Iron Ghost Paperback
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I had enjoyed the first book with some slight hesitations in the nature of the characters. Once my reading slump was over, I craved an exciting adventure story. I felt like this would deliver just that and I had put it off for far too long.
I wasn't entirely disappointed. This novel had the adventure story, and it even had a mildly nostalgic 80s fantasy adventure feel to it. This was the quest of all quests for the Blackfeather Three that makes you want to swashbuckle around your living room when no one is looking. What could go wrong?
Romance. Not only does it not fit in these stories, each attempt at interjecting it into the story just falls flat. All of the scenes feel forced and like the novel is trying to appease some editor by throwing it in there during the last round before publishing.
And we'll just ignore the atrocious amount of editing errors -- the kind where it actually entirely changes the meaning of the story. Fortunately, I bought it on sale otherwise I would be demanding a refund for the lack of polish presented.
These are gallivanting mercenaries. They get themselves into dubious situations of questionable sanity, and I enjoy reading how exactly they manage plan then fail then barely scrape through to victory. Leave it that way. Only 2 stars for this one and high hopes that the romance is left in the abyss.
The stakes are somewhat smaller for the world at large—at first anyway—as there isn’t a giant dragon god burning the civilized world to ash and slaughtering everyone in its path, but the danger is so much more personal for Wydrin, Sebastian, and Frith, thanks to a bloodthirsty demon and his vendetta of revenge. The villains are horrific, evil in a way so far beyond a shadowy figure pulling the strings behind the curtain. These villains are front and center, leaving swathes of blood and death in their wake, and all for their own personal gain and amusement.
The world-building steps up a notch, giving readers a deeper look into the history of the mages and the gods, and explores a whole new realm of Ede, where magic still lives and breathes at the heart of the land. And this is where THE IRON GHOST is strongest. The world of the stone-crafters of Skaldshollow and the wyvern-riding, spear-wielding Narhl warriors is rich with magic, and the mountains themselves have a life of their own—and I live and breathe for anything set in a mountainous landscape.
But none of that would matter if it weren’t for the vibrant characters that the author so expertly weaves into the story. Beyond just Wydrin, Sebastian, and Frith, the secondary characters are just as robust and real. And our main heroes are as complicated and impassioned as ever. The three of them stick in my mind like old friends, and I certainly know who I’d call should I find myself in a bit of scrap.
I hope they have an audible version available soon.
After their success in the previous book, Frith, Wydrin, and Sebastian are now known as The Blackfeather Three and they hire themselves out - solving a few problems and making a bit of money. They are on top of the world. But a nasty wizard/mage will challenge their skills.
This book is difficult to read. The chapters are short in page-length, but heavy, plodding to read. There's not a lot of action, but there is a lot of movement and discussion and the short chapters prevent the reader from really getting invested in the story, characters, and action.
The book doesn't feel like a book as much as it does like four novellas that feel like four novels, they were so dense with description.
By the time I got half way through I just couldn't wait to get to the end - this band of characters and the adventures they had really didn't appeal to me.
Looking for a good book? <em>The Iron Ghost</em> is the second book in <em>The Copper Cat</em> series by Jen Williams. It is a rehash of the first volume with little new or interesting to distinguish itself.
I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher, through Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.
Top international reviews
Ice people, wyverns, crazy mad mages with a thirst for blood and a familiar yet hated demon child all abound and cause all sorts of trouble for Wydrin, Frith and Sebastian.
There’s a neat – if slightly unobvious – split between tenses in this book which was slightly off putting; for example it’d be one chapter in present day Skaldshollow and then the next would be set in the past usually with Sebastian at the Order Temple. It wasn’t bad only unclearly marked, but on the flip side the writing itself showed the tense changes really well.
As with the previous book everything that could go wrong went wrong but the plot line followed a set rhythm that deviated in the smallest of ways but also the biggest – by this I mean that the plot stayed on the same sort of course but then all of a sudden something that was unexpected was thrown in the works and it threw me for a loop.
Other than Bezcavar the new big bad in this book was a long dead mage by the name of Joah Lightbringer or Joah Demonsworn who is miraculously brought back to life by the help of BBezcavar(surprise surprise) so he can continue on in his great, albeit incredibly insane work.
There’s magic galore from Frith, Joah, the Skaldshollow, Bezcavar and even Sebastian! Something happened with Wydrin that I won’t spoil for any of you who haven’t read this book (I highly recommend it!) that completely threw me and made me keep reading until the early hours of the morning. I had a combined “What the hell JW” and “Oh thank you, thank you” moment.
I’m about 110 pages into the third and final installment. I had a heart crumbling moment when Jen told me that on Twitter but made up for it with a pre-order of her new book.
The tale of Wyrdin, aka the copper cat, and her friend Sir Sebastian. Now joined in their exploits by Lord Aaron Frith from the first book. This volume has nothing in it to make it a jumping on point, or any exposition to remind you much of what happened in the copper promise, so new readers should start with that.
Those who have read it, read on.
This volume runs for five hundred and thirty six pages, and is divided into seventy nine chapters.
It does some strong language, violence, and adult moments.
Although it does have a pretty much self contained ending, this as mentioned isn't the end of the series.
Wyrdin, Sebastian, and Frith are now building a reputation for themselves when it comes to being adventurers for hire. Their latest job takes them to a city called Slakdshollow. Where they are needed to recover a precious item that one family has taken from another.
But what should be an easy job turns out to be anything but. As there are always two sides to every situation....
If you liked the first book, then you won't be disappointed by this. If anything, it's slightly stronger with it. Wyrdin was a solid but not outstanding character in book one, but she becomes a really good creation here. She and the other main characters do have excellent personal journeys and character arcs throughout.
The plotting is well handled, and builds naturally and at a nice pace to keep the momentum of the storyline, which does become suitably epic, moving throughout.
And you do get occasional chapters as well which are flashbacks, detailing what happened to the Brood sisters since the end of book one. Only the first of these chapters is marked as a flashback, but it's a narrative structure you do quickly get used to and won't have any problems with.
All in all another very solid and very good bit of escapist fantasy reading. And it will leave you looking forward to book three.
Along the lines of Robin Hobb, it's what makes them different (better?) from the usual wizards, magic and dragon stories that abound.
I am an avid reader of Sci Fi and Science Fantasy and no spring chicken so it's great to find a new (to me) author to follow.
Plus - dragon!
Can't wait for the next one :)
There's action a plenty as well as consequences come home to roost.
A great follow-up and a fab read.