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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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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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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..

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Loved it!!

Spoiler free review: The cover didn't appeal to me. Neither did the book description. I thought to myself that I liked every other book by Ilona Andrews so I gave this book a go and I am so glad I did. The story was amazing, I loved Elara, Hugh was all right as well. All the side kicks did their job well as always in the Andrew's books. The only downside is that I will probably have to wait months, if not a year, for the next instalment. No cliffhanger at the end.
Almost forgot to mention the narrator. I am used to listening to Rene Raudman narrating Andrew's books so was surprised this one was narrated by a guy. He did however do an amazing job and since most characters were male he was better suited for the book



Spoiler review: you're reading this at your own risk.
Hugh is looking for a place where he and his Dogs can plant some roots. Elara needs muscle to protect her people and she has a castle so she and Hugh strike a deal. One bloody wedding later and the couple, who hate each other's guts, need to find a way to work together against common enemy, without killing each other. they keep stabbing at each other and fight a lot and the sparks are flying. There is a night of passion and a slowly growing fondness, maybe even a feeling, but by the end of the book they still don't fully trust each other. Can't wait for the next book to see their relationship growing stronger

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    4 out of 5 stars
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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.

43 of 45 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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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!

11 of 11 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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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.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Ann Porter
  • 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.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • roverman
  • 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.

22 of 25 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Bella dona
  • 27-07-18

amazingly written

The story is a book branching out from the Kate Daniels series. As usual Ilona and Gordon have written a fast paced, and engrossing story. The characters are complex and their world well thought out.
the only issue I had is with Steve West, his voice was good and the characters were consistent, that being said I really wish someone else had read it.
Maybe I'm too emotionally invested in the books, or I have been spoiled by Rene Rodman's flawless performance of the previous books. It feels like he just winged it. He didn't do ANY research into these characters. He pronounced names wrong and gave characters weird accents. I tried very hard to give him the benefit of the doubt, because its Hugh's story, not Kate's story. however when he gave Andrea a Italian accent I was a bit insulted. She's been a part of the series since book 2. She is from Texas, how would she acquire an Italian accent? Or Raphael for that matter, being a native of Atlanta Georgia.
A brief listen to other books, or even if he bothered at all the simply peruse the books he would have known this about the characters he was trying to perform as.
Tl;Dr
the book was awesome and adds another piece of the amazing world of Kate Daniels, however the narrator didn't do any research at all and failed to contribute in any real way to the book.
hopefully Steve wont be reading for these books in the future; at the very least learn where the characters are from before deciding on an accent.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

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  • Julie
  • 21-07-18

FANTASTIC!! Steve West was a great listen!

This book was, by far everything I knew it would be and more. I could not stop reading! Tears, tears, I have tears. I always knew Hugh was a great character. Every time he came into a scene it was the greatest anticipation and excitement. Through-out the Kate Daniels series, when Hugh was there it ended up being my favorite moments to read, besides Kate and Curran's interactions. I can't wait to see what comes next.

I have the Kindle version, but with work and life getting in the way, I could not devote myself and when the audio was released I jumped on it. Now when, new narrator, to me Steve West started this, I was floored how how well he did. Yes there was some minor things adjusted like how to pronounce Hugh's name and such. It was easy to get over. What completely stopped me in my tracks was characters who are well known, in this world, having a strong accent that does not belong to them. I will not hold it against him, nor will I about the lack of pausing for chapters and switching character. That is the editors job. I would recommend anyone getting into narration do the homework if you are picking up a series that is well established. Hell, even narrators that have done 8 books of a series, make crazy mistakes, and no one else seems to care. Other then that Steve West did a fantastic job and was the characters. Can not wait to listen to things from him in the future.

11 of 13 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • JLarson
  • 26-07-18

More Please.

After reading the book 3 times and hearing the sample audio, I had to commit. This narration made it difficult when I needed to sleep or be at work. This, even though I knew the story. I now await the continuation.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Crys
  • 22-07-18

Iron & Magic -great book, great narration!

Ilona and Gordon Andrews delivered the unimaginable—-convincing the readers and fans of the Kate Daniela series that Hugh (the bad guy & nemesis) into a hero! Loved, loved this book. The narration by Steve West is fantastic. I hope that he will be doing the other 2 Hugh books as he has now ruined it for me & I can’t imagine Anyone else as Hugh!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Suzanne Krohn
  • 27-08-18

An intense adventure with romance and magic

This is one of my top reads of 2018 so far, with characters to cheer for (even though they're kind of awful people) and a magic vs. tech system that feels fresh. The stakes are high and the payoff is great.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful