A couple years ago Ilona Andrews published a blog post saying that they were writing a novel about Hugh D’Ambray, the ultimate evil character in their Kate Daniels series. They received a ton of comments from readers who were so excited to see how they would turn the Preceptor of the Iron Dogs, Roland’s right hand into a character sympathetic enough to capture readers hearts.
April Fools! they said. Well, that April Fools joke has turned into a reality.
Iron and Magic is the first in a new series set in the same world as their Kate Daniels series. Hugh D’Ambray has been thrown aside by Roland and is floating adrift in an alcoholic stupor when his Iron Dogs, men on his warrior crew, sober him up by saying Roland is killing them all one by one. They need Hugh to stand with them and be their leader. Hugh may not be a very nice guy, (in fact we have seen him torture and kill some of our favorite characters!) but he is very loyal to this group of men and would do most anything to help them survive. Including marry.
Elara Harper is the leader of her own crew, The Departed. She is known as the White Lady and in some eyes she is an abomination. That is all we know about her when Hugh arrives at her castle. His men need a place to defend and food to eat, and her castle needs defending. Not really a match made in heaven but they do both get something out of it. Elara’s people are fiercely loyal to her and as the story unravels we see why. She is strong, loyal, and will sacrifice her own needs for the survival of her people. Hmm, sounds a little similar to someone else we know, right?
Hugh has always been a rough bastard, and he does not change in this novel. He’s still a bad ass. However, Ilona Andrews has made him human and that humanity gives him a new emotion, regret. Once you start to regret things your heart and mind are open to other new emotions. Now, don’t get me wrong, Hugh is still one bad hombre, but he’s now a bad hombre with a conscience. A conscience that makes him hesitate slightly before he makes the decision to maim or kill. He and Elara do not get along, but their bickering provides humor and also adds to Hugh’s humanity. He has always had wit, but has never had a female sparring partner who would see the charm beneath the one liners. Elara is fierce, and like Kate that is very attractive to Hugh. He doesn’t want to like her but can’t seem to help himself. Their relationship is as fascinating to watch unfold as is the story of their fight against a common enemy which is an amazing read.
This novel was everything I never knew I wanted and I can’t wait to read it again. If you have not read the Kate Daniels series, I think this would stand well on its own. BUY IT!
Click this link to purchase*! Iron and Magic: (The Iron Covenant Book 1) (Volume 1)
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