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Summary

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. 

©2018 Ilona Andrews, Inc. (P)2018 Ilona Andrews, Inc.

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    5 out of 5 stars

Great book - listen to Kate Daniels series first

I was so excited when I found out Ilona Andrews had released a new book. Downloaded it immediately, listened to it nearly non-stop, and loved it! It comes after the Kate Daniels series in terms of chronology, so I’d suggest listening to that first (great series so I’d recommend that one regardless). Different narrator, and although I miss Renee Raudman, Steve West was great too. Now just need to wait forever for the next Ilona Andrews book to be released..

4 people found this helpful

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Amazing

Great narration and a great novel. Steve brought all the characters to life. Loved it

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Loved it

Absolutely loved Steve West voice! Perfect Hugh. Ilona Andrews never disappoint. I can't wait for the next one.

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Who'd have thought it? Hugh as a romantic hero...

I've been avoiding this book since it came out. Don't get me wrong, I love the Kate Daniels series, read/listened several times, but Hugh? A creepy guy with a rather unatural unpleasant violent streak. Well hasn't he had a facelift, the character as voiced by Steve West has become much more interesting, rather gorgeous actually imo. I enjoyed this first episode in the Iron Covenant series, fits in nicely with the existing world but with a fresh point of view. Really looking forward to the next instalment.

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    5 out of 5 stars

Fantastic

Great book. I have only recently become a fan of Ilona Andrews. Going to find my next read from her lists.

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Interesting!

I have not listened to the Kate Daniels series, so come to the table without any preconceptions of Hugh d’Ambray, former Warlord to Roland, save to say I believe he comes with a lot of baggage. Which is probably why I found it, initially, a little difficult to get my head around some of the characters.

Hugh seems to have fallen from Grace with Roland and has buried himself in an alcoholic stupor. It is the loyalty of his Iron Dogs that drag him from his stupor and start to give him a reason to live once more. They need him to lead and to defend them against those who would hunt them down.

They eventually find a base, a castle which houses Elara, the White Lady, and her people who need an army to defend them. They ally with each other, albeit an uneasy one due to both their betrayals of allies in the past.

As an aside; It is well over a year now since this book was released on Audible and still no second book in sight? I find it really frustrating when authors just leave people hanging. Perhaps Ilona should take leaf out of Michael Sullivan's book and just get on with it.

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Brilliant

Loved the fact that Hugh is English! All the best baddies are British! Awesome recording

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Great story but problems with the narration

Most importantly this is a great book which i have thoroughly enjoyed, it blends well into the Kate Daniels world stories, it works as a stand alone and has enough hooks to make you look forward to the next installment without making you feel like the book is unfinished.
There is a few minor niggles with the narration and one major one. All of which could have been solved with a little research by Steve West, with 10 other audio books containing the same characters there is no reason for them to suddenly develop overly done Italian accents they didn't have before, but my major gripe with the narration is the mispronunciation of the Main Characters surname.

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fantastically read by the charming Steve West

ilona Andrews are the beat author lords. they made us love Hugh in this book. To find out how you'll have to buy this to find out but let me assure you, this audio book is worth every penny.

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The narrator was the best I have ever heard!

Book was amazing and I hope the narrator dose more of her books because he was brilliant!

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  • IreneMBBT
  • 27-07-18

Hugh recreating his life

While theoretically a stand alone, this book is best enjoyed if you’ve read the Kate Daniels series. There’s just too many references.
Andrews does a great job of balancing the evil and good in d’Ambray; both the Iron Dog and the son looking for approval. Elara didn’t come across as evil or bad as I expected. I didn’t think I’d want to read a book about the very bad d’Ambray, but Andrews made this story work.
I enjoyed the love-hate relationship between Hugh and Elara and how they balance it and each other. I’m definitely interested in what the next book will bring. Andrews’ books never disappoint.
West has a great voice for Hugh and this story arc. Just wish he hadn’t given Andrea the foreign accent.
Recommend!

47 people found this helpful

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  • J. N. Abbott
  • 09-04-19

Steve West, my voice boyfriend

I adore Steve West. He is a spectacular narrator. I have often searched audiobooks just for him because I miss listening to him. Couldn't have been a better pick for Iron and Magic! A fun book too, of course. Ilona Andrews never disappoints!

12 people found this helpful

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  • Cathline
  • 25-07-18

Is it just me or did he just give Andrea an accent?

There’s a lot of issues with the voice actor with me. One of the main issues was that he says Hughs last name many different ways, and never correctly. The main characters own last name..... Secondly, he mispronounced a lot of other names throughout. Another issue, early in the book there was little difference between the two POV and was hard to follow. It wasn’t till pretty far into the book he figured out just how he wanted to voice Elara. I had to keep going back a few times to catch the switch.

The story is absolutely brilliant and I can’t wait for the next in this series, as well as the next Kate Daniels. I just wish they’re was some consistency with pronunciations through the two series audiobooks.

81 people found this helpful

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  • AMP5
  • 22-07-18

Despite my expectations: I LOVED it!

Of all the characters from the world of Kate and Curran (Kate Daniels series), I did not expect a new storyline offshoot featuring Hugh D’Ambray.
But I loved it. Nice smooth, rollout of new characters and interesting relationships. To get over my Kate Daniels’ inspired distaste for Hugh, it didn’t hurt to have interesting Iron Dog team and such an attractive, strong masculine voice, courtesy of the narrator. But the best was the unfolding relationship with Elara.
It might be a prerequisite to know the Kate Daniels story first. However, what we saw and hated of Hugh there comes with him to be examined and understood in this story. There is a is depth to his struggles and growth now.
I am excited for more of the Hugh/Elara relationship game. It has been and could be so delicious. Also, love the new cast of support characters that Ilona Andrews always does such a fine job of giving their readers. Nice to add some new elements beyond shapeshifters and undead.

18 people found this helpful

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  • virginia d
  • 22-07-18

Looking forward to the next installment

I really enjoyed this book. I trusted that the Ilona Andrews team would somehow redeem Hugh and they did. The genius is that they left the core Hugh intact. He's still a badass but has regained qualities that Roland suppressed ( to make Hugh a more useful tool to him ) such as honor and a conscious. And Elara is a perfect match for him. Lots of likeable new characters and a few make an appearance from the Kate Daniels series.
The narrater, Steve West, was very good overall with only one minor flaw. After all the years reading and listening to the Kate Daniels books narrated very well by Renee Raudman, my brain had trouble processing the different accents and speech patterns of the characters from that series, Andrea and Ascanio being the most jarring. And the pronunciation of Hugh last name was so different but again overall the narration was very good and I will continue to both read and listen to this series. Really looking forward to the next installment.

12 people found this helpful

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  • carvanz
  • 09-09-19

Amazing ending! Wonderful narration!

Audiobook: Narrator - Steve West

I really enjoyed this narrators performance of these characters and the diversity he delivered within the story. For such a lengthy audio, my ear never got tired of listening and each character was individualized and distinctive. Would gladly listen to him again.

Oh my gosh! I always knew this writing duo were amazing, so to actually make me fall in love with Hugh d’Ambray shouldn’t come as a surprise. I expected they could do it, and they did!

I think I loved this book more than any of the others. The fact that we have both Hugh and Elara’s points of view went a long way. I crave a story where I can get both, and this fed my greedy heart.

I have to admit, my heart hurt for Hugh as he’s being tormented by a void left from Roland’s purge. As the story progresses, we realize so many of Hugh’s actions were brought about by his relationship with Roland and his desperate need for acceptance. I think it’s safe to say there was a lot of brain-washing that went into that relationship. But I truly fell in love with him when he began to take a stand for what the man within him wanted, not the boy that had been raised by Roland’s hand.

”This new life, it was just his. Hugh didn’t owe it to anyone. He was building it himself, brick by brick, one shovel of cement at a time, the same way he had built that [dang] moat.”

Elara is quite a mystery. She’s so different from Kate, which I appreciated because we already have Kate, we don’t need another. And yet, she has a fear of something that resides within her and she battles against it. There are definitely secrets being withheld and when they finally are revealed I was absolutely glued to my Kindle.

This couple begin in a hate/hate relationship, but one that each of them needs. Hugh makes a real jerk hole decision that had me seething and lost him points in my estimation. I prefer my heroes, even anti-heroes, to uphold a certain criteria and he failed when he made that one decision. Elara seemed to overlook it and good for her but I was still a bit put out about it.

However, the issue is quickly dealt with and the story moves forward and soon all the hate turns into a banter of wits against each other. It felt very realistic, avoiding over the top reactions with no insta-anything to interfere. And soon the title of Harpy is almost an endearment.

The action within this story is just as intense as previous books, but it is so nicely leveled with the struggle of two groups of people coming together, learning how to co-exist. I enjoyed the build up to the conflicts and the resulting responses each character had within them.

Definitely a winning read in my opinion and I’m all team d’Ambray at this point. I haven’t read Magic Triumphs yet, but I kinda hope Hugh gets an invite to the final showdown.

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  • ERICK
  • 24-12-18

Slow burn of a book that is worth it in the payoff

They really took their time developing the relationship of Hugh and Elara, but understandably so. Sure, you may get a little, 'oh come on! Get together already.' But when you respect the amount of character growth Hugh needs to get there, it makes total sense that it takes a long long time. Overall, I really liked the story and the development of Hugh from professional killer to what he becomes. And by the end you really appreciate and enjoy the results.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Nellskid
  • 30-11-18

Superb Narration by Steve West

I was uneasy about buying this book due to the uncomplimentary reviews of the narration. However, I like Ilona Andrews as an author and took the plunge. I found Mr. West's narration exemplary. I felt the discrepancies from Ms. Raudman;s pronunciation barely noticeable as they were inundated by Mr. West's superb narrative style. Please do not sacrifice a great listening experience by not buying this book.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Still Blooming
  • 29-08-18

The story we know from another POV

I think this first book is a start to the redemption of Hugh. The time sense seems rushed or maybe the time Hugh was down was a lot longer then it seemed in the book. I have nothing against a redeemed bad guy but I can see why folks wanted Hugh to suffer more, much more than came across in this novel. However, I know if I stick with the author I will get a satisfactory pay off.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Azucena Overman
  • 25-07-18

New story, new narrator

I like how an April Fools summary turned into, possibly, a 3 book series. The story is great. I do miss Renee Raudman doing the narration because I'm already used to her voice and pronouncement of words/names. So yes, I (and other listeners) are spoiled. Steve does a pretty good job (for a guy). Most of his female voices sound the same, yet they are not the high pitched voice some guys do. His male voices vary some. HOWEVER, not all US people have deep south accents. It seems like every male on Elara's side has the same southern accent. No northern, no central, no Texan (Andrea, who sounds just plain, ugh), just southern. It seems like most of the women voices have a generic US accent, which is fine. And if he's going to go with the southern accent, he needs to do away with the european way of pronouncement of certain words. I saw him is not I sar him... need I say more. This would be understandable if it were only Hugh who is from across the pond. All in all, he does a pretty good job and I'll still get the next story if he's reading it. He's a better reader than Jeffrey Kafer who reads Magic Stars who trails off after every sentence.

29 people found this helpful