After all this time I’ve finally sat down and decided to write review of book. Why you might ask? Well, first reason is that I promised to do so and I’m relatively decent guy. Second reason is that Costin is a dickhead and more importantly extremely good manipulator who tricked me into doing what I don’t want to do - writing this review (Editor’s Note: I’m sure I have no idea what you’re on about. #ThanksIvan).
So, let’s start.
Cold Iron is first book in trilogy by Miles Cameron (or, if you like, Christian Cameron - famous historical novelist) and it follows Arthaur (or whatever his name is, I couldn’t be bothered to check - E.N. it’s “Aranthur”, I gotchu, fam) who is student at Academy where he… well, studies various shit - from magic to ancient philosophy. Yeah, I said magic. Magic exists in this world. Quite a shock - magic exists in fantasy novel. Who would guess?
So, Aranthur goes home for holidays and in some inn he stumbles into a great variety of interesting characters (who will soon became secondary characters in book) and in conspiracy which is main plot of book.
OK, enough with spoilers.
This book is more about world-building than it's about plot. World is complex and reminiscent of 15th and 16th century Europe in our world. You have various nations, Turks, Byzantines, Chinese, Scandinavians, and Armenians although Cameron gives them slightly changed names. Most of plot is set in what reminds me of Italy combined with Holy Roman Empire. It may be mistake but that is what it reminds me of and considering that I’m the one who has actually read book my opinion is much more valid than yours so fuck off.
Cameron also did a decent job into presenting all those nations with different cultural traits but in the end all those traits are just superficial and they don't really change characters’ outlook on world.
When it comes to characters they are made as truly unique with strong personalities, skills, status in society and diversity of opinions. Yes, there is diverse list of characters but that all works in plot and almost every character you meet is in the end important for plot in one way or another. Problem (or good thing) with characters is that they are all presented as Aranthur sees them so it’s kinda hard to see characters as they are supposed to be.
Reason for that is that Aranthur is sometimes moron and has tremendous lack of curiosity for world around him. He knows basics about how world, politics or people function and he mostly doesn't care (I love him for that) so he misses a lot of stuff that would help reader understand what is happening in world. Aranthur mostly just goes through world doing his job, not giving a fuck about what other characters are telling him to do and mostly just finds himself at right place at right/wrong time.
All in all, this is decent book.
It has interesting premise and plot is decent (of course when it starts which is in last third of book). What can turn off some readers (besides this review - E.N. thanks, I was just about to say that) is that book is quite slow - I mean things happen but not quickly. You have to take into consideration that this is first book in trilogy.
Cameron is good author and he wants to show various aspects of world and he does that without going into random narration. All is explained to reader as Aranthur learns it - same as Rothfuss does in his novels (if you don’t understand this reference go and read this book or Rothfuss novels). As I said before this book is more about worldbuilding than actual plot. There is action in this book but that is mostly sword fighting duels in which Aranthur finds himself and those are described in awesome, realistic way (Cameron is HEMA and historical recreation enthusiast and that shows in his novels).
What else to say? I have no idea what else would you find interesting for me to say but as Chet said "Frankly my dear I do not give a damn". Yes, there are also drakes in this book.
Now, go away!
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