Reviewed by Tori
Cold Iron by D.L. McDermott is the beginning of a new dark paranormal romance that mixes the legends of the Fae with modern times. In the book, the fae were sent into exile by the druids and now the cage is weakening. In here, we meet one of the fae-Con of a Hundred Battles. He is awakened by Beth Carter, an archaeologist whose beauty and hidden powers call him to her. As we watch, Con tries to compel her,using glamour and his voice, to force her into bed with no regard to her will or well being. She resists and sends him away; escaping with her life and will power in tact. She flys home only to find out her ex husband has used his connections to steal artifacts and ship them home in her luggage. One special artifact, a sword, belongs to Con and he wants it back. He follows the sword to America and soon he and Beth are embroiled in a supernatural war that could end both their lives. And the world as we know it.
I ended up DNFing Cold Iron. But first let me say the writing and premise is well developed with characters and a storyline that is packed with intrigue, suspense, and action. I liked that McDermott doesn’t give us a neutered version of the Tuatha Dé Danann. These fae aren’t made of glitter and gold in here. They are as the legends say-they are dangerous and deadly. Their humanity long gone.
My problem was the overall tone of the book and the character dynamics. The book is dark. It’s somber. Its romance is buried beneath layers of background information and emotional pontification. There is a strong sense of rape that is almost excused because of the Fae premise. In one scene, Beth comments that she doesn’t want to be bedded then discarded, only to pine away and die because of a Fae addiction. Con reassures her that it only happens to those who are weak. So taking what they want is okay because it’s your fault if you become addicted? I was also turned off the the men in here. Everyone of them is violent. Everyone of them does things that in my mind ar inexcusable. And there is no real redemption, except for the hero, Con, and even that is a little unbelievable. A man centuries old is suddenly going to become a decent person because he found his true love in the first few chapters?
Though I don’t shy away from violence or darkness in books, what I read in here left me feeling uncomfortable. Very uncomfortable. I am setting this aside, for the time being. I may revisit in the future but for right now, this wasn’t for me. For those who enjoy a dark PNR that doesn’t pull any punches and whose HEA is a bit skewed, then this may be just the series for you.