Series: The Half Light City
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Published by Roc on April 2, 2013
Pages: 336 pages
Reviewed by: Kristina
Some graphic sex scenes
I was raised to do the right thing. But to my family that means staying safe behind the walls of human society. To be a respectable metalmage and never put myself at risk. But the treaty is faltering. And if it fails, nothing is safe. To help save the city and everyone I care about, I will use whatever means I can to ensure the negotiations to renew the treaty are successful—even if that means forging an alliance with a man who is the very opposite of the right thing….
Fen is trouble. Wild. He would rather bind himself in iron and drink himself into oblivion than learn to master the visions that come to him. Those visions might just hold the key to peace, and it seems that my power might hold the key to his control—if I can keep it around him…
In IRON KIN the stakes are raised as the people of the Half-Light City creep closer to all out war. The worldbuilding in this series is one of its strengths and delving deeper into the politics of this world made it even richer. The fragile peace between the mages, vampires, and shifters drove the action and kept the threat of war dangerous close throughout the book. It was a somewhat challenging to keep track of everything and not feel overwhelmed occasionally, but the intensity, politics, and complex characters were solid.
Speaking of complex, Fen is a completely tragic character. His visions are both a gift and a very painful curse. He resorts to using iron to curb his seer powers, though the pain he got from the iron was only marginally better than the physical reactions to the horrifying images of destruction he sees. On top of that, he has to deal with stigma from shape-shifting Beast Kind because he’s a half-breed. All of this puts a serious chip on his shoulder that was understandable, but off putting at times.
Considering Fen’s less than sunny personality, he’s not an obvious romantic lead, but as the story progress he and Saskia really did fit well together. Both characters are so strong willed that every compromise was a battle. While Fen and Saskia’s flirting and compatibility was great, I didn’t enjoy the actual growing romance as much as I did with SHADOW KIN and BLOOD KIN. There was just so much plot to wade through that their relationship development was forced to take on a supporting role that unfortunately made it less compelling.
The dense and complex plot was at times confusing, and the low key romance could have been amped up, but IRON KIN was jam packed with action, juicy politics, and a lot of loose ends left over for the next book to resolve that it’s still a good read for series fans. Be on the lookout for FIRE KIN, the fourth book in The Half-Light City series, to hit shelves in 2014.