While this is technically the first book in a new series, which can be read on its own, this book fits into the larger framework of the Kate Daniels universe (where this book is book 9.5 out of 10). So there’s quite a bit of back story you’re missing out on if you’ve not read the other books first. While the first book is rough, the series as a whole is my favourite paranormal/urban fantasy series, probably ever, so if you like the genre and haven’t checked them out yet, do yourself a favour and get caught up before you read this book.
Plot summary stolen from Goodreads:
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.
This book was never meant to exist. Hugh D’Ambray, the male protagonist of this book (can’t really bring myself to call him a hero yet, he’s very much not one) started out as one of the main antagonists in Ilona Andrews’ Kate Daniels series. His forces killed off a beloved supporting character. He was the main henchman for the series’ ultimate villain and did his job really very well indeed. On April 1st, 2015, the authors posted a fake cover and blurb, suggesting that they were writing a book about Hugh. It was meant to be a joke, but the response from their fans was overwhelming. As the authors explain here three years later (when the book was well and truly completed), they got enough requests for the book and thought about it long enough that they realised they could actually make the book a reality.
Full review on my blog.