Iron and Magic (The Iron Covenant #1) by Ilona Andrews
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.
I passed this book by for months. Why? Because Hugh d’Ambray is a dick in the Kate Daniels series. He’s Kate’s arch nemesis. He’s jealous of Kate’s relationship with Roland, he’s hurt her friends, follows Roland blindly and would love nothing more to deliver Kate up to Roland all wrapped up in a nice little bow.
Oh, how the mighty have fallen. I thought it was karma bitch slapping Hugh when he lost the favor of Roland and was cast aside. I admit I may have let out a little internal cheer when that happened. I sat back, got comfortable and got ready to read all about how Hugh got everything that was coming to him for being so awful.
So, I was kind of pissed off when I realized that there might have been some extenuating circumstances behind the way that Hugh acted. Go figure he wasn’t all bad. And that maybe, just maybe, I kind of liked Hugh… What the actual hell…
The White Lady, Elara, has also been coerced into agreeing to something that she didn’t ever see herself doing to save her people. When she met Hugh, I was undecided about whether she was a punishment or a reward for Hugh. You’ll have to read the Kate Daniels series to find that out. Because their stories definitely don’t end with Iron and Magic and even though I know where the story lines ultimately meet up, I still find myself wishing I had more of Hugh and Elara to fill in the middle.
As a bonus for those of you who love audible, Steve West was perfect as Hugh. I could listen to him all day, every day.