Tuesday, November 15, 2011

REVIEW: "The Iron Knight" by Julie Kagawa

TITLE: The Iron Knight
AUTHOR: Julie Kagawa
SERIES: Iron Fey #4
GENRE: Young Adult-Fantasy-Romance
PUBLISHER: Harlequin Teen
READ DATE: November 2011
SOURCE: Book Depository
SUMMARY:  To cold faery prince Ash, love was a weakness for mortals and fools. His own love had died a horrible death, killing 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 faery 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 its end- a quest to find a way to honor his vow to stand by Meghan's side. To survive 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.


Sometimes I find myself hesitant to read the final book in a series.  Usually if I have stuck with a series long enough to reach the end, I have discovered a fondness for the characters, the plot, and the author's writing style.  I have built up great expectations for the conclusion so it is always possible that I am going to be let down.  Thankfully, this did not occur with Julie Kagawa's Iron Fey series which ended with the fabulous The Iron Knight.

In the world of Iron Fey, readers have previously seen Meghan Chase discover her half-fae status, fight against the king of the Iron Fey, prevent a disastrous war, become queen of the Iron Fey, and fall in love with an Unseelie prince.  On the other hand, Prince Ash of the Winter Court had made a vow to protect Meghan at all costs until she released him from his oath in order to save his life.  Due to Ash's Winter Fey background, the Iron Court is poisonous to him and will eventually kill him. 

This brings us to The Iron Knight which is the story of how Ash reacts to his separation from Meghan and how he attempts to become mortal in order to be with her in the Iron Court.  I will admit that I am partially biased to adore this book since Ash is my favorite of the series.  He started out as a stereotypical emo-bad boy, but quickly developed a realistic personality that resonated with me.  And this book takes him to a new level since it is told from Ash's point of view and provides valuable information about his background and his character.  What I really enjoyed was distinctive Ash's voice was which can be difficult for writers.

Another major high point in The Iron Knight is the focus on Ash and Puck's history.  These two were from opposing courts, but managed to become friends centuries before.  Then a tragic incident shattered their relationship and forced them to become legendary rivals.  I found the background of these two to be absolutely tearjerking.  They complement each other so well that it was sad to see their attitudes towards each other change though the adventure in this book seemed .  As a side note, we only got a little bit of Puck's viewpoint in this series, but I found his regret over the "incident" to be as heartbreaking as Ash's. 

Besides the primary characters of Ash and Puck, Kagawa showcases quite a few others in the Iron Fey world.  The ever-mysterious, delightfully snarky Grimalkin continues to provide guidance and commentary throughout the book.  There are also two other surprise characters who pop up to help Ash on his quest and I won't reveal them in order to avoid spoilers, but I really liked how they changed the dynamic of the storyline. 

And because this is an Iron Fey book, readers are provided fabulous details on the world of Faery and its many mysteries.  Ash's journey to become mortal takes him on some familiar and some new places in Kagawa's universe.  I particularly enjoyed the creepy village of the Forgotten and the ominous End of the World. 

The final point I want to make about this book is the message that appeared subtley throughout the earlier books and is prevalent in this one.  In order to be with Meghan, Ash must become mortal and he must understand what it means to be mortal.  This book delves into the mysteries of what makes mortals different from the fey and whether the cons of mortality are worth it.

In conclusion, I found The Iron Knight to be a satisfying conclusion to Meghan and Ash's story.  Both of these characters had to go on a journey in this series and the ending, while unconventional, worked for this couple.  Personally, I would love to see more of this world especially Puck or Grimalkin.  Fabulous series ending, Ms. Kagawa!  Highly recommended!



“Do not be deceived by the the politeness of the fey. Fey are almost always polite. This does not mean they will not happily remove your head.”

“I have come from the End of the World.... From the River of Dreams, through the gauntlet and the Briar and the Deep Wyld, in order to stand before you today. I have but one request - to take my place at your side. To resume my duty as your knight, and to protect you and your kingdom for as long as I draw breath.”


1. The Iron King
2. Winter's Passage (e-novella)
3. The Iron Daughter
4. The Iron Queen
5. Summer's Crossing (e-novella)
6. The Iron Knight



Book Depository Page
Goodreads Page
Author Website
Series Website
My Book Boyfriend: Ash

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