Monday, October 17, 2011

THE IRON KNIGHT (Iron Fey #4) by Julie Kagawa

YA Fantasy
386 pages
Available October 25, 2011
Review copy provided by publisher for honest review

Ash, former prince of the Winter Court, gave up everything. His title, his home, even his vow of loyalty. All for a girl… and all for nothing. Unless he can earn a soul.

To cold, emotionless 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 solemn 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. At least, no one has ever passed to tell the tale.

And then Ash learns something that changes everything. A truth that turns reality upside down, challenges his darkest beliefs and shows him that, sometimes, it takes more than courage to make the ultimate sacrifice.
  
Because this is the fourth book in a series, there will be spoilers in this review (though the blurb itself gives some spoilers for the previous three books) so, if you're not into that kind of thing, you'll probably want to stop now. That being said, THE IRON KNIGHT is a satisfying conclusion to the Iron Fey series. While all the other stories were told from Meghan's perspective, Ash tells us his story in this one.

As queen of the Iron Fey, Meghan is tucked away in the middle of her deadly Iron Kingdom, a place Ash cannot go without dying a painful death. But he's sworn to her he would find a way for them to be together. Because of this unbreakable vow, he must journey to the end of the known world to take part in a quest that will award him a soul. If he's human, he can enter the Iron Kingdom and take his place at Meghan's side as her Iron Knight. But first he must find a guide, one in the form of a disappearing but knowledgeable cat named Grimalkin, who's gone missing. And never fear, plucky prankster Puck is there to help his frenemy fulfill his vow.

It was a little disconcerting, reading this story from Ash's perspective since I was so used to Meghan's voice. His is much darker, much more tormented than his beloved's. However, I liked that we learn more about what happened between him and Puck, why he made the vow to kill his best friend, and gain insight into Ash's world, a dark, deadly place where one must carefully weigh every word and action lest it be used against him. The rivalry -- both friendly and not -- between Ash and Puck is even more obvious and, at times, Puck comes very close to losing his life to Ash's sword.

The quest itself was very well done, including all the traditional challenges a hero must go through to fulfill a sacred vow. Because, no doubt about it, Ash is a strong hero, one determined to live out his days by his lady's side. A journey down through a forgotten land, battles with ancient enemies, and confrontations with deep, dark fears all add to the action and pacing of this unforgettable story. Highly recommended, though it's best if you've read the first three in the series to appreciate this one fully.

Available on Amazon | IndieBound

10 comments:

  1. I really love this one, it was nice to have a book with the point of view of Ash, it allows us to really understand him. Awesome review !

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  2. This book has was the best book ever. I think that because of it's review

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  3. Wow, I didn't even realize it was going to be from Ash's perspective. He's not my favorite character, but it'll be interesting to get to know him better via his narration...wonderful review :)

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  4. I loved this book. And I'm so sad the series is ending! It really was weird reading this from Ash's POV, but I thought it helped me to get to know him a little better. I love him! lol!

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  5. Sounds intresting. I haven't read anything from this series yet, I just finished reading a few dystopians so I'm ready for a light hearted book now! lol

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  6. I loved Ash's quest, it was so imaginative! Ash's and Puck's history was so interesting to find out.

    I'm so sad this series is coming to an end. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

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  7. It sounds like it's a good addition to this series, you even got me curious about it and I never felt any impulse to read this series before :D

    AWesome review.

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  8. I just read this one last week and LOVED it! But I have to say that I feel like I REALLY need Pucks story! He needs a HEA too!

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  9. It was totally weird reading from Ash's perspective at first... I think I've seen people mention that in like every review I've read (plus the one I wrote for it, lol). It was a weird adjustment, but once I got into the story I really liked this one, just as much as the first three.

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  10. The Iron Knight picks up after Prince Ash has been released from his vow of knighthood and leaves Meghan in the iron realm, where he cannot stay. In order to withstand the iron that will kill ordinary Fey, he must become mortal. To become mortal, he must have a soul. As with any great quest, he has his loyal frenemy, Puck, and Grim, of course. Some new and very interesting characters are added to the mix, but I won't ruin it by telling you who they are.

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