It's a volatile world: waves of magic and technology fight and feed off each other, monsters prowl the streets, werebears, cats, hyenas stalk their prey, and Masters of the Dead 'pilot' blood-starved vampires with their minds.In Atlanta, lives Kate Daniels, former mercenary, Knight of the Order of Merciful Protection, world class swordswoman and smart-mouth, and – recently – mate to Curran, the Beast Lord of Atlanta's Pack. His problems are now hers, and this one is particularly heartrending – many of the Pack's shapeshifting children can't control their beast nature and are doomed to perish. A medicine can help – but it's controlled by the European shapeshifters, who've proposed a devil's bargain to Kate and Curran: In return for the medicine, they must arbitrate a thorny dispute...which promises to send them straight into a deadly trap...
The smart latest installment of Andrews's semi-post-apocalyptic urban fantasy series (after Gunmetal Magic) takes mercenary Kate Daniels and her mate, the werelion Curran, to the Carpathian Mountains. In exchange for bodyguarding a pregnant shapeshifter during a critical time of negotiation between three powerful packs, they'll receive ample amounts of the panacea drug, essential for ensuring the future of their own people. But the mountains are full of strange beasts and deadly mythological creatures, and one of Kate's greatest enemies is hosting the convocation, heralding a confrontation she's not ready for. Nonstop action and intrigue fill the halls of the secluded castle as schemes come to fruition. Vividly imagined fight scenes, clever use of obscure mythology, a uniquely interesting setting, and rich characterization make this a rare treat, only hampered by the complexity of the pre-existing knowledge required to fully appreciate the developments and conflicts.