I recieved an audio copy of this book from the author in exchange for a honest review. If ever there was a novel where I can say this is a tale of two halves, The Iron Crown takes the cake. The first half of this novel was interesting and compelling in some areas but I was not hooked until I got into part two of the book. The plot, character arcs, and the magic really started to take shape and I am very happy to have stayed with it. The anticipation for the sequel has me on the edge of my seat but lets get into the crux of this SPFBO #7 finalist.
Fenn is wandering through the woods with no memory of who he is or where he comes from. His only hope for answers comes in the forms of Calidra and Jisyel, two woman living on the Isle of salt but looking to return to the mainland. Calidra just learned that her father has passed away and begrudgingly agrees to take Fenn and Jisyel with her. Riddled throughout the land we encounter Dragon Spirits as they inhabit places such as forests, sea, and fire. Fenn is a lost boy trying to find his way in the world while Calidra is protective of Jisyel and thinks Fenn is hiding something from them. As you will soon discover, Fenn is cursed by the Myr, who have been banished from the land by the Iron Crown for the last 5 years. They are returning and causing havoc across the land because once you are touched by the Myr, death will soon follow.
There are two aspects of this book that really shined for me with the first being the Dragon Spirits themselves. They all have the ability to curse and bless anything and everything that passes through their domain. As we make our way through the story, we will slowly learn the intricacies of their magic and each one will be a big surpirse to all. The second aspects are my love for the secondary characters in this novel. We have the Inquisitor Torsten who is in service to the Iron Crown while trying to rid the world of the Myr threat. Then we have the thief Apollo. Given a signed pardon from the Iron Crown for services rendered but it turns out he may not have fullfilled his side of the bargain. I loved reading Apollo’s storyline and there is even a prequel novella written from Apollo’s POV. Finally we have the Myr themselves. Both mysterious and haunting with what their motives are, how they look, and how the people are affected by their curse. Oh, and did I forget to mention the talking gryphons! Majestical creatures who will play a big part in the war to come.
These are just some of the many things readers will enjoy from The Iron Crown. It is easy to see why this book was chosen as a finalist for SPFBO #7. The best is yet to come with L.L. MacRae and I am eagerly waiting for the release of the sequel novel on the horizon.