I was sent a copy of The Iron Ghost from Headline for an honest review. You should read The Copper Promise first to get acquainted with Frith, Sebastian and Wydrin.
The Black Feather Three have built a reputation as worthy quest conquerers, so when they are faced with the task of retrieving a stone for the Skalds it appears to be just another job to make some easy coin.
‘But of course. We wouldn’t journey to any old normal city in the middle of nowhere. I wonder what weird crap is waiting for us this time?’
The Skalds have hired Frith, Sebastian and Wydrin to retrieve their stolen heartstone back from the Narhl. The heartstone holds mighty power which the Skalds need to continue crafting a Werken army.
The Narhl lead by King Aristees are not particularly a welcoming when TBF3 get caught trying to sneak into his frozen palace.
‘Spill their warmling blood into the snow and let them grow cold, as all things should be.’
The master of the Skalds or the Prophet prefers to stay hidden in the dark whilst requesting some rather gory specific ingredients for his dark magic, which is believed to be the saviour of the tribe. But once his list is complete he uses the dark magic to resurrect Joah Demonsworth, a sadistic mage who has been dead for centuries.
With a lurch of horror she realised that it was chewing, that the skull was chewing pieces of her face, and as she watched she saw that the flesh was growing back across the yellowed bone. For every piece of Siano it ate, the corpse was regaining what it had lost.
The reinstated Joah has an unhealthy obsession with Frith after finding out that Frith is also a mage. This results in Friths kidnap, where Joah has a creepy desire to be Friths best friend, despite the restraints and torture. There is even some ‘occlumency’ going on between these two, which is pretty cool (takes me back to the Potter days.) Frith knows he is helplessly trapped and soon enough realises that he is much less powerful and maybe a friendship with Joah could be enlightening in mage skills, even if this guys idea of fun is rather perverse and torturous not dissimilar to pyscho serial killer Jigsaw.
Instead, he lead Frith around the curving corridoor, showing him room after room of horrors. In one the floor was funnel-shaped with a hole in the centre covered with a grill, and Joah explained how he had slowly flooded the room with an acidic liquid that did not kill immediately, but instead gradually caused skin to separate from flesh.
Wydrin has a new partner in the form of a rock called Mendrick, a Werken crafted by the Skald and continues to be witty, cool and Tank Girl like (my god I hope the rumours of Miley Cyrus playing a remake are untrue!!). Whilst Seb has his work cut out taming the Brood sisters so they can settle into a civilisation without killing everyone in sight, and defending the handsome Prince Dallon. (Wheet Whoo)
This is an excellent follow up to ‘The Copper Promise’, Jen Williams expresses a vivid Tolkien like fantasy imagination in her writing, her wit will make you laugh, her horror will make you gasp. TBF3 have so much potential for further entertaining quests.
The Iron Ghost by Jen Williams
From Jen Williams, author of highly-acclaimed fantasy debut THE COPPER PROMISE, comes a brand-new epic fantasy adventure in THE IRON GHOST.
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…
A little bit about the author – Jen Williams is a fantasy writer and Lego obsessive who spends much of her time frowning at notebooks in cafes and fiddling with maps of imaginary places. She writes chunky, character-driven fantasy, and is partial to mead, if you’re buying. The first two novels in the Copper Cat trilogy, The Copper Promise and The Iron Ghost, are available now.
Find out more at www.sennydreadful.com or follow her on Twitter @sennydreadful