Feature book: Heart of Iron
Will Carver is a verwolfen who was saved from the cage he had been kept in since he was a young boy, after his mother had sold him when he got the loupe virus. He was saved by Blade, the leader or King of The Whitechapel Rookeries, just outside of London. Will is Blade’s right-hand man. He is strong and has a strong sense of smell and heals quickly when he is injured. He is also one of Blade’s thralls. They steer clear of the aristocratic Echelon who control London. They are blood-drinking blue bloods who need draining factories to keep up their blood supply. Will has a strong sense of honour and will do anything to protect Blade, but when Blade marries Honoria, Will moves out of the house they all live in as Will is too attracted to Honoria’s sister, Lena. Will must never sleep with a woman otherwise he will pass the loupe virus on to them and the transition to verwolfen is painful and not all make it through. But the growing attraction to Lena is getting stronger.
Lena Todd has lived most of her life as part of the Echelon and had aimed to become one of their thralls. She loved the fancy clothes and the parties; she had always felt this was what she wanted in life. Her father was a scientist working for one of the Echelon families trying to discover a cure for the blood-drinking virus. Her sister Honoria always helped her father and so far the two sisters had not got the virus that was normally only given to males. Their brother Charlie is in the throes of the virus when their father is killed and the three siblings escape to the rookeries, a dangerous place to live. They barely have enough to live on and Honoria is trying to save her brother when Blade falls for Honoria.
Lena meets Will and there is an instant attraction but Will must not get close to Lena as he can never fall for a woman. After Blade and Honoria are married, Lena ends up back in the Echelon but for different reasons. Although everyone thinks that she is back to become a thrall, Lena decides she can be a great spy for the human race that is trying to overcome the Echelon. Lena has been through a lot and is in danger from one of the higher up Echelons, and covers her spying by making metal working toys and gadgets that she takes to a friend who passes on letters for her to distribute. When Will discovers what Lena is doing, he must protect her. The closer they get, the more they fall for each other and Lena is in a very dangerous position.
I loved this story. The world building is fantastic with the metal jackets and inventions with steam having you really thinking. This is the second book in this series and I had put off reading the first one for a while as I was not sure whether the steampunk would appeal to me. But I fell into the first one and this one as well. I am really looking forward to the third one in the series. The characters in the story will have you cheering for them as they fight evil and try to make the world a better place. And as Will and Lena get closer, their romance will have you turning the pages and smiling. They are both such protective people who love with all of their hearts. A fantastic story. I highly recommend this series.
Reviewed by Helen S
A review copy of the book was provided by the author. ARRA members who leave a comment will go into the draw to win a copy of the book. The giveaway closes on 16 April 2014.