The Book Barrio

A Blog for Fantasy and Romance Readers



Review: Iron and Magic (Iron Covenant 1) by Ilona Andrews


Thank you to Netgalley for giving me an advance copy.

I so loved this book. It’s been a while since I last stayed up late because I couldn’t put a book down. We were promised Hugh’s redemption story and that’s exactly what we got.This story starts off somewhere after Magic Binds (book 9). This is about Hugh (villain in the previous books) finding a home and taking a stand. Hugh enters into an arranged marriage in order to get shelter and food for his people. In return he has to provide protection for his new bride, Elara and her people. There is a lot of violence and magic and sex, which is to be expected for a book about Hugh. The authors did not pull back and I loved every bit of it.

Here are some of my spoilery thoughts, read at your own peril:


1. That horse is a unicorn!

2. I am Filipino, and it made me super happy to see a Filipino creature featured in one of my favorite book series. It felt like receiving an unexpected gift out of nowhere.

3. Elara is a well developed character, but Hugh definitely takes the spotlight and outshines her in every page. The authors kind of kept a lot of Elara’s past a mystery, we have a few hints here and there but not enough for me to love her as much as I love Hugh’s character.

4. Hugh is his usual arrogant, manipulative self. The dialogue between him and Elara are a joy to read. He has met his match. Elara is just as manipulative and secretive. The sex is hooooot.

5. I liked the dynamic between the Iron Dogs. Bale and Lamar bickered like an old married couple.

6. That scene between Hugh and Raphael making peace over Aunt B’s death was just… I have no words.

7. Hugh’s fight scenes were really really good. They’ll keep you on the edge, just like Kate. 

8. Hugh gives out some of the best lines ever. That part when he tells Roland, “You’ll never get your hands on Kate’s kid. I’ll kill you first” was the ultimate best. Uncle of the year. It completely sealed the deal and made me wish for Kate and Hugh’s reunion. 

9. Yes, Hugh should’ve played the brother card with Kate. I look forward to seeing him do that in the next book.

10. I wish Hugh and Elara would adopt Deirdre in the future books.
Having read this book, I can definitely say that the authors have managed to achieve their goal in making us forgive Hugh. I can’t wait to read the final book in the Kate Daniels series.

Rating: 5 Stars +



Reasons to Read: The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

Amazon | Goodreads

Genre: Fantasy


Told in Kvothe’s own voice, this is the tale of the magically gifted young man who grows to be the most notorious wizard his world has ever seen. The intimate narrative of his childhood in a troupe of traveling players, his years spent as a near-feral orphan in a crime-ridden city, his daringly brazen yet successful bid to enter a legendary school of magic, and his life as a fugitive after the murder of a king form a gripping coming-of-age story unrivaled in recent literature. A high-action story written with a poet’s hand, The Name of the Wind is a masterpiece that will transport readers into the body and mind of a wizard.

Reasons to Read:

  • Kvothe (Our main guy) – is a well written character. You feel like you know him, you suffer with him, and celebrate victories with him. He’s also a very talented guy who can do wonderful magic, and play songs that bring people to tears
  • The Magic – I just loved the way Rothfuss created this world with the Magic, and how its laws are so similar to what we have here. Basically, they manipulate energy that connects everything in the world. It’s like a science
  • The Tales with the Tale– are so realistic, in the way that they’re not realistic. I mean they’re little stories within the story that just sound like real life classic fairy tales that are out in the world like Grimm or something. Maybe they are and Rothfuss is just messing with us.
  • The Story – Well of course, but among other intrigues, Kvothe wants revenge against the ones who wiped out his entire family. And boy is it a big mystery. Even the identity of the villain is clouded in a huge dark, and unidentified something. It is exciting
  • Un-putdownable – Despite the length of the book, I found myself spending every second of my free time reading this. And it was a long book, so the satisfaction was immense.

Now, as a final note, I know there are a lot of Romance readers out there. And maybe you’re like me, you mainly read anything that has Romance,  or Young Adult Fantasies with a romantic subplot, or maybe you’re just Harry Potter-grown. And for some unexplained reason, any mention of a high fantasy novel, written by one of those high level geeks, kind of turns you off. Because you might think that these male geek writers only know intricate plots, adventure, and lengthy descriptions of places & culture (boring!), and these guys don’t have what it takes to create certain depth of character and drama, such as the so many awesome Romance novels. Well, you are wrong to think that.  Because The Name of the Wind is one hell of a book. I am so glad that a friend pushed into reading this.

I have now re-read it maybe 10 times while searching for my next book fix.

Oh and one last thing, there is a little romance in this book, but that’s not why you should read it. There are so many other things going on that the romance is just the icing.

Rating: 10,000 Stars

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