Thursday, July 21, 2011
Iron Knight (Iron Fey # 4) by Julie Kagawa
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.
I'm feeling a mix of sad and satisfied with Iron Knight. With this last one, you can imagine my absolute frustration at having the galley stall for reasons unknown at page sixty, with my agony over having actually read Iron Knight... well, DEVOUR is what comes to mind. Because devour it, I did.
I sort of wish I had not gone through it so quickly though because now I feel understand how that green JFL mascot* feels whenever it wails after each episode, "...It's Over!" But, I am happy. Because now, I see how things go; it's wonderful when one sees beloved characters end up just where they're supposed to.
BTW, Iron Knight = happiness!
In the books prior, my favor went from Ash to Puck then back to Ash again. Ash's attraction was that he was not afraid to be what he was~ a winter Prince, ice cold and confident. Puck's charms lay in his warmth, his humor. Iron Knight brings both of them into focus, and I can't say that I was disappointed especially after watching them work together. While Puck simply could not help himself for even at the peak of battle he'd crack a joke, Ash is precisely the Ash he came to be in Iron Queen: steadfast, with one word and driven. That is until questions surfaced. It was this last thing that complicated matters. Initially, his goal was clear: to get back to Meghan, in a manner not contradictory to his oath, to allow him to be with her. Simple matter? I think not. At least there was help along the way some came as expected, but others cames totally out of the blue. All with their reasons of course.
Some high points:
It's More like boy book, without losing what made the last three books so good... Maybe I'm playing into this is Ash's POV = boy book idea, but IMO, Iron Knight felt more action-packed to me. The scarier parts like Wyld Wood were darker and just a bit more creepy. The various magical creatures were just a tad more viscious. And yet, surprsingly, it also revealed Ash's softer side, his (in)decision and his conflict. So, Ash, Prince-no-more showed he was a boy with a heart after all. *sigh*
Humor. with Puck there, what else did I expect? But I have to point out how much I liked Puck and Ash's cat-dog behavior. Previous books have already shown that they weren't exactly friends; that theirs wasn't an easy alliance. Here, it still wasn't. What's wonderful to see is how that antagonism had them volleying one insult after another, back and forth. And the strange (but doubly funny) part, is how the magical creatures mirrored this relationship. So, on one hand there's Ash-Puck; on the other, there's Grimalkin-Big Bad Wolf.
Twists There are so many things unexpected that take place, bbut there's that one twist~ that darned twist~ that I had no idea was coming!
The best part of it all: knowing a bit more of Puck and Ash's history, what they were and how they came to be the way they were, and despite all that... they still worked together.
THANK YOU Netgalley!
*And here's the JFL mascot in sucky video demonstrating how I feel right now.