Petrik's Reviews > The Copper Promise

The Copper Promise by Jen Williams
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it was ok

2.5/5 stars

The Copper Promise should’ve been classified as a collection instead of a full novel.


Believe me; I’m disheartened by my rating towards this book, but an honest review must be given. I’m sorry, Jen Williams, you know how much I loved The Winnowing Flames trilogy. If you’re reading this review, please do not read whatever I write below.

As I said, I absolutely loved The Winnowing Flames trilogy by Jen Williams. The trilogy was completed last year, and it is one of the best trilogies I’ve ever read. If you haven’t read it, fix it ASAP. My super positive reading experience with The Winnowing Flames trilogy was the most significant booster that finalized my decision to go through Jen Williams’s backlog of books. I realize that it can be an odd experience going through an author’s backlog of books, especially when it’s a book that has been published for several years before their newest, and usually, most polished work. This, of course, isn’t always the case; there are also authors that, in my opinion, haven’t been able to write another book that’ triumphs over their own incredible debut. The Copper Promise is Jen Williams’s debut novel, and unfortunately, I have to say that it is a far cry from the brilliant quality shown in The Winnowing Flames trilogy.

I’ll keep this review brief. The Copper Promise doesn’t read like a full novel; many reviews have mentioned this, but it is a collection comprised of four novellas bundled into one. The odd structure of the “novel” was easily the biggest downfall of the book for me. The Copper Promise did start superbly; the first novella—Ghosts of the Citadel—was so incredibly well-crafted as an intro to a series that I honestly thought this book would’ve been able to receive—at least—a 4 stars rating. However, everything that comes after seems to progressively decline in quality. The second and the third novella felt like fillers that are so disjointed from each other. Wyrdin, Sebastian, and Frith were a trio of characters that I felt invested in at first, but as I read through the book further, I somehow ended up feeling more distant and dispassionate towards them. The characters didn’t have any memorable characterizations and developments yet, and by the time I reached the final novella—even though it was quite good—I was already at the point where I simply didn’t care anymore; I never felt like I was scared for the character’s fate and predicament.

I definitely would’ve preferred reading The Copper Promise with a single narrative rather than four different novellas bundled into one package that's marketed as a novel. If you’re going to read this, I highly suggest you treat this book as a collection with separate self-contained novellas instead of a novel. The Copper Promise didn’t click with me, and if I may be brutally honest, I would’ve given up reading Jen Williams’s other books if this was my first experience with her work. Fortunately, I’ve read and totally loved The Winnowing Flames trilogy; I’m still very much looking forward to reading Jen Williams’s newest book in 2021, but I doubt I’ll be continuing with this trilogy, not anytime soon anyway.

You can order the book from: Book Depository (Free shipping)

You can find this and the rest of my reviews at Novel Notions

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My Patrons: Alfred, Devin, Hamad, Joie, Mike, Miracle, Nicholas.
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Reading Progress

December 21, 2019 – Shelved
March 21, 2020 – Started Reading
March 23, 2020 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-11 of 11 (11 new)

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THE BIBLIOPHILE (Rituranjan) The third book is the best of the three. It's a pity that this book didn't click well with you. But, the second book is better in terms of characterisation, and the scope of the plot is widened. If u continue, you won't be disappointed.


Petrik THE BIBLIOPHILE wrote: "The third book is the best of the three. It's a pity that this book didn't click well with you. But, the second book is better in terms of characterisation, and the scope of the plot is widened. If..."

Ah, that's encouraging to hear. I still dunno when I'll continue with the series, considering how huge my TBR is. But I'll keep that in mind when my mood sparks again!


Maja Ingrid I agree that this one felt very disjointed due to the "anthology" style. I wasn't a fan of that either, though I still really liked the book and the characters. Book two feels so much more together and it's lot easier to connect with the plot and with Wyrdin, Frith and Sebastian :)


Runalong I think you have to read it as a debut - books 2 and 3 you see the voice and confidence grow quickly stronger and this trio you end up rooting for


Petrik Maja Ingrid wrote: "I agree that this one felt very disjointed due to the "anthology" style. I wasn't a fan of that either, though I still really liked the book and the characters. Book two feels so much more together..."

Yeah! I think I'm going to love book 2 more for sure, but I dunno about it at the moment. It seems like too much of an effort, I have become disinterested with the characters by the end of this book. Weird, because I did feel invested in the first novella! Oh well, maybe one day! :D


Petrik Runalong wrote: "I think you have to read it as a debut - books 2 and 3 you see the voice and confidence grow quickly stronger and this trio you end up rooting for"

I think treating it as a debut isn't enough of a reason. Imo, there are countless amazing debuts that are better than it, after all. I love Jen Williams and her Winnowing Flames trilogy, but this just didn't click for me, I'm sure the next books will be better, I just hope I can care enough for the characters because right now I pretty much don't have any motivation to know what's going to happen to them.


message 7: by Hanzel (new)

Hanzel No.........a two star???? This I got to read!!! Do you by chance read YA??? Could you by chance read this one "Bone Crier's Moon", I have nothing against YA (I love the way you review books, so just a heads up, before I dive into it)but........, thank you Petrik for all your reviews and suggestions, dang two star............


Petrik Hanzel wrote: "No.........a two star???? This I got to read!!! Do you by chance read YA??? Could you by chance read this one "Bone Crier's Moon", I have nothing against YA (I love the way you review books, so jus..."

I haven't finished any YA books in years tbh, and it's not that I didn't try any of them, I did. But the ones I've tried (even the highly praised ones) just annoyed me too much and I DNFed all of them. I have nothing against them, but I have pretty much given up on books targeted for YA audience. So, I doubt I'll be reading that Bone Crier's Moon, Hanzel! :)


Runalong I would say Petrik the Rest fo the trilogy has a very Winnowing Flame approach to character - this is an interesting scenario where you get to know what the author is capable of before the debut


Petrik Runalong wrote: "I would say Petrik the Rest fo the trilogy has a very Winnowing Flame approach to character - this is an interesting scenario where you get to know what the author is capable of before the debut"

Yeah, that seems to be what everyone said! Well maybe one day, definitely not anytime soon for me. I look forward to her Dog Rose Dirt in 2021 though! :D


message 11: by Hanzel (new)

Hanzel Petrik wrote: "Hanzel wrote: "No.........a two star???? This I got to read!!! Do you by chance read YA??? Could you by chance read this one "Bone Crier's Moon", I have nothing against YA (I love the way you revie..."

Thank you Petrik!!!


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