What do you do when you have written 2 books of a 3 book series and those 2 books (in this case 'The Copper Promise' and 'The Iron Ghost') are among the best in the fantasy genre. For Jen Williams it seems the answer was simple - ramp it up to 11 and put out the best damn book you can.
The Silver Tide brings The Black Feather Three together for one last adventure - and what an adventure it is. Our three heroes, Sir Sebastian, Aaron Frith and Wydrin, The Copper Cat herself, are hired by pirate captain Devinia the Red, to help get her and her crew to the middle of the Isle of Euriale. Nobody has got to this mystical, magical place and returned but there is rumour of great treasure there and Devinia intends to find it and bring it back. She seems a determined soul - and she should do.....she's Wydrin's mother.
The Copper Promise was an old school Dungeons and Dragons style romp, The Iron Ghost took us to the frozen North. With The Silver Tide we move to the steamy jungles of The Isle of Euriale and, in the second half of the book to places you wouldn't have expected. What TST does, and does well, is tying up everything from the two previous novels, even things that I didn't know needed tying up. The character development is top notch - these are not just characters on a page, these are folks you enjoy, indeed look forward to, spending time with. Even the minor characters are special, effort has gone into the creation of each and every one and the story is even better and stronger for that.
I have been a fan of this series from the beginning and this is a fitting conclusion. The Silver Tide is massive, wide screen, surround sound story telling at its' very best. The battle scenes are epic and well crafted, there are Gods, dragons, dragon kin which are all believable creations and all is set in a realistic fantasy world.
I will try not to drop spoilers here but I feel I do have to mention the final scene. With many fantasy novels (or, I suppose novels in general) the final scene can be where it all hangs. This can be the scene that makes a series memorable or forgettable, that one point where the author gets to where they've been heading since book 1, page 1. I'm happy to say that Jen Williams got this one absolutely spot on. This one got me 'right in the feels' and, I'll be honest, left me with a teary eye - a happy tear or a sad tear? Do you really think I'd spoil your reading enjoyment by telling you that.
If you haven't read any of this series so far then you are in for a treat as you can (from the end of February) read all the series straight through. If you've been following the series then, with this final volume you are still in for a treat and, when you are done I guess, like me, you'll be going back to the beginning to follow The Black Feather Three all over again. This series is certainly going in my 'To Read Over And Over Again Pile'
The only down side to reaching the end is that this really is THE END!! Well, for this series and these characters it is. For Jen Williams it is only the beginning, and a beginning that promises a lot. I'll certainly be there for her next series and I think, after reading these books you probably will too. I guess I'll see you there
So, what do I give it as a rating......? Well, last year I bent the rules a little and gave a book 11/10. I said then, "my blog, my rules" so I'm gonna do it again......
The Silver Tide - 11.5/10
The Series as a whole - I've thought long and hard about this (I've read a lot in my many years, trust me) and this has become my favourite series ever, and for that I award Jen Williams with the Inaugural Ebookwyrm Dragonstar (there is no trophy, sorry Jen)