The Iron Knight (The Iron Fey #4)Hot
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.
This book takes us on the Winter Prince's journey from a faery in the Unseelie Court to the End of the World where he hopes to find his soul and become human. Meghan Chase, the new Iron Queen has exiled him, for his own safety, breaking both their hearts in the process but he promises to find a way to become human and to return to her so they can be together. He sets out on a quest that will change his life in ways he can't imagine. (I was so caught up in this story - it woke me up at night - that I ended up skipping to the last chapter because I HAD TO KNOW what happened to Ash and Meghan and I almost NEVER do that...almost. Once I knew what was up with them, I was able to go back and actually enjoy the rest of the story.)
Puck, Ash's old friend turned archenemies invites himself along which guarantees their journey will be anything but boring. Along the way, Ash is faced with battling old demons, and a future that may not turn out the way he hopes. His frenemy relationship with Puck is put to the test on several occasions and their old vow to kill each other is renewed. Ash's feelings for Meghan will also be questioned.
Grimalkin and the Wolf return to join Ash and Puck and each bring with them varying qualities to aid him along the way. When Ash asks the Wolf why he's there, he keeps reminding him to just include him in the retelling of his journey. He also warns Ash to stay focused on his quest and to be wary of certain distractions. Puck too is helpful in protecting Ash but also keeping him focused on Meghan even at his own expense. Puck loves her too and at different times throughout their journey Ash questions whether or not Meghan would be better off with Puck in the long run. If he does become human he will die but Puck will still stay the same, never aging, like Meghan. Puck also spends a good bit of time reminding Ash of their previous times together which annoys him but is ultimately strengthening their friendship.
The closer they get to the End of the World, Ash and the others are faced with battling their dark "reflections" which is similar to facing our own inner demons. They must work together to overcome many challenges and the loyally that forms, going beyond previously held prejudices is both heartwarming and hilarious at times. (I loved the exchanges between the Wolf and Grimalkin!)
Grimalkin continues to offer guidance in the form of knowing where they're headed, who to speak too and in helping Ash to see the bigger picture. He also does his famous disappearing act when trouble us upon them. When they have reached the End of the World and Ash is being put through his trials by the Guardian, the first of which has him facing all of his past mistakes, which are pretty horrific, he is ready to give up. Faeries don't have consciences and therefore feel no remorse for anything they've done but part of being human is facing what we've done in our past and owning up to it. Ash is so overwhelmed by all the harm he's caused and feels he doesn't deserve to be happy so he considers giving up his quest when Grimalkin offers this advice,
"Do you think your victims care now whether you live or die?" "They do not. And there is no point in obsessing about what cannot be. They are dead and you live. And if you fail this test, nothing changes. The only way to ensure that you do not become what which you despise is to finish the quest you started." "Earn your soul, knight." he called, his gray form fading into the dark. "Prove that you can learn from your mistakes. Only then can you become human."
One of running themes throughout this entire series has been sacrifice, and in some cases, "ultimate" sacrifice and sadly, Ash's journey is no different. The Guardian explains to Ash and his companions what must happen when he says,
"But...something as pure as a soul cannot grow out of nothing. One final sacrifice remains, though it is not yours to make. For a soul to be born within you, a life must be given, freely and without reservation. With this unselfish act, a soul can bloom from the sacrifice of one who loves you. Without it, you will remain empty."
This part of the book is truly heart wrenching for many reasons, mainly because we're so used to seeing Ash put up his icy wall of protection but at this juncture we see him completely broken. (and I thought the end of The Iron Queen was gut wrenching!)
This story is full of action, adventure, love and tough choices - ones that lead to the discovery of what makes one truly human. The ending wasn't exactly what I expected but I was pleased with it.
I would have loved an epilogue showing the future, to see how it compared to the one Ash got a glimpse of when he was with the Guardian but then again, I could read another 4 books dedicated just to Ash, such as, "The Iron Knight - learns how to Bake Cupcakes (I would gladly teach him!), The Iron Knight - learns how to mow the Wyldwoods, The Iron Knight - learns how to drive or The Iron Knight - learns how to Twitter (I'm pretty sure he would break Twitter) :D
There are some fun extras at the end of this book, like a Survival Guide to NeverNever, a Discussion Guide and a fun Q&A with the author and some special guests.
I really loved all the characters in The Iron Knight. All the characters from the prior books and the new ones to the book all really developed in this last installment of the Iron Fey. I do not think there will be a day when Grimalkin will fail to make me laugh and be one of the best characters ever. I love his tagline “I am a cat”. Ash and Puck really developed as characters as well. I loved seeing their friendship grow and also some of their beginnings.
The Iron Knight was definitely an interesting conclusion to the series. I found the story to be very great, but it definitely was not what I was expecting. Julie Kagawa throws so many surprises at readers. Some of the plot was a bit predictable, but it still was a lot of fun. This book takes the characters on all sorts of adventures in places that are completely new, and discovering these places along with the characters was a ton of fun.
This series is so wonderful, with all the books thus far, I simply don’t want to put down it down once I get into it. The Iron Knight was no exception. It took me a bit longer to get into this one, but once I had I simply wanted to read straight through and was annoyed when I had to go to class or work. I am very anxious to hear more from the marvelous Julie Kagawa!
The whole book was written from the perspective of Ash, instead of Meghan's. This gave me a whole new look on Ash his character. In Meghan's eyes he always was this handsome, brave guy who she loves and we never get much more development than that.
The book is about Ash his quest to become human, so he can be with Meghan in the Iron Realm. He is accompanied by Puck, who he has sworn to kill. Those two characters have a great chemistry and their dialogues are hilarious. On their way they meet Ariella, the girl they both loved and thought to be dead. I did not think this character added much to the story. It was clear from the beginning Ash was over her and wanted to be with Meghan, so it did not add any suspense.
The actual trials Ash had to go through to obtain his soul made me a quite depressed and I really expected Ash to quit, especially after the look at his future as human. The ending was a bit too 'and everything was perfect' for my taste. Ash thought he would become human and thus mortal, but it turned out he might actually live forever as a sort of half human half faery. This makes it seem that in the end he did not sacrifice anything to be with Meghan, which defies the whole meaning of Ash' quest.
But apart the few negative aspects of the book, I really liked the new perspective on Ash' character. I always wanted to know some more about him and I found him to be a more interesting narrator than Meghan.
I would definitely recommend the book. It is a good ending to the Iron Fey series.
- Great characters
I think that seeing this side of the story makes Ash seem not as mysterious and dark. You can read how he laughs inside but not out. The winter court makes it's inhabitants coldblooded, but reading the Iron Knight finally reveals the hidden thoughts swirling in Ash's mind. This is a positive in this amazing series, as I would of gotten a bit bored of Meghan in this book, as running a kingdom is not a great deal of fun.
I loved the three trials near the end of the book. It made Ash and myself, think about what he was giving up for Meghan. This ending made you think so hard that it hurt. The choice of love or immortality is a difficult for some people, as sometimes love does not work out. But the final challenge, the one where Ash saw the future, was pretty heart-breaking for me. Reading about how Ash grew old, while everyone else around stayed forever young, was awfully sad. And when he saw Puck and Meghan dancing together, while he watched with a busted up leg was pretty intense. But I loved how Ash did not care about that at the end, as the love for his future family was stronger than being a loner for the rest of forever. I think he must of been an extremely strong character to make that decision.
I think that the journey to the End of the World was a bit repetitive. I think that it was a bit obvious what was going to happen, I think more twists needed to be added before it came up to the Gauntlet part. Also the mirror part in the Gauntlet needed t change. I think that the images should of not attacked so quickly. I think that they should of talked to their twins, seeing their pure selves for longer, before the evil twins attacked.
I reckon that this book was one of the best books in the series. The plot needed a tiny bit more twists, but other than that, it was simply perfect. Read it or the fey may come after you. I have warned you...
We finally got to see that he wasn't the cold, indifferent person the first few books made him out to be. We could see how he laughed on the inside but not the outside, and how he hurt but tried his best not to show it.
I loved how Puck insisted on coming along, this made us finally know that Ash was regretful for having lost his best friend, and it gave them a chance to solve their differences (SPOILER*) Especially when they found Ariella. Poor Ash, he had to choose between Ariella, who was there now, and Meghan, who he just wanted to be with (*END OF SPOILER*)
Not that this had anything to do with the book, but I think Ash should lay off the promise-making. He promised to kill Puck, so he had to, until he found a loophole and didn't have to. Then he promised to find a way to be with Meghan, which means he had to traipse all through the Never never to find a way, even though Ariella was right there (Not that I wanted Ash to be with Ariella)
I loved the three trials at the end of the book. It made both Ash and me think about what he was giving up for Meghan, and if he loved her that much. Love or immortality?
I cried when he was having that flash into the future. I was so sad that Ash was growing and getting old, while Meghan and all the fey were staying eternally young. And then when he saw Puck and Meghan dancing together, and he couldn't because he was old, human and had a busted up leg (he had to use a CANE!!!) that was so sad. It was heartbreaking.
Also, it was good that Puck was there because he was always making jokes, but when Ash was indecisive about who to choose Puck reminded him of his love for Meghan, and her love for him, even though it probably killed him to see his once-best-friend go off with his true love.
I loved Grim and the Big Bad Wolf, that was just perfect and was really funny to read.
This book is definitely 5-5-5. Definitely read it (or read the whole Iron Fey series, if you haven't yet).
Seriously. If you haven't read The Iron Knight and you plan to, don't read this review. It will ruin the entire thing for you. I've never posted a review like this before, but this has been out for awhile, so I figure I'm relatively safe.
The Iron Fey is one of my favorite series. I don't care what anyone says - it always has been. But The Iron Knight . . . I don't even know how I feel about it. Reading things from Ash's POV was amazing, just as I expected. And I loved Puck, and I loved everything they had to go through to make sure Ash got his soul, and I love the way Kagawa portrayed Faery, (or the Nevernever, as it's often called in this series) but Kagawa did something I can't stand.
She basically turned this book into a love triangle. I know that's okay with some people. And I know some people will claim there was already a love triangle between Puck/Meghan/Ash, but I never really saw that as a real love triangle because I always thought it was fairly obvious Meghan would end up with Ash. But in The Iron Knight, with Ariella in the picture . . . Urgh. URGLES. This series has always been so awesome, but then this love triangle just suddenly pops up in the last book.
Most of the time, it felt like Ash wasn't on this journey to be with Meghan. He was just on it because he made a vow, and that vow can't be broken. That angered me to no end. He's determined to get a soul, and then suddenly BAM. Ariella is back and it's like he doesn't even care about Meghan anymore.
And Ariella . . . I can't figure her out. She's one of the most selfless people in the series, but she's also one of the most selfish.
I wish we could have seen more of Kierran. I know Julie Kagawa is doing a spin-off of Ethan's story, but I hope Kierran is involved in that somehow.
And of course, my favorite characters were the talking animals. The banter between Grim and The Big Bad Wolf was a lot of fun to read, and I'm hoping they're somehow involved in the spin-off, too.
Overall: I can't, in good conscious, give this book a rating. There were so many parts I loved about it that make me want to give it 5 stars - Getting to see things from Ash's POV, the awesome way the Nevernever was portrayed. The plot was amazing and kept me guessing the entire time. But the way Ash acted and the sort-of love triangle makes me want to knock way too many stars off the rating - and that wouldn't be fair, because I'm so biased against love triangles these days that I can barely look past them to see the good in a book. Therefore, I refuse to give The Iron Knight a rating.
ecopy of ARC from Netgalley
Ash, the former prince of Winter Court, is now on a journey to fulfill her promise to Meghan to find a way to be by her side. For that to happen, he must gain a soul. But gaining a soul would mean that he will become human, something that has never happened in Faery. He will brace the impossible and the unknown, holding on to his promise and love for the Iron Queen.
This is for me a very emotional book, far more than The Iron Queen (though I bawled with that one). Ash's journey to gain his soul is not easy. Think of it like Prince Ash stripped and bared (not physically y'all) in preparation to be reborn. I cried for Ash and have renewed appreciation for him.
More than his strength, he is challenged in every possible way, including his love for Meghan. To think that love has been tested without even reaching the challenge proper. Don't want to give out spoiler here but his heart will be pulled in every direction.
He is accompanied by his arch nemesis, Puck, whose wit and their banter shows their deep camaraderie. But their fragile friendship will have finally reach its turning point. Will their decades of friendship be enough to outweigh their decades of hatred and regret?
We will also see Puck open up here than we'd ever seen him before. The story will give us an insight in how well he and Ash knows each other and the friendship they have. He might be a prankster, but behind it is Robin Goodfellow who have loved, lost, but is loyal until the end.
Ash will have to accept the darkness within him if he truly wants to keep the love he has found. He will need to come into terms with the grief of his past to move on. And finally, can he accept the sacrifices he will have to make to be mortal? Will his love be enough? Or will he give in to the call of Winter?
The banter between Ash and Puck is amazing and keeps this moving when it could be a bit slow. Add Grimalkin to the mix, and you get a book that I couldn't put down.
There are a few unexpected characters to drop in but by the end I fully appreciated them and they made an impression on me.
I recommend this series highly!
The book starts right where the e-novella Summer’s Crossing ends. Our two Fey boys are off looking for a witch who probably knows the whereabouts of Grimalkin.
As we all know, the Iron Knight is the story of Prince Ash, and is narrated by him. His voice? I would say melancholic. In sharp contrast with the other books in the series, where Ash is basically the Prince Meghan fell in love with, here, we actually get to know the real Ash – his past, most especially. This is his adventure or quest to gain a soul in order to be with the girl he loves.
WHAT THE BOOK IS ABOUT:
** spoilers ** The Iron Queen ended with Ash and Meghan separated. Ash is a soulless faery, and he cannot be with Meghan in the Iron Realm as this would kill him. Driven by love, Ash is determined to find a way to be human. He found out that in order to be one, he has to earn a soul. The thing is, earning one is not exactly easy as killing Redcaps (easy for Ash). He has to travel to the end of the world, undergo trials. With Puck and Grim (and others – trying so hard not to give anything away), he goes through an Indiana Jones-like adventure. I also got the feeling that I was reading Christmas Carol (by Charles Dickens), when the Guardian brought back Ash’s memories. ** spoilers end**
I have to say Puck. His sarcasm and quick wit neutralized Ash’s serious narration of the story. From time to time, I found myself laughing at his lines. I love Puck. I’m going to miss him. I really wish he’ll be present at the spin-off series.
“There is no pass or fail.” That cold, informal tone never changed. “There is only endure. Survive.”
Starting from the Iron King, I fell in love with the series. The world that the author built is amazing to me. I fell in love with characters. Whenever I read Julie Kagawa’s books, I feel like I am part of the book such that I feel what the characters are feeling. Affected, that’s what I am. I have never read a book that could make me feel like that. Only this series. I really don’t want to say goodbye to Ash and Meghan. I guess there will be more re-reading looming in the future. I just hope the spin-off (starring Ethan) is as good.
Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
Indiana Jones (?)
sexual content: moderate
mature themes: mild
age recommendation: 13+