Saturday, 20 October 2012

Review: The Iron Knight

"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.

Title: The Iron Knight (The Iron Fey ~ Book 4)
Author: Julie Kagawa
Publication Date: October 26 2011
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
ISBN: 0373210361
Length: 394 Pages
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Buy ItAmazon US / Amazon UK

Source: Purchased (Kindle Edition)
Cover Love: Love it!  How can you not love the ice blue eyes of Ash?
Point of View: 1st person, following Ash

My Rating: 5 Stars

I do not wish to hide this entire review under a spoiler tag so please use this as a warning that if you have not yet read the earlier books in this series, please continue with caution.  And secondly, why have you not yet read the previous books in this series?  I strongly suggest that you do... quickly!

There was no better way to end this series than by letting us inside the head of Ash as he faces his hardest challenges yet.  As he fights his way through the Nevernever to reach the End of the World as he attempts to earn his soul and become human so that he can be with Meghan in the Iron realm.

There is hardly any Meghan in this story but I really didn't find myself missing her.  We know her story and the decisions she has made.  This is all about Ash, his past, his present and his future.

The same cast of characters are along for the adventure... Ash, Puck, Grimalkin, a new face and an old one also come along for the ride.  There are a lot of trials and tribulations that are faced along the way and not everybody makes it out alive...  The world building has continued to be exceptional in this series.  I know quite a bit is pulled from previous fey stories and legends but Kagawa has blended the past and future seamlessly. 

Puck is his same old self, funny, caring and loyal.  I have never hidden my love for Puck and why would I want to?  He is the most amazing character and as much as I have also come to love Ash I do feel for Puck.  He has appeared to have accepted Meghan's decision to be with Ash but you can see there is still hurt there.  Obviously with Puck being Puck I think he will be able to move on, of course at his age this can not be the first time he has been in love and will not be the last. It is obvious that he loves Ash as a friend just as much as he loves Meghan and he does want them to be happy.  I loved that we were able to see Puck and Ash's relationship evolve into something new.  The vow that Ash made to kill Puck long ago was made at a moment of anger and pain.  It has always been apparent that his heart was never in the task.  If Ash really wanted Puck dead I believe it would have been taken care of a long time ago.  It was nice to see them working through their problems.

In order to know what it is to become human, Ash must face his past.  The walls that he has built up over his long life, the damage he has done to others around him, the death he has caused, the heartache... He has not always been a very nice guy.  He also feels what it will be like to have a human body.  His strength and agility will disappear.  He will be able to be at Meghan's side but at what cost?  He is her Knight and has vowed to protect her forever.  When you are mortal the days will add up, unlike when you are fey and time does not matter. 

The choice is difficult and it is one that can not be changed once made.  What will he choose in the end?

I have read a few stories here and there that Kagawa had intended the Iron Fey series to be just the three books.  I would have gone insane if it would have ended after The Iron Queen.  To be honest it would have been hard for me to pick up anything else she wrote because I would have felt there was an empty space that needed filled.  I truly say that The Iron Knight has filled that empty space and I am very happy with the way this series has ended. 

Now with that said, there is a spin off series starting very soon, The Iron Fey: Call of the Forgotten.  There is one final novella that I must read before I can start The Lost Prince but I am very excited to see where this world will be taking me next...

“There is nothing more terrible than a spurned faery queen, particularly if you defy her a second time. I escaped the Winter Court with my life intact, but just barely, and I won't be returning any time soon. My loyalty - and my heart - belongs to another queen now.”

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