Book: Iron and Magic
Series: The Iron Covenant #1
Author: Ilona Andrews
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. -Goodreads
Review: Anyone who reads my reviews knows I'm a HUGE Ilona Andrews fan. HUGE. I was so excited for this book and I'm thrilled to say...I really enjoyed it! Years ago I was on a FB chat with Ilona and Gordon and I was one of several people who suggested a Hugh book (also a Roman book, hopefully that is in the works). I didn't think they would write one but here we are. Yay!
Okay, let's get to the book. Readers of the Kate Daniel's series know Hugh as Roland's warlord. He and Kate bicker, they are well matched in a fight and have some funny exchanges but he isn't known as a good guy. In the last Kate Daniels book, Roland cut him off. This book starts with Hugh drunk and depressed. The Iron Dogs find him and let him know that they told Roland they follow Hugh's command, not his. Roland, being the benevolent person that he is, decided to have all the Iron Dogs hunted down and killed. The ID's need Hugh back to lead and protect them. They have a few problems, namely a lack of food and shelter. Never fear-Hugh's advisers arrange a marriage with the elusive Elara, who has ancient, unknown powers.
This book had humor, action and of course, a touch of romance. I loved Hugh and Elara together. Mostly, I appreciated that there was no love at first sight. I loved their snarkiness and look forward to the relationship progressing. I like that we don't know the extent to Elara's powers. I also loved that the buda's made an appearance here. I can't wait for the next book in the series!
“Hugh was abandoned by everyone in his life.” Her words rang out. “His parents, his teacher, his surrogate father. They all threw him away. He trusted us. He sacrificed himself to save us. This is his home. I’m his wife. I will not abandon him. Bring the cows.”