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Cold Iron

Narrated by: Mark Meadows
Series: Masters & Mages, Book 1
Length: 19 hrs and 29 mins
4 out of 5 stars (14 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

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.

©2017 Miles Cameron (P)2017 Orion Publishing Group

Critic Reviews

"A stirring, gritty and at times quite brutal epic fantasy." (Tor.com)

"'This series promises to be the standout epic fantasy for the ages." (Fantasy Book Critic)

What members say

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for Simon
  • Simon
  • 09-02-18

Cold Iron is a Warm Start

I’ve been totally immersed in quality fantasy really and Miles Cameron has produced another quite absorbing tome for us to consider. It tells the story of Arunthur, a farmer’s son from a small and fairly remote village who left to study at a big city university. It bypasses much of the standard early coming of age stages and delves straight into Cameron’s world of magic, intrigue and colourful characters. War is steadily encroaching on the land and just while everyone should be uniting against a common foe a myriad factions compete based on their own priorities and designs. The worldbuilding is quite fascinating and the characters are cleverly built with no little depth in a traditional fantasy style.

At the heart of this story are a lot of issues that resonate in our current society and probably always have. The class and wealth divides plus racial and gender prejudices are all there in the core. In fact on some review sites I have seen the suggestion that the book itself is racist which I would reject totally and utterly. Some of the characters do show prejudices and intolerance of others but I think it’s always clear just what it is and it’s never glorified in any way. We won’t deal with prejudice and racism by pretending they don’t exist, that’s for sure. And it is an intrinsic part of this world’s mechanics, to be honest much like in a lot of other fantasy novels I have read.

The narration by Mark Meadows is well done. He’s not the most demonstrative but he has a good range of voices and accents for the characters.

All in all this is a promising start to the series and this first volume ties up plenty of subplots while setting things up nicely for bigger things to come. There is action, intrigue and a very detailed world to enjoy in Cold Iron and I get the feeling that things are just warming up . . .

15 of 16 people found this review helpful

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  • J. H. Hillman
  • 12-14-18

Excellent story very well read. Great characters

Big fan of the Red Knight series this was very enjoable. Great characters , well paced opening and good plot. Part 2 felt a liittle short and hurried. Looking foward to rest of series.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Robert
  • 07-25-19

The worst cadence to narration

Only just started listening but I suspect I'll have to return this title. The narrator is awful beyond words.

Builds pitch in sentences with absolutely no reason, you think something dramatic is about to happen but it doesn't. If you measured the pitch I'm sure it would look like a sawtooth waveband: up, up, up, then drop. Then huge, unnecessary pauses.

Because of this, I just cannot get to grips with the story.

I see others have praised the performance, so I'll push on but it is such a struggle

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Penny Scott
  • 05-06-19

Difficult to hear

I like to do my work and listen but I couldn’t hear this narrator and had to have the device right next to my ear It was on full volume too. Waste of money

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • William
  • 09-28-18

like a well worn sock

i have actually reviewed this book twice but the reviews never apeared. anywho. while i really liked this book miles / christeon cameron has used this greko romani world already. the book is very un imaginitive and just feels like rehashing of previously . magic + failed roman / greek influence empire. performace top notch though. im just disapointed in the auther

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • The Curator
  • 09-01-19

The stuff of which incels are made.

I feel like this book was written for 15 year old boys. Our hero is a bit of a dull character who still manages to sleep with most of the female characters. Talking of whom, one is a prostitute, another is effectively prostituted for the purposes of the government and the rest are all about to suffer arranged marriages. Fantasy books are rarely great at portraying women but this is just dreadful.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 08-08-19

Miles Cameron Strikes Again

10/10 story and characters. A start to another fantastic series! A great fantasy with a mix of school ground, court and military settings.

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  • Patrick England
  • 04-02-19

Pause Read Pause Read

The narration is good the story is good

But. There. Is. A. Pause.

at the end of every paragraph or three I think I'm getting a call because there's a huge gap where the narration has paused while tea is brewed the record pressed once more.

sigh

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  • JPA
  • 12-12-18

Another work of art by Cameron

Very good narration of an in-depth world of plots and subtle magic, politics and factions; guns, swords and colourful characters as real as you or I.

Recommended.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 11-29-19

A great beginning, but a rough start.

To start with, I'm a massive miles/Christian Cameron fan. In general I love the way this man writes, his characterisation, his attention to detail in the settings he is using and the brilliant way he describes fight scenes.

But something about this story felt a bit off, now I'm no literary critic, but something just felt... Lacking to this book.

The main character is fine, but Camerons protagonists are normally incredibly interesting to follow. Aranthur felt a bit too much like a blank slate, and too many plot point and major players seemed drawn to him, like he's a ta'veren from the wheel of time.
This has actually been referenced by characters in the book itself, so I imagine there is a good in universe explanation for it. But it's still somewhat frustrating to read.


I put off reading this one for awhile, Cameron mentioned that he was going to tackle more social and political issues in this one, in general this makes me wary as I'm rather concervative by inclination. But he handled this aspect very well, although I found a few moments somewhat suspect.

The narrator is fantastic, he does a different accent for each character and applies broad accents to the different cultures in the book. Some people may find his ponderous read a bit frustrating, but I quite liked it.

All in all a great start to a series and I did enjoy myself, but it doesn't reach the heights of Camerons other works.

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  • phillip inglis
  • 05-11-19

exquisite writing, wonderful narration

Another great book by this author, the writing is wonderful full of hidden little gems that make you chuckle without being forced. storytelling keeps you engaged from start to finish, and the main character is very likeable. finally the narrator does a superb job, I really got dragged into the world almost like I was overhearing the characters themselves talking.