Friday, August 10, 2018

Iron and Magic by Ilona Andrews

Title: Iron and Magic
Author: Ilona Andrews
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Series: The Iron Covenant #1, Kate Daniels #9.5

Trade Paperback, 380 Pages
Publication: June 26, 2018 by Nancy Yost Literary Agency

Source: Personal Library


No day is ordinary in a world where Technology and Magic compete for supremacy…But no matter which force is winning, in the apocalypse, a sword will always work.

Hugh d’Ambray, Preceptor of the Iron Dogs, Warlord of the Builder of Towers, served only one man. Now his immortal, nearly omnipotent master has cast him aside. Hugh is a shadow of the warrior he was, but when he learns that the Iron Dogs, soldiers who would follow him anywhere, are being hunted down and murdered, he must make a choice: to fade away or to be the leader he was born to be. Hugh knows he must carve a new place for himself and his people, but they have no money, no shelter, and no food, and the necromancers are coming. Fast.

Elara Harper is a creature who should not exist. Her enemies call her Abomination; her people call her White Lady. Tasked with their protection, she's trapped between the magical heavyweights about to collide and plunge the state of Kentucky into a war that humans have no power to stop. Desperate to shield her people and their simple way of life, she would accept help from the devil himself—and Hugh d’Ambray might qualify.

Hugh needs a base, Elara needs soldiers. Both are infamous for betraying their allies, so how can they create a believable alliance to meet the challenge of their enemies?

As the prophet says: “It is better to marry than to burn.” Hugh and Elara may do both. 

Iron and Magic is the first book in The Iron Covenant Series and takes place between Book 9 and 10 in the Kate Daniel series. If you read the Kate Daniel series then you know who Hugh d’Ambray is, Preceptor of the Iron Dogs and Warlord of the Builder of Towers. He is the epitome of what it means to be maleficent and villainous. Like many of Andrews fan, I was skeptical of how they were going to redeem Hugh, it seemed impossible…but yet Andrews did it! They made Hugh, I dare say, likeable? Who would of thought?

Hugh was rescued from the streets at a very young age by Voron and Roland and from that moment on he knew nothing of pain or suffering...he had anything and everything he wanted. He was almost like a god among men until Roland abandoned Hugh. Roland was Hugh’s purpose for being and living and he didn’t know who he was without Roland. Thus began his descent into despair and darkness, drowning himself with booze to escape the real world. When someone hits rock bottom, there isn’t anywhere to go but up and that is exactly what Hugh did. Readers will watch Hugh grow and change over the course of the book. I loved seeing Hugh’s transformation to be a better person. There was a scene in the book where it literally hit Hugh that he was evil by the reaction of the people from nearby settlements that heard of him. He is loved and worshiped by his own Iron Dogs and Elara’s people eventually saw him as a protector but to have people recoil from him and fear to have their children around him was a rude awakening. There were a lot of changes for Hugh externally and internally, and it was great to see how far his character has come.

But it isn’t to say that Huge isn’t still a jerk…he is. And he has met his match in Elara Harper. She’s literally a girl version of Hugh! Elara who is known as The White Warlock is an enigma and very powerful. Elara’s people love her but everyone else is afraid of her and I am excited to learn more about her power and history. Hugh and Elara ends up getting married, a mere business agreement and from the moment they met they were determined to make eachother’s life a living hell. It was hilarious. No one does snark and witty dialogue like Andrews, and everything you love about their other series can be found in Iron and Magic; amazing character, world and mythology.

Hugh’s book started as an April’s Fool joke, but I am so glad that Andrews decided to turn it into a novel. Iron and Magic was brilliant and a great series opener and addition to the Kate Daniels series. Iron and Magic can be read as a standalone but any Kate Daniels fan out there, this must be read before the final book, Magic Triumphs which releases this month. I’m already looking forward to reading the next Iron Covenant book!

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