Friday, November 9, 2012

Review: The Iron Knight by Julie Kagawa

"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." 

"Where have you come from, traveler?"
"I have come from the end of the world," said a quiet voice that made my heart stop beating. "From the River of Dreams, through the gantlet and the Briars and the Deep Wyld, in order to stand before you today.  I have but one request-- to take my place at your side.  To resume my duty as your knight, and to protect you and your kingdom for as long as I draw breath."  He raised his head and pushed back the hood, and a gasp went around the throne room.  "I am yours, my queen," Ash said, looking me straight in the eye. "If you'll have me." 

There is rarely a book series that I have read where I loved every single book.  There's Harry Potter, The Mortal Instruments, and then The Iron Fey series amongst the few.  Usually when I read a series that has as many as three books at least one of them flops for me so I was pleasantly surprised when I got through all four books in less than a week with no complaints.   The Iron Knight is an adventure that will have you dying to get to its inevitable, fabulous ending that revivals even the greatest of love story endings.

If The Iron Knight had been written in Meghan's point of view, like all the other books, not only would it have been wrongfully named but it wouldn't have been nearly as good.  Meghan's story had rightfully ended at least for the readers with The Iron Queen but, at least for me, the story still wasn't over for Ash.  I love getting into other characters heads and frankly this was the only way to get to know Ash properly because he's so closed off from other Meghan's point of view.  Ash isn't the cold winter prince that can only show kindness for Meghan that he appears to be in the other books.  He is a very torn person that is bond by words he had spoken in anger and sadness that he had never felt before and there is nothing he can do to take it back.  You learn about his past and his inner feelings that are more dark than you can imagine.  He has an opportunity to turn back time and time again and even has opportunity to rekindle things with his first love but proves to be the man faery we all hoped he was by the end of the book.    

I like that the new characters that are introduced to the story especially The Big Bad Wolf that we all know and love from The Three Little Pigs story or Little Red Riding Hood.  He isn't so big and bad when becomes a friend to Ash and Puck as he accompanies them on there journey to the end of Never Never and even sacrifices his self for the greater good and does his best to refrain from eating Grim.

Throughout the series they mention that faeries exist based on stories being shared of them and those that believe.  So what happens to those that stories are forgotten?  In this book the reader finds out that those particular faeries slowly fade away and don't even remember themselves and eventually disappear.

Julie Kagawa is a resident of Louisville, Ky (got to support the locals!!).  She is a kungfu enthusiast and writer of not only The Iron Fey series but Iron's Prophecy, The Iron Fey: Call of the Forgotten, and Blood of Eden series.


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