Title: The Iron Knight
Author: Julie Kagawa
Series: The Iron Fey #4
Rating: 2.5 / 5
“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.
WARNING: Here be spoilers! Even more spoilers. A lot of spoilers. Maybe.
The most disappointing of the series. I was hoping for a more intriguing tale in Ash’s journey to get his soul, but instead what I got was, well, pretty standard faire for epic journey to get to point B stories. Lots and lots of travelling, oh and some stuff happened in between.
Truthfully, I had seen some ratings and reviews from people I follow on goodreads that claimed this one was the best of the series. So, of course, I went into it extremely pumped. I was expecting something totally epic, especially since I had liked The Iron Queen so much. Unfortunately, The Iron Knight didn’t quite deliver for me. So much so, that I asked myself a couple times if I wasn’t reading a different book.
I really, really wanted to be impressed. Instead, I found Ash wavering between his old love and his current love, Puck making weird pop-culture references, and OMG Ariella is back from the dead. Or she was never dead. Or something.
Anyway, Ash wavers very much back and forth between his love for Ariella, the Girl Who Was Dead, and Meghan, the Girl Who Is Now Queen of the Iron Fey. There’s a moment where Ash even admits that he wishes Ariella had never “died”, but then realizes why it had happened, no matter how much he wishes it differently, and my hope died a little for Ash. It’s all nice and stuff that he realizes that things can’t change, what’s done is done, etc etc., but truthfully, he shouldn’t have thought it at all. He has Meghan now. At least, the whole point of his trip is to make sure he has Meghan. Oh, Ash. (I seemed to be thinking this a lot during the series.)
Really, the wavering and the fact that Ash seemed to need to remind himself so often that he was doing this entire thing for Meghan was really off-putting. Ariella seemed to either be testing him, or she really didn’t want him to succeed at his quest. And I really, really didn’t like her.
As always Grimalkin was awesome, and Puck was, well, he was Puck. And really, they were this book’s saving grace, because I think I’d have put it down and moved on if it wasn’t for them. Also, the Wolf, because I was greatly entertained with the banter between him and Grim.
Reading things from Ash’s point of view was a big change, too. I wasn’t sure I liked it at first. Turned out it wasn’t that bad, and was actually pretty convincing. Sometimes female authors try to do a male point of view and it just doesn’t work, but for me, Kagawa’s ‘Ash’ voice worked just fine.
A second read-through made the book a little more tolerable, but it was nowhere near as good as I had initially wanted it to be. Which, all in all, is unfortunate, because I really wanted to like this. I really, really did. I’m hoping that the next book in the series, which picks up with Meghan’s brother, is better.