen Williams

The copper promise Book Cover The copper promise
The copper cat #1
Jen Williams
Fantasy
Angry Robot
July 5 2016
e-book
535

There are some far-fetched rumours about the caverns beneath the Citadel…

Some say the mages left their most dangerous secrets hidden there; others, that great riches are hidden there; even that gods have been imprisoned in its darkest depths.

For Lord Frith, the caverns hold the key to his vengeance. Against all the odds, he has survived torture and lived to see his home and his family taken from him … and now someone is going to pay. For Wydrin of Crosshaven and her faithful companion, Sir Sebastian Caverson, a quest to the Citadel looks like just another job. There’s the promise of gold and adventure. Who knows, they might even have a decent tale or two once they’re done.

But sometimes there is truth in rumour.

Soon this reckless trio will be the last line of defence against a hungry, restless terror that wants to tear the world apart. And they’re not even getting paid.

The copper promise is a fantasy adventure with a lot going on.  It's awesome.  Though, I didn't know that at first. For a few pages there, I was sighing and thinking I'd got my hands on "just" another caper/heist type of things.  Which aren't my favourite thing, you know, if they lack extra flavours. 

So hooray for being wrong!  I was so wrong.  This book has, above all else, characters.

The brood army was what made this such a joyous read for me. You know, the brood army, the army spawned by the god of rage and destruction and the human whose blood had to be shed to kick off all the, uh, spawning.  (Not a spoiler, because you won't see it until you see it, but: Oh, how I crave a spinoff story about Toast.)

The rogue protagonist, Wydrin (also known as the Copper Cat), is a badass with divine shark tattoos and carefully named weapons. She enters the novel along with Sebastian, an ex-knight, deknighted for reasons to be divulged in later chapters, but he still carries himself with dignity and grace. At least when compared to Wydrin.  They're hired by a down-on-his-luck lord who needs them to take him into some old ruins to find something. He's close-lipped about what it is he's looking for, and certainly not prepared for what else they'll find in there.

The fantasy genre, from high to urban, often deals with gods, or blah blah divine entities that might as well be called gods.  The copper promise has a character asking, pointedly, whether the gods are actually what they say they are.  It's a self-aware raised eyebrow, and I like it a lot.

So are you looking for fun? Read this.  And read the next two books in the trilogy, which I haven't yet, but I will.