The Iron Knight
(Iron Fey #4)
by Julie Kagawa
Published 2011 by Harlequin
386 pages. Paperback.
My name- my True Name- is Ashallyn’darkmyr Tallyn. I am the last remaining song 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 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 faery 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 its end- a quest to find a way to honor his vow to stand by Meghan’s side.
To survive 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.
Okay, it’s more like 4.5 out of 5. I had a tiny bit of trouble with my rating. By the end, I really wanted to give it five stars because I was still on a book high, but I’ve let it stew for a little while before I wrote the review. I had to remind myself how I felt in the first two hundred or so pages. A little bored. Not completely! There was some nice dialogue and few surprises that were interesting, but I did keep thinking “okay, kill the monster/evil creature(s) and get on with it.” When they got to temple at The End of the World things really picked up, which is around page 200. I can’t really explain why I wasn’t totally enjoying it until then. I think Meghan (the entire reason he was doing this) seemed so distant.
Putting aside that minor set back, I LOVED this book. It was the perfect end to a really wonderful series. Some of my favorite characters were back and they brought along their witty conversation. I just love Grim. There’s nothing like a smart ass cat to pull everything together. Seriously, cats make the best characters sometimes. And Puck, dear Puck. He needs his own book or something. We’ve seen a little of his serious side before, but he really opened up a few times in this book. He’s not always tricks and games. He’s just as complex as Ash.
Oh, Ashallyn’darkmyr Tallyn! I feel like I never knew you. Not really. I read the previous books thinking “Yay! Forbidden romance!” I thought it was just adorable how Meghan Chase warmed your icy heart and made you see what kind of man you could be. But I didn’t understand. No, no! I never knew your past or what you could become: the cold-hearted version of yourself, as far from human as a fey can get. It would be so easy. But, no! You are true to your word and your heart! You will go to the End of the World (quite literally) and face trials that will break you just for love. This is my ode to you, Ash. You are truly the romantic hero.
Okay, seriously, Ash is awesome. In the last half of the book I turned from bored into excited/scared/in love/excited again/scared again and so on. It was an emotional ride, and I had to keep myself from tearing a a couple of times. No crying at work, no crying at work, no crying at work. It was mostly due to the final trials Ash faces. I had my mind made up ahead of time about them, and I was SO wrong. The trials were way more appropriate than I was expecting. It wasn’t a bunch of feats of strength or power. They were lessons. They helped Ash understand what it means to be human. Which is way harder than it looks apparently. It made me feel proud of myself… you know, for being human and stuff.
Well, that’s more like a bunch of babbling than a book review. The point is that the book was amazing, even though I had some trouble getting into it. It was worth it. I recommend this series!