Steven Barnes has written alot of good, solid science fiction over the years -- and he uses that experience here to build a contemporary mystical fantasy adventure that entertains, intrigues and engages you completely. Iron Shadows makes forays into the darkly mystical world of cults & sexual magic, while maintaining a James Bondian plotline and reaching deep into the frailties of human interactions. The erotic tension and gripping issues make this a hard book to put down. My only amazement is that in all the explorations of human sexuality -- the only character that crosses over the standard straight stereotypes is the "evil" villain. Trite, but it doesn't destroy the quality of the remainder of the novel. Highly Recommended.