Cold Iron 1 & 2
February 10, 2013
From the publisher via NetGalley
A paranormal romance series that puts the urban into urban fantasy, COLD IRON is set in contemporary Boston, where the Irish gangs of Southie and Charlestown are really warring clans of Fae. Sorcerer Miach MacCecht rules a fractious clan of petty villains from his Victorian mansion in Southie’s City Point, and rival Finn controls crime across the water in Charlestown. Survivors of a brutal war with their formal vassals, the Druids, the Boston Fae have put down roots in the human community, and the last thing they want is the return of the decadent Queen and her dissipated Court from their exile in the Otherworld. But the wall between worlds is two thousand years old, and weakening.
Cold Iron series by D.L. McDermott has all the makings of becoming an epic urban fantasy series. Druids, Aes Sidhe, Tuatha De Danann, and unsuspecting civilians are the main players in Cold Iron. As a whole, I love Cold Iron because I love fae based stories to begin with and McDermott went hard core on this one, her fae are along the same lines as KMM's Fever Series, they're achingly beautiful, cold, ruthless, entitled f*ckers set on destroying humans in the most atrocious way possible. You won't find gentle woodland nymphs here, the magic is very ancient, malicious and purposeful and though the featured fae have been tempered by an abundance of time spent with humans, they can still be as cruel as their race.
Book 1, COLD IRON, debuted the series splendidly. Archeologist and newborn Druid, Beth Carter, stumbled upon the fae race's greatest warrior, Conn of the Hundred Battles aka The Betrayer, in one of her digs. One thing led to the next and all the rumors of the walls getting weak and a fae trying to summon the court back is true. And masterminding this attempt is The Prince Consort and in order to do so, he needs Beth and Conn's sword to complete the task and kick off The Wild Hunt. Which sent shivers down my spine because of how that outcome was described. For those of you who've read Iced (Fever 6, Dani O'Malley 1), you'll know what I'm talking about. The Wild Hunt is a fae-pocalypse we don't want in our doorstep.
SILVER SKIN follows a thread that was opened in COLD IRON this time featuring Beth's BFF, Helene Whitney who's been a victim of fae compulsion in the previous book. I felt so bad for Helene because she doesn't have any powers like Beth to counter the magic. She's a mere human and very susceptible to fae abuse and only Miach, a fae sorcerer, is the only person at this point who can help her. After much chasing and investigating, it is apparent that The Prince Consort is once again behind the attacks and is clearly the main villain of the series because the conflicts always lead towards his machinations and plots to summon the fae court. SILVER SKIN's is more complicated and layered than COLD IRON not only because of the expanding conflict and cast, there's also themes of family disloyalty, friendships and forced suspicious alliances incorporated. My only critic can be viewed as either good or bad. Although I appreciate the virtue of doing recaps of the previous book, if you're reading the series back to back it could feel a little redundant. But as I mentioned this could be a good thing as we tend to forget details from the previous book after a while or some of us may even jump in the series mid-way so this could be a plus depending on how you're reading the books.
Overall, I love everything about Cold Iron series from the plot down to the pace. The Prince Consort is such a fascinating villain I'm anxious to see what he's up to next. The books are throbbing with magic filled with fantastic fight scenes mixed with enchanting lores and legends about the Fair Folk, it's a great cautionary tale if anything. The romance is scorching but it's not the focal point of Cold Iron so this reads more like urban fantasy than paranormal romance. And even if every book features a different couple, all the events are connected to the main plot and the build up is exciting. D.L. McDermott's debut is strong, promising, captivating and worth following. It's been a long time since I've read a great, not good but GREAT, fae series backed by real/historical myth and not a mish-mash of different pantheons and legends and Cold Iron is certainly one of the better ones out there. This is a definite must-read.