A particular element of the story that was brilliant was the description of the action sequences. The author’s own re-ennactment experience obviously filters through into the prose, making these elements of the story so incredibly authentic. But in the manner that is immersive, yet fluid, and relays the panic and adrenaline of the moments when one’s life is at risk. Despite being a fantastical story, with magic and other such detractors from realism, Cameron somehow retains the grittiness of combat, making the reader feel slightly claustrophobic in feeling the fear and adrenaline of the characters, yet with a perfect balance so as not to overwhelm the reader.
“Boasting is a way of saying you are weak”
Cold Iron is inspired by an Eastern setting, set within a bustling city with a mixture of cultures as a result of a renowned university. Our central figure, Aranthur, is a student at this academic centre, adapting to urban life though he grew up on a farm and certainly not in a setting driven by scholarship. Yet alongside his academic passions, he is caught up in intrigue and military matters, with his intelligence and curiosity often placing him in places of danger.
Cold Iron could easily have become too fast paced, too busy and too confusing. Yet Miles Cameron moulded the plot and progression of the story in such a manner that it was constantly interesting, with a mixture of fast pace and moments of pause which form an excellent arc.
“He could take some extra fencing lessons. He was in love with his sword, purchased in a used clothing market on a whim. With his rent money, because he was a fool.”
A strength of Cold Iron is placed within the side characters. Whilst we solely follow the perspective of out central protagonist, Aranthur, Cameron nicely develops a wide and varied side cast that incorporates characters of mixed backgrounds and interests. This was relatable to the world of Stephen King that I have read, in creating that atmosphere of town life that brings the setting to life, with two-dimensional characters all around.
Overall, I loved Cold Iron. I thought it was a beautifully crafted piece with elegant prose, intriguing plot, great characters and written in a brilliant way that fit all of these pieces of the story together perfectly.