I am re-posting my original review for “The Watchmage of Old New York” by C.A. Sanders for two reasons. First off, if you haven’t read it, it’s FREE on Kindle at the moment. Second, the next book in the Watchmage series, “Cold Iron (The Watchmage Chronicles Book 2)”, is available for pre-order at only $ .99! I was fortunate enough to read an early ARC of this exciting and well-written historical fantasy. I don’t rave about a lot of books, but these two are brilliant. Unique settings and plots, vibrant characters that practically appear before the readers’ eyes, and a writing style that is smooth and consistent throughout make both of these books winners.
“Cold Iron (The Watchmage Chronicles Book 2)” picks up soon after Book One concludes. Many of the characters will be familiar to the readers. Some characters are brand new. There are the familiar Ogre’s, Pixie’s, Veil Dwellers, Pooka, Trolls, and Goblins. The Star of Nine still oversee all the happenings, keeping an eye on Nathaniel, the Watchmage, who has a reputation for breaking rules.
New York City is suddenly beset by mysterious fires that seem to be started by an unknown force. Nathaniel Hoo, and his son Jonas, a police detective with one of the police agencies in the city, work to discover the identity of the culprit who seems set on burning the city to the ground. As they pursue clues they find there is more to this mystery than meets the eye. Greedy politicians are only the tip of the cold iron in this intense tale. There is constant competition between the Munis (Municipal Police) and the Mets (Metropolitan Police). Uneasy alliances are created between humans and between the various magical beings.
In addition to the high powered action, Sanders weaves the personal battles of his characters into the work. Identifying the humanistic side of the otherworld beings allows the reader to easily identify with their struggles. The layers in the books are subtle but impactful. “Cold Iron” is a well-plotted mystery that combines the rich flavors of old New York City and the magical world of Magelings, Veil Dwellers, and mystical beings who live alongside the humans.
Pre-order Cold Iron now for $.99 and grab the original Watchmage of Old New York while it’s free. You won’t be able to set them down, and when you finish, you’ll be hungry for more.
“It is 1856, and New York is burning.
When a series of devastating fires tear through Manhattan, Nathaniel Hood, Watchmage of New York, finds himself battling against a weapon beyond even his considerable power. Both Nathaniel and his police detective son, Jonas, scramble to catch the culprit, only to uncover a deep conspiracy mired in fanatical politics, greed, and a blood-soaked grudge. Is it a rebellion of Veil Dwellers, supernatural creatures trapped in our world and under Nathaniel’s charge? Is it renegade magelings seeking power beyond their control? Or is it something altogether different, unknown, and far more deadly?
Cold Iron is the sequel to the award-winning novel, The Watchmage of Old New York. The price of failure is higher, and the moral choices for both Nathaniel and Jonas threaten to change both them and the city forever. New York is as cruel and unyielding as iron bars, but in the Watchmage’s world, even iron can burn.”
Following is my original review of “The Watchmage of Old New York”.
I was originally attracted to “The Watchmage of Old New York” by C.A. Sanders because I am from New York and have been fascinated by the 19th century in the city for many years. While this is a fantasy, Sanders still maintains the unique flavor of New York City in 1855. Interspersing the gangs of New York, the crowded streets, the corruption in politics and on the police forces with gnomes, wizards, and mages is a brilliant blend of reality and imagination. I was hooked from the first page.
More than a fantasy, this is a story of relationships. Nathaniel Hood is the Mage and as such he is responsible for maintaining stability in the city he loves. But he carries his own personal baggage. Aching for his late wife, concerned for his son Jonas, and determined to keep the balance in his own life, he struggles with the weights assigned him by his life. His son Jonas has dedicated himself to his work as a Municipal Policeman, carrying burdens of his own. Father and son are both committed to doing “good” although they approach things from very different angles.
At the heart of this story is the search for a missing baby, the son of a prestigious New York family, the Vanderlays. Although Nathaniel has remained outside the issues of the everyday common world, he is drawn into the investigation of the kidnapping after Jonas is savagely attacked by Veil Dwellers. Filled with stunning twists and turns, vibrant characters, and unexpected secrets, the story drew me in and held my attention throughout. Beautifully written with colorful descriptions of the city and its inhabitants, both human and non-human, this is a book that demands to be read. The character development is remarkable and the settings so real I could practically smell the smoke and crowded streets of old New York.
High praise for C.A.Sanders and “The Watchmage of Old New York” as I eagerly look forward to the next book in this series.