Author – Jen Williams
Publication Date – February 13th 2014
Publisher – Headine
Genre – Fantasy
Rating – ★★★★★
There are some tall stories about the caverns beneath the Citadel – about magic and mages and monsters and gods.
Wydrin of Crosshaven has heard them all, but she’s spent long enough trawling caverns and taverns with her companion Sir Sebastian to learn that there’s no money to be made in chasing rumours.
But then a crippled nobleman with a dead man’s name offers them a job: exploring the Citadel’s darkest depths. It sounds like just another quest with gold and adventure … if they’re lucky, they might even have a tale of their own to tell once it’s over.
These reckless adventurers will soon learn that sometimes there is truth in rumour. Sometimes a story can save your life. – Headline Description
I received this book from the publisher via bookbridgr in exchange for honest review.
This book was fantastic! It’s probably one of the best fantasy books I’ve ever read. Everything about it was just so compelling. The worldbuilding was so intricate and detailed, it was so easy to imagine the all of the different places that the characters visited and the world that they lived in.
I also loved the diversity of the characters, how they struggled with unique problems and how their experiences shaped their lives. Wydrin was probably my favourite character of all, sometimes fantasy writers come off as a little misogynistic when writing female characters but Jen William’s writing of Wydrin (and other female characters) was absolutely on the money and I just loved reading about her. She brought humour to otherwise serious situations and was just an overall highlight of the book for me. Sebastian’s struggle was particularly poignant and I loved how his story was written, how he dealt with bigotry and prejudice whilst still trying be the person he had always wanted to be. I slowly grew to love Frith and I loved his backstory, how he changed from the selfish, damaged boy locked in the dungeons to the man who was willing to risk everything to help his companions. I loved reading about the connection between the three leads as they fought their way through their adventures and how they dealt with the chaos they had caused. It was really interesting to see how their relationships changed and developed.
The magic system in this book was amazing and the history of the mages/Gods was something that I loved reading about, I hope we get to learn even more in the next book. Also there is a dragon in this book, what more could you want out of a book really?
Honestly, this book was one of my favourite reads of 2014 and I’d definitely recommend picking it up if you’re looking for a fun, adventure-style fantasy read as this was just what I needed at the time. I need the next book (The Iron Ghost) and I can’t wait for when it’s out because if it’s anything like the first book then I’m gonna love it. 🙂