Hey Blogger Buds,
If you know how to read, you should read The Iron Fey original trilogy just so you can read The Iron Knight. I was completely blown away. This book was just...amazing. Gut-wrenching. Heart-twisting. To DIE for.
*I kept the review 100% spoiler free, so if you're new to the series you can still read this review. But, if you're new to the series, WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?
Linkage here on the blog:
Letter To Puck (minor spoiler of The Iron Queen)
Fanfiction (minor spoiler of The Iron Queen)
Analysis of the Iron Knight cover (yes, I'm obsessed)
Blurby (blacked out for spoilers):
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.
I'm dividing this review up into parts. like I did for The Iron Queen.
But first, there was one part that I hated:
Ash almost convinced me to switch away from Team Puck. Almost.
Ash is...amazing. Getting into his head is absolutely wonderful, and you really get to know him. His hopes, his dreams, his past. It's...astounding. He's such a fabulous character, so complex and swoon-worthy and...I don't know how to finish that sentence. His inner struggles are even harder and more trying that his physical ones, but they just make you love him more.
Puck will always be my number one book boyfriend. He wasn't portrayed as...kindly...in this book as in the original three, but that is, of course, all about the main character's perception. (And Ash really viewed him differently in this book. But more on that in a minute.) At one point, you get a glimpse at Puck's true nature, and it's bone-chilling, to make a huge understatement. That one scene gives you so much insight into the laughing prankster. And Potential. It makes you appreciate his jokes and carefree attitude even more.
Grim has always been my least favorite character. I've had an intense dislike for him since Meghan fell upon him in The Iron King. He just...irks me. In the end, you get a little insight into him, which is, surprisingly, not completely unpleasant.
Others: There were several other key character that I'm going to avoid mentioning for fear of spoileriness, but they're fantastic.
Plot and Setting:
It's very hard to analyze this plot without spoiling anything, but it was so original. I never appreciated Julie Kagawa's genius until this book. There's just so much that's to die for. There are no slow moments, only plot twist after plot twist. And everything makes perfect sense. This book is a work of art.
The setting was also ingenious. I don't know how Kagawa does it, but she puts you in the wyldwood, right beside Ash and co. You see everything they see, experience everything they experience. And man, what an experience that is. It's like you're there.
(Imaginary conversation between me and a friend:
Me: So what did you do over the weekend?
Friend: Hung out, went shopping, the usual. What about you? Did you do anything?
Me: Oh, not much. I just went for a little trip into Fairyland.
It's just amazing. Julie is a fabulous writer. You feel along with the characters. When they laugh, you smile. When they cry, you wipe away tears. You can't stop it. You're just one of the group.
Sorry. Just wanted to squee on this for a second. So. Gorgeous. And also, once you've finished the book, the little tagline on the cover makes perfect sense, more than you would think pre-read. "Soulless. Banished. But never forgotten."
It's tragic. That's all there is to say. One part I loved: A flashback to a scene mentioned in The Iron Queen. I actually wrote my own interpretation of that scene, and posted it on the blog a few months back. Nothing like the official story, Julie's, of course.
The End of the Book and Series:
This series was beyond amazing. I can't get over it.
One problem: The closing scene is focused on Grimalkin, the cait sith. I didn't understand at first, but I just now reread it, I got it. And it makes me really happy. It's the absolute perfect end for the series.
I can't think of any way these books could have gotten better. This series was perfect. (Oh, okay. It could have used more Puck. You can never have too much Puck.)
I had to save this part for last. The two key characters have this bizarre connection, this history. Their relationship is a tenuous one, with Ash's vow to kill Puck, and the trickster's determination to annoy the winter prince as much as possible. But you can see, through it all, that there's a bond. It's just been worn away at, until it's just one nearly-invisible thread. And theirs is a relationship that takes a long time to rebuild.
|Drawn by Julie|
You can see the ghosts of their past everywhere, often in Puck's references to previous adventures, which I absolutely loved.
One thing that stood out clearly: The names they used for each other. Puck often called Ash "ice-boy." Ash, meanwhile, simply referred to him as "Robin Goodfellow" or just "Goodfellow," if he addressed him by name at all.
My favorite Ash-Puck scenes may have been when they were annoying the H-E-double-toothpicks out of each other, but, in close second, was when they used names. There were no scenes more tender, more emotional in this book (in a guy-love way, of course) than when they called each other "Ash" and "Puck" respectively. Those moments pulled my heart strings, and I wanted to wrap them both up in a huge hug. And try to avoid the pointy things jabbed at me.
Best. Bromance. Ever.
TEN STARS. Read this. NOW.
What did you think of The Iron Knight? Of the whole series? Are you sad to see the end? I definitely am. What did you think of Ash and Puck's bromance? Do tell.
Peace and happy fey,