Format: E-Galley, 512 pages
Release Date: January 3, 2017
Publisher: Angry Robot
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Genre: Epic Fantasy
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…
The Iron Ghost, by author Jen Williams, is the second installment in The Copper Cat series. The series features three primary characters; Wydrin Threefellows aka the Copper Cat of Crosshaven, Sebastian Carverson, & Lord Aaron Firth. Following the adventures of The Copper Promise, the three have become the go to trio to call on whenever something strange and magical raises its ugly head. The three have even started calling themselves "Black Feather Three."
Ever since the Black Feather Three defeated their adversary in the Copper Promise, things have taken an interesting turn. Old things have started to rise again, magic is stirring in strange places, and that only means more work for the trio. The Iron Ghost takes our heroes to a land called Skaldshollow and an even more dangerous challenge that awaits. The Skald have had something of theirs stolen by the hated Narhl of the Frozen Steps. Tamlyn Nox, Mistress Carver of the Skald, hires the trio to travel to the Narhl and return with their heart stone.
The heart stone is key to the very foundation of Skald's lives and successes, and the things they create from the mountains which are filled with Edeian magic. But, as we have learned from the first installment, nothing is every easy when it comes to our heroes. There are some truly fun moments, some haunting moments, some truly strange new animals, and some really brutal/dark moments when you fear for the safety of our heroes, and whether or not they can stand up to the newest villain. There is also an awakening of sorts of romance between two of our heroes which I say is about time!
The Iron Ghost has a cast of secondary characters that you won't soon forget. You would be missing a whole lot were you to just ignore their importance to this story. Let's start off with Siano who is a trained assassin from the House of Patience. Joah Demonsworn is a mage who is on the same level of villainy as Y'Ruen. He even has his very own "let's leave a whole lot of dead bodies in the way for our heroes to deal with" moment.
Nuava Nox is an apprentice to her aunt Tamlyn Nox learning how to carve things called werken. Prince Dallen is the one character that was the curiosity aspect of the story. Dallen is the King's son, the leader of a group of Wyvern soldiers, and the one who puts his very existence on the line when he aligns himself with Wydrin, Sebastian, and Frith. He has some powers of his own, and that power makes for an interesting read.
Each of our heroes spends time alone dealing with the after effects of The Copper Promise. Frith, who has been living in the past trying to make up for his mistakes, now has an option to accept a betrothal that will unite two kingdoms in peace. He's chosen to walk the path of the Mage, and has tried to learn everything he can about Edeian magic.
Meanwhile, Sebastian has to deal with the remaining Brood Sisters that he inherited after The Copper Promise. The author spends a fair share of the story with Sebastian, his past, and his attempt at training his new responsibilities in how to avoid humans, and becoming more civilized while keeping their promise not to kill humans. Sebastian's relationship with Ephemeral & her sisters also take a strange journey that one has to wonder where it goes from here.
Wydrin who loves to say, "Ye Gods and Little fishes!" is still my favorite. She binds herself to a werken she calls Mendrick. She has a love for things that are broken, and this is just adds another piece for her to ever growing reputation. I love her humor, her sarcasm, her ability to stand and deliver while others hesitate, and her carefree attitude which often leads to trouble. She often looks in the face of death and laughs it off. How dare anyone mess with The Copper Cat of Crosshaven!
Can I say that I really loved when Wydrin and Xinian, the Battleborn were together? I loved that Xinian carried a god like sword that can bring gods and mages down to their knees. I liked how the two battle side by side against hoards of zombies and even how Wydrin seems to genuinely care about what Xinian has to say about the way she's been living her life.
‘You are willing to die for love, but not to live for it. What are you afraid of?’
The Iron Ghost has everything you expect from an Epic Fantasy tale. There is action, adventure, twists, danger, bloodshed, amazing characters, creepy creatures called Arichok & Arachnos, and Sea Wyverns. There is even romance, and an interesting twist at the end of the story which I am definitely eager to find out what happens when the third & final book in the series, The Silver Tide, is released in the US!