The Iron Knight (Iron Fey #4)

The Iron KnightBy Julie Kagawa

Publisher: Harlequin
Publication Date: October 25, 2011
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Source: Netgalley

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…

Goodreads Summary

Cait and I are both doing reviews for The Iron Knight since both of us read it and loved it.  Our reviews will contain some necessary spoilers for the Iron Fey series, especially the last book, The Iron Queen.                              ~Barbara

I dragged my feet big time about reading this series. Everyone raved about them, and it wasn’t until the first three books were already out before I sucked it up and gave it a try. Out of all the magical creatures authors can write about, Fey are my least favorite. And since this whole series is about the Fey, I didn’t know if I could be won over.

I really need to stop making assumptions. I read all three books in a matter of days and I was livid when I reached the end of The Iron Queen. I was so upset that we’d gone through all of that for them to be separated, with no sort of resolution in sight. Then I found out she was writing a fourth one and I calmed down. So thanks to Barbara for letting me hone in on her review, since I was a little trigger happy when this popped up on Netgalley. I just couldn’t wait.

The Iron Knight is all about the journey. Ash’s actual journey through NeverNever, as well as his mental and emotional journey to figure out if he even wanted to fulfill his vow in the first place. I know he loved Meghan, but I never felt like he fully recovered from losing his first love. I always felt like Meghan was his second choice, because his first choice wasn’t there. I thought it was good for him to get away from Meghan and gain some perspective. Someone pretty major pops up from Puck and Ash’s past (prompting a major panic attack on my part), which forces Ash think hard about what he wants. Nothing was easy for Ash, and there were several times I wanted to yank him out of the story, wrap him in a big hug and keep him safe. The trials he had to go through at the end of the book were brutal, and I admit I might have cried a bit.

The writing and descriptions of NeverNever were brilliant, as usual. Julie Kagawa has such a way with words and I admire her ability to bring such detail to her settings. She has quite the imagination, and being in her head must be a trip.

My poor, dear Puck. He always seems to get the shaft. I hope that Kagawa gives him his own series so that he can have his happily ever after. He was one of my favorite parts about the whole series, and I hate that after all he did for Ash and Meghan, he left empty handed.

My Summary: I desperately want to say more, but I can’t because of the potential spoilers. Sigh. I loved, loved, loved Ash’s story and how Kagawa brought everything together and made it believable. While I missed Meghan in this book, I honestly can’t think of any better ending to the series. Ash needed his own book, and Kagawa delivered it. It was an emotional read for me, and I thoroughly enjoyed every single word.

~Cait

 

When the last book ended, in order to save NeverNever, Meghan chose to become The Iron Queen. Because no fey can survive in the Iron Realm, Ash was forced to leave but before he did, he swore that he would find a way to come back to her. To do that, he has to journey to the end of the world, lose his immortality and gain a soul. Puck invites himself along for the trip and as usual, Grimalkin is there to lead the way with his usual cryptic directions.

Ash narrates and Kagawa perfectly captures the sort of tense, driven and newly introspective man I imagined him to be. He never seemed to know what to do with all the emotions he had – anger won out usually since Puck was around so much. By the time Ash runs the gauntlet at the end of the world, it’s almost impossible to believe this is the same sort of monotone character from The Iron Daughter. He’s truly become a hero, a champion worth Meghan – and worth all those Team Ash fan groups. 😉

Kagawa is going to break my heart one of these days with Puck. I know Ash has to end up with Meghan, but Puck has never wavered from her either and in spite of Ash’s oath to kill him for an event in their past, he’s never backed away from his side either. He’s the glue that holds this group together as they make their dangerous journey and the one who smacks Ash back into sense a few times. After each book I cross my fingers that this funny, sweet and loyal hero will get his own book some day – I still have my fingers crossed.

I love Ash and Puck, but I did feel the lack of Meghan’s presence. Maybe it wouldn’t have bothered me so much if Ash’s doubts about his choice hadn’t gone on as long as they did. Someone from Ash and Puck’s past showed up and clouded his head – with Meghan absent, it made me question whether or not Ash was that devoted to her for a while. Just once, I almost thought Puck deserved her a little more for some of the things he said.

I completely fell in love with NeverNever in The Iron Daughter but thought the next books weren’t quite as descriptive and lost a little of the magic. I think this book blew the first one out of the water – maybe it’s that I already have the world set in my head, but I slid right into NeverNever with Ash and he took me on a wild ride. There’s still some crazy Willy Wonka on steroids stuff, but throw in some mythology, fairy tales, Indiana Jones, Brothers Grimm, maybe a little Wizard of Oz and you have the beginnings of how many imaginative elements are floating around – and they all work so beautifully together.

My Summary: Yes, you have to read all of the books to get the impact of this book and you do have to read them in order but they are completely worth it. A rousing adventure with the hero in search of his soul is a fittingly romantic end for one of my favorite fantasy couples in a world I won’t forget. The author has an upcoming spin-off series and you can bet that I’ll be preordering.

My Rating: A

~Barbara

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Comments

  1. Great reviews. I thought that The Iron Knight would be better having read the whole series, but I thought that it would be understood alone as well. That could be because I read all of the series recently, rather than when they came out. You are welcome to add a link to your review in the linky at the bottom of my Iron Knight review. My way of helping my readers find other cool blogs and reviews for books that they are interested in.

  2. Hi Stephanie! I loved your review. 🙂 Speaking just for me, I just thought the impact of Ash and Meghan's relationship and the way it (and Ash) evolved needed all of the books to really be felt. I did read at least The Iron Daughter a little while ago, so you're right, that could factor into it. Dang, now you're making me want to go reread them all!Thank you for letting me link up at your site!

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