The Copper Promise by Jen Williams

The Copper Promise is a dark but also quirky fantasy featuring very dry humor and a lot of violence. Those with a trigger about graphic torture might find it a bit much; granted, the humor and oafishness of the characters are a counter to the heaviness. But it is a difficult mix and I’m not quite sure the balance was always achieved.

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Story: A treasure lies buried – a kingdom’s worth hidden to prevent theft from invaders. One man knows where it is: the last in the line of the kingdom’s ruling family. He’s been tortured and disfigured, but he has survived the overthrow of his kingdom. He hires mercenaries to help retrieve his heritage – but little do any of them know what they are about to awaken in the process.

I have to admit, I never liked any of the characters and found the very detailed descriptions of the torture and violence gratuitous. It is a fantasy novel so I expect some – but in this era of Game of Thrones violence, the ante keeps getting upped. The Copper Promise passed my comfort threshold within the first chapter.

The characters are fun and funny – in a very British dry humor way. They are all pretty much anti-heroes. I wish I liked any of them but I just didn’t. I’d rather have logical and intelligent rather than smarmy and quirpy. I was bored of them quickly, sadly.

Although this review may seem like the book is poor, that certainly is not the case. It’s decently written with a lot of interesting story locales and twists. There are even several chuckle-worthy moments. But for my taste, I just didn’t want to follow the characters and found the locations more interesting. And then there was all that violence….

In all, this will definitely delight many readers. I just never warmed up to the story. Reviewed from an advance reader copy provided by the publisher.

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