The Copper Promise is a fun, relatively traditional fantasy — you step into the world and it’s like a well-worn shirt: you know more or less the shape of the continents, the kind of creatures that live on and beneath the earth, the kind of relationships people have to their rulers. It’s somewhat medieval, feudal; there are knights (who will kick out gay members of their number, of course), ancient gods, magic just coming back into the world… And it’s fun because of that feeling. You can just relax into it and enjoy the characters: the somewhat grim knight, the scarred and vengeful mage, the quick and lithe thief. (And also enjoy the fact that the latter is a woman, Wydrin, and she’s very good at what she does.)
There are a couple of hiccups in the structure; it was originally written in a serialised format, in four sections, and sometimes the joins show a little too much. Mostly, though, I just found it well paced and fun. I mean, it starts with raiding an ancient temple structure. Awesome.
At the same time, it’s not hidebound. One of the main characters is gay, and not in some obvious flouncy way, but just because that happens to be part of who he is. Wydrin is a woman, and yet never trivialised in battle or in planning or indeed anything else I can think of; she’s as much of a character as the others, and often brings refreshing snark.
It could be a little predictable at times, but again, that felt like part of the point — it felt like pretty pure escapism in a traditional fantasy world, and I’m all for that.