Aranthur is a student. He showed a little magical talent, is studying at the local academy, and is nothing particularly special. Others are smarter. Others are more talented. Others are quicker to pick up techniques.
But none of them are with him when he breaks his journey home for the holidays in an inn. None of them step in to help when a young woman is thrown off a passing stage coach into the deep snow at the side of the road. And none of them are drawn into a fight to protect her.
One of the others might have realised she was manipulating him all along . . .
A powerful story about beginnings, coming of age, and the way choosing to take one step towards violence can lead to a slippery and dangerous slope, this is an accomplished fantasy series driven by strong characters and fast-paced action.
I have been wanting to read a Miles Cameron book for some time. I decided to pick up Cold Iron, book one of the Masters and Mages trilogy. I had a really good feeling about this book when I first picked it up. Let me cut to the chase, I loved it. This is a phenomenal book. Once I got started it was nearly impossible to put down. It had everything I could ask for in a fantasy book – great characters, an interesting world, political intrigue and fantastic action scenes. The story was full of adventure and felt very fresh. This is high fantasy at its best. I feel like I can rave on and on about it, but let me try to put a few cogent thoughts together on what I liked best.
- I enjoyed Cameron’s prose – it read really well
- Good pacing – a solid blend of fast paced action scenes and the proper time to develop the world
- Great attention to detail throughout the book
- The action scenes were very believable – Cameron has quickly become one of my favorites when it comes to battle sequences
- Some of the best sword work I’ve ever read
- Fully captured my attention as I needed to know what would come next
- Aranthur is a great main character – likeable, flaws that are relatable, loyal and dutiful
- Superb supporting cast – quickly became invested in each of them
- Strong character growth from the start of the story through to the end
- Set in a bustling city
- I appreciated the various cultures and traditions
- I always love stories that include university or academic settings
- I got a mix of medieval/renaissance time period vibes
- An interesting magic system that I am excited to learn more about
- Hoping we get to experience even more of the world in the next two books
Overall, this is a great first entry into the Masters and Mages trilogy. It had well-blended elements of classical and modern fantasy. I would even go so far to say that this is one of my top reads of the year. I will be hopping straight into Dark Forge. For great action scenes, relatable characters and a rich world, I recommend that you give Cold Iron a read.