Thursday, January 10, 2013

Book Review: The Iron Knight (Iron Fey Series #4)

The Iron Knight (The Iron Fey #4)
 
"My name--my True Name--is Ashallayn' darkmyr Tallyn. I am the last remaining son of Mab, Queen of the Unseelie Court. And I am dead to her. My fall began, as many stories do, with a girl..."To cold faery prince Ash, love was a weakness for mortals and fools. His own love had died a horrible death, killing any gentler feelings the Winter prince might have had. Or so he thought.
Then Meghan Chase--a half human, half fey slip of a girl--smashed through his barricades, binding him to her irrevocably with his oath to be her knight. And when all of Faery nearly fell to the Iron fey, she severed their bond to save his life. Meghan is now the Iron Queen, ruler of a realm where no Winter or Summer fey can survive.
With the unwelcome company of his archrival, Summer Court prankster Puck, and the infuriating cait sith Grimalkin, Ash begins a journey he is bound to see through to its end--a quest to find a way to honor his vow to stand by Meghan's side.
To survive in the Iron Realm, Ash must have a soul and a mortal body. But the tests he must face to earn these things are impossible. And along the way Ash learns something that changes everything. A truth that challenges his darkest beliefs and shows him that, sometimes, it takes more than courage to make the ultimate sacrifice.
(Photo and Description from Goodreads. Source.)
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Publication Date: October 26, 2011
 
 

Kat's Review

(Spoiler Alert: This review contains information that may be spoilers if you haven't read the previous books.  I talk about plot points, but try not to ruin the book for anyone.)
 
Let me begin by stating that without a doubt, this was my favourite book of the series, and that's saying something, because while I loved the character of Meghan from the start, I didn't feel the same about Ash.  He needed to grow on me, and this book allowed him to do that.  I think that was the main point of this book, to be honest, to allow Ash to develop into someone who not only wanted the love of Meghan, but who truly deserved it.  It's easy to brush off a character's horrible past when we're reading a book because often they're written to be so charming in the present that the reader doesn't care about their past.  This is one of the few books I've read where the handsome prince (literally, in this case) is forced to face his past in any real and meaningful manner in order to truly be the type of person who deserves the love of the heroine. 
 
The entire novel follows Ash on his quest to gain a soul.  He is accompanied by Puck, Grim, the Big Bad Wolf, and Ariella.  Yes, THE Ariella.  I won't tell you how that particular bomb drops, but it makes for a VERY interesting trip to the End of the World.  Along the way, Ash must come to grips with his past, starting with his relationships with Puck and Ariella.  Then he endures a series of tests that if he passes, will earn him a mortal soul.  These tests are fierce.  Seriously, he runs a gauntlet, facing his biggest fears, his past regrets and the darkest side of himself.  It's riveting. 
 
There are few series in which the last book is the best.  So often, by the time the last book rolls around it feels as though the author has run out of things to say and just wants it to be over, but doesn't know how to end it.  So, they ramble on for 500 pages to finally get to a point that could have been included in the final five pages of the previous book. 
 
This is so not that book. 
 
This book showcases Julie Kagawa's best talents; her ability to build a world so fantastical you can't help but find yourself getting lost in it, and her skill when it comes to action scenes.  At the same time, the way she handles the shifting relationships and past regrets I'm not embarrassed to say that I actually shed a few tears during this one.  A really compelling read.
 

Rating: All Consuming

 

I didn't want to put this book down, and will probably read it again.  I rated all the other books in this series as good reads, but this one stands out from the rest.  A highly recommended read. 

2 comments:

  1. I adored the big bang finish at the end of Iron Queen, it was epic and heartbreaking. But Iron Knight was the bee all and end all for me as well. What I truly love is that it was a love story to Kagawas fan base as she didn't originally intend to write it, but her fandom loved Ash so much she decided he needed a better ending. Without Meghan in the mix she was able to delve into Puck and Ash so much more thoroughly and it was fantastic.

    I won't lie I was a gibbering fan girl when I finally got to meet her.

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    1. Honestly, I didn't love Ash until this book, which makes me appreciate what she can do so much more. I still want a Puck book, though. I would absolutely read a book from his point of view, where he gets over Meghan and finds somebody else...

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