Format: eGalley (courtesy of Netgalley)
Genre: Urban Romance, Young Adult
Publication Date: 10.25.2011
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've been waiting to post this review for so long! I didn't want to have it up too far away from the release date, but now I can finally post it!
The first thing I'm going to say, is that you REALLY don't want to read any spoilers for this book. If you see a spoiler warning somewhere on the internet I urge you to look away, and do it quick. In fact, be very careful, because a lot of the reviews I read didn't have any spoiler warning before they blabbed The Iron Knight's best secrets (*cough* spoilery Goodreads reviewers *cough*). You don't want to be spoiled for the surprises that await you in this book!
So once again, Julie Kagawa proves that she can weave an intricate and emotional tale. Events from the very first book, all the way through the third book, come into play in surprising ways. One of the things I admire about JK, is her ability to write these harrowing emotions out on paper. She can really get into her characters' minds, and see what's in there. She also has a knack for taking legends and bringing them to life in her books.
Being from Ash's point of view, we get a first class seat through his inner turmoil. Remember when we didn't know a lot about Ash? Well, that isn't true after this book. This is a hugely personal journey for Ash, and he is given an impressive character arc. Fans of Puck won't feel left out, either. This is full of Puck's best moments, complete with his signature clueless--but hilarious--actions.
Other characters included in this story are fantastic. Some surprising characters join them on their journey (can't tell you who, though), and they add a great dynamic to the group. I love the parallel of Ash and Puck's centuries of feuding, to Grim and his arch nemesis (oh yes). Their interaction was comical at times and intense at others. It is definitely my favorite team up of all the books.
Now why did I only give this a 99.4 rating? For one thing, some of the trials were things that are overdone, and they didn't seem nearly as dangerous (at least to me) as they were made out to be. It could be argued that the trials were chosen because that's where the legends of these trials came from. But I was just expecting, well...more.
For another thing, there were a couple times in the book where the story changed to other tales, and I found myself bored. I can't say when or why this happens, but when you read it you'll know what I'm talking about. The events were necessary, but the way they happened took me out of the story and it lost some of its urgency.
All-in-all, this is a fantastic story. Not as good as The Iron Queen, but definitely great. And it is by far the darkest, and the most emotionally ravaging. I have never been more torn as a reader; I truly felt sorry for Ash.
...you are a fan of the series, you like danger and adventure, and you're not afraid of the big, bad, wolf.
*This section may contain some spoilers about content!*
Other Books in the Series: