A Promise of Iron by Brandon McCoy is an epic Fantasy novel with strong character development and a world with a deep class and monetary system that the author describes with perfection.
Title: A Promise of Iron
Author: Brandon McCoy
Release: December 2020
Goodreads Link: Here
A Promise of Iron, book one in the Echoes of Illyria saga, tells the story of a young man born from hatred, eager to prove himself in a world tilted against him. In this world where iron is more precious than gold, three friends battle the evils of empire while unraveling the secrets of a forgotten past and a hidden foe.
I enjoyed the characters in this book. They were well developed and even the bad guys were compelling. I enjoyed getting to know each character and McCoy introduced their traits over time which made the experience feel natural as opposed to having all the information dumped on us at once.
The world in the book was VERY well fleshed out. At first I was a little confused by the locals and the way the world was established but as the story built, and again McCoy gives the information subtly and over time, the whole picture came through. I was able to understand how the characters fit into the world, the power system and the physical attributes of each location. I loved the idea of how money and power worked in this book. It was an interesting way to address class and power systems.
The plot of this book was interesting, although I admit, I wasn’t as pulled in as I thought I would be. The story really started getting interesting to me when Lira found a very special item for Faerin. The day to day movement of the characters was interesting, but it wasn’t until this exchange that I really perked up. I am a mystery lover so being introduced to this surprise element was definitely exciting.
Themes of class discrimination, racism, and sexism run throughout the story which is a bold move on McCoy’s part. I admire his willingness to bring these topics up in his book. There is a definite line between the haves and have not in the book and our character has to navigate that. There is also a race gap that is deeply rooted in the society and McCoy does an excellent job addressing this without letting the story get bogged down or leaving the plot to dark and frustrating.
The writing style of this book was poetic! Yes, the book is written in prose and narrative style, but boy, McCoy can get very flowery in some sections, especially when his character is thinking of his love interest! Readability is good. McCoy doesn’t use complicated language and even some more specialized terms related to the fantasy, monetary systems or the trades is easy to understand.
Overall, this book was a good read. I would recommend it for readers who love epics with good details on the world, and strong character development.