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Iron and Magic by Ilona AndrewsI will state up front that I have never read the Kate Daniels series. I have the first several books, but for some reason at the time the first book didn’t hold my interest. Now I’m thinking maybe I should’ve read them, just because I liked this one so much.

I went into Iron and Magic not knowing anything about the characters, the history or the world they inhabit. I’m happy to state that this book stands alone. I didn’t need to have read any of the other books.

Hugh D’Ambray has been cast aside. Once a great warlord and leader of men, he’s broken and beaten. The story opens when his soldiers come to find him. Someone is killing off each of them, one by one, and they need Hugh.

Elara Harper is known as the white witch. She and her people have been driven out of one place after another. They have finally found a home, an abandoned castle they inhabit. Now someone wants the castle and the land, and they are determined to have it.

Hugh and his army are starving and need a home. Elara and her people need protection. To unite and present a cohesive front against a common enemy, they marry. It’s a marriage in name only, and they are constantly sniping at each other.

I wasn’t sure what to expect with this book. I liked Hugh a lot. Elara was harder to get to know. When the book ends, we’re still up in the air as to exactly what Elara is. Even Hugh doesn’t know for sure.

The book is filled with vampires, necromancers, druids, witches and shapeshifters. Parts of it were gruesome but easily skimmed over. The romance part was a long time in coming and pretty brief, but I understand that’s typical of this husband-wife writing team.

I prefer more romance and less sci-fi/fantasy in my books, but it was still a great read. I look forward to the next book in the series. I wish I didn’t have to wait until 2019.