Friday, 5 August 2011

Review: The Iron Knight by Julie Kagawa

The Iron Knight (Iron Fey #4) by Julie Kagawa
Publisher: HarlequinTEEN
Released: October 25th 2011
My Rating: 5 stars out of 5
Find it on Goodreads

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.
(from Goodreads)

The Iron Knight was, in my opinion, the best possible conclusion to the Iron Fey series. I loved everything about it – being inside Ash’s head was so enlightening and so different; we got to see a side of the Ice Prince that I don’t think many people had ever seen before – not the Winter Court, not Puck and not even Meghan. Ash was such a complex character; he loved Meghan, but he was constantly plagued by guilt and anger and vengeance, and he tended to overthink everything. Sometimes parts of this book were so hard to read because it was clear that Ash was suffering, and going through agony recalling memories of days he wished that he could forget. And when he made a startling discovery, things got even harder and even more painful for him; I just couldn’t help but feel sorry for him. I loved his character and just wanted him to be happy! I have to admit, there were a few scenes, especially towards the end, that were particularly moving, and I did get a bit teary eyed at certain points.

One thing about seeing things from Ash’s point of view that I enjoyed was that we got to experience more of his humour. In the previous books, Ash seemed quite cold and serious, but he was actually pretty funny, and I loved reading about him, especially his frustrated thoughts which were aimed mostly at Puck. I also loved reading about his past, and his regrets, and I felt that we really got to know Ash in this one, which made me love him even more. I’ve always been Team Ash, since the beginning, but I felt we got to see a much more vulnerable prince in this book, and it made me realise just how much he loved Meghan and the lengths he was willing to go through to be with her once more. Seeing him go through such awful trials in such a desperate state was very emotional, and I think Kagawa captured his pain and hurt perfectly.

Of course, this book would not have been the same without everyone’s favourite prankster, Puck. I really adored Puck in this book – he helped keep things cheery even in the darkest of situations; he made me laugh but also made me think a lot about the situation both he and Ash were in, and I couldn’t help but imagine if I’d be able to cope if I were in either one of their shoes. Puck also seemed to know a lot about what Ash was going through, and in his own, cheeky and annoying way, he was there for him. It was like we were almost seeing the old Puck and Ash, the way they used to be before Ariella died all those years ago. I think we also got to see a hint of what I like to call “Wise Puck” – the Puck that had been around for hundreds of years, the faery who had experienced so many things, and was wise and knowledgeable from his years spent alive.

However, my favourite character had to be Grimalkin, the cait sith. Grimalkin was his usual all-knowing self in The Iron Knight and was always offering help in the obscurest of ways. He collected favours and made some hilarious comments (mostly insults), but he also seemed quite determined to aid Ash in this one, and I think the mystery that surrounded him in the previous books fell back a little, which was definitely interesting. I loved him just as much though, and his trademark “I am a cat” line has never failed to make me smile.

The one thing about The Iron Knight that was really different from the other three books was the absence of Meghan. I actually really missed her, but I think this further emphasised Ash’s feelings, because if we as readers were missing her, then Ash must have been in torture being parted from her for so long. There was also a bit more fighting in this one, which I personally enjoyed, and a few more twists and turns - a few of which I guessed and yet STILL managed to leave my jaw hanging open.

Overall, The Iron Knight was an amazing book and a brilliant end to one of my favourite series. If you haven’t read The Iron Fey series yet, I strongly recommend you pick up a copy of The Iron King right now, and if you have read the series, The Iron Knight is an absolute must read. You will not be disappointed.

6 comments:

  1. Damnit Liz. Why are you so persuasive? Why are making me want to drop all my other reads and dive back into this series?! Stop being so tempting! This really does sound awesome and I'm quite intrigued to see more of Ash, since he has such as strong following ;) So glad it was a perfect ending to the series for you!

    ReplyDelete
  2. It was pretty perfect, wasn't it?

    I loved how close we got to Ash in the sequel. His thoughts and feelings were heartbreaking but, at the same time, it was wonderful to experience a different side of him (I KNOW, RIGHT? Ash, funny? HUH.)

    I was really surprised by how much I missed Meghan... it's weird because I didn't think I even liked her THAT much (although she definitely had her moments!). Poor Ash. And Puck. Grim, you rock.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Great review! I love this series and I can't wait to read The Iron Knight. Your review made me even more excited to read it :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. awesome review! this one is definitely my fave cover of the series.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I can't wait to read this already! I have it on my Nook, waiting for me to start it. :) Glad to hear you enjoyed it!

    ReplyDelete
  6. What do you mean, the absence of Meghan? She wasn't in the book? Huh? Isn't this the final book in the series? So, we should have Ash-and-Meghan moments right?

    ReplyDelete

Comments are better than frosted cupcakes :)