The Iron Knight
Author: Julie Kagawa
Pages: [paperback] 361
“Geez, you guys. I know I’m popular and all, but seriously, you’re a bit too co-dependent for me. I’m going to need you to step away from my personal bubble.” A wispy vine-woman curled ivy tendrils around his arm, and he sliced through them with his dagger. “No! Bad Wraith! No touchie!”
puck & grimalkin
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.
I think that about sums up all of my love, frustration, and Team Puck-ness for this fourth and final installment of the Iron Fey series. Or maybe it’s just a bunch of random letters.
I first fell in love with Julie Kagawa’s characters all the way back in 2010 . . . Okay, not so long ago, but that’s nearly two years of anxiously wanting to get my hands on each installment and devouring them as fast as possible, then still wanting more. While I was disappointed to learn that this wouldn’t be from Meghan’s point of view, as it’s all about Ash’s journey and wouldn’t really make sense any other way, I liked it more than I thought I would. (Possibly because Puck was in nearly the entire thing. But I won’t let my review be partial to him . . . much. ;) )
Filled with the humor, suspense, romance, and action that I’ve become accustomed to in the Iron books, The Iron Knight is equal parts thrilling and nerve-wracking. The world Ash lives in isn’t the safest place to roam in, and more than once I was convinced they would all end up dead, stuck somewhere, and the rest of the book would be empty pages, to fool everyone. Maybe that was just paranoia. But that would be a good, unexpected tactic to use . . .
One thing that I didn’t like about it was how some parts-and I can’t point them out specifically without being spoilery-seemed to drag on longer than I thought necessary, while others were rushed over or plainly summarized when I thought they could have used more explaining. At one point, I knew what was happening and wanted to know what would happen next, but was stuck in a writing-rut for a while to get to where I wanted to go. And I’m glad that, picky as this is, it’s the only thing I can think to complain about in this finale.
The characters were, as always, awesome. (And not just Puck. I swear.) Ash the stoic, brave knight he needed to be; Grimalkin, the cunning and ever-clever cat; even the Big Bad Wolf was exactly how I’d picture he would be, did he exist as a manifestation of his many incarnations.
I love Julie Kagawa’s writing style, and can’t wait to read more by her. Now that this is over. That’s painful to type. But, good news on the horizon! I heard she’s at work on a new series, this one about vampires. Not sure about that transition, but I’m definitely reading it. Bring it on!
A STUNNING CONCLUSION. 4.5/5 stars