Title: The Iron Knight (The Iron Fey #4)
Author: Julie Kagawa
Publisher: Harlequin Releases Oct. 25, 2011
Genre: YA Fantasy
Rating: 4/5 stars
Reading Challenges: Fantasy; 2011 - Hot Off the Presses
How I Got It: NetGalley! (my first one)
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.
My first ever book from NetGalley and it's one that I have definitely been looking forward to. I read the first three Iron Fey books last month and loved them. Great characters. Great stories. Great setting. I was glad to see the conclusion of the story with Ash's adventure.
The Good (and the Great)
Puck, Grim, and... introducing The Big Bad Wolf! Grimalkin was my absolute fave from the first three books and he continues to be amazing in this one. I love his little riddles and comments. We all know he knows more than he's telling, but we have to wait until the last moment to see what he means. Puck is always a great character. I am completely on Team Puck and you'll never change my mind. Although I wonder if he would have been able to pass the trials to gain a soul. Oh well, still a great character. The BBW was a great addition to the party, adding a foil for Grim and an uneasy companion for Ash and Puck. I love seeing the legend up close and personal. Great choice!
Most of the story was fast-paced and intriguing. The search, the briars, the River of Dreams, the gauntlet, and finally the Testing Grounds were beautifully crafted settings within the action. I could see each on in my mind and let me tell you some of them, like the River of Dreams, Nightmare section, were downright scary! The story started fast and ended fast, just like it should with a book like this.
Ash's third trial at the Testing Grounds tried my patience. I knew what the third trial would be from the opening paragraph of that chapter. I thought, "Makes sense, now let's see the result." However the trial went on and on and on and on.... I thought it would never end. Around 50 pages later, we finally get the conclusion. My copy was ~360 pages long. I think Kawaga could have told that story in ~300.
Loved it! I only knocked off 1/2 star because of my annoyance at the third trial. But this book is definitely a must read! I think Faeries might be my new favorite subject! (At least if the rest are anything like Puck! hee hee)
By the way, I read on Julie Kawaga's blog that she's planning a second Iron Fey series for next year staring an older Ethan Chase! Putting that on my TBR list.
The Iron Fey