Iron and Magic by Ilona Andrews
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Wow - this book completely threw me for a loop! Who knew that I had the ability to not hate Hugh, let alone begin to … like him? I’m a little conflicted about that fact, but it just goes to show you how well this book sucked me in.
If you are not familiar with Hugh, you should really go back and start at the beginning of the Kate Daniels saga. I promise you, it’s worth it. Assuming you have been along for the ride like I have, we join Hugh after he’s essentially been dumped by Roland. Since Roland was essentially his reason for living and breathing, he is in a bit of a tailspin. His remaining Iron Dogs end up finding him as he hits rock bottom and convincing him to help save his men. They are all in need of food, shelter, and some sort of motivation. To get this, Hugh must do a very selfless thing - marry and protect “the White Lady.”
The White Lady ends up being a woman by the name of Elara, who is… still kind of an unknown. She’s got devoted followers (much like Hugh) and has a lot of powerful magic, but she is under constant siege by people who used to be part of her community, her neighbors, and (newly) the leader of Roland’s vampires. She’s willing to follow her advisor’s recommendation and wed a man she doesn’t love, but she certainly is in no mindset to even care for him at all. This is all reinforced when they immediately find themselves sniping at one another.
It was pretty awesome to watch Hugh and Elara, who have so much in common, find endless ways to torture each other. It’s only by some miracle that they find some common way of working and, ultimately, a partnership that benefits them both. The stubborness is strong on both sides. In the end, I am completely on Team Hugh/Elara. I cannot wait for the next installment of the series and feel a little guilty for liking Hugh so much. At this point I’d feel really bad if Kate and him had to fight again.
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