Author: Julie Kagawa
Series: The Iron Fey #4
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Release Date: October 26, 2011
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Bookdepository
Read from November 5 to 11, 2012
Summary: 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 will be with her again, or I will die. There aren't any other options.
I finished the previous book, The Iron Queen, with so great a satisfaction that I expected nothing less from this follow-up, but after pages and pages of adventure and mysteries and secrets, I ended up disappointed. This is not to say that The Iron Knight is a bad book, only it just didn't live up to its three predecessors, and is in my opinion the most mediocre one out of the four.
In this book, Ash sets out on a dangerous journey to the End of the World in order to earn a human soul, as it is the only way he can be with Meghan in the Iron realm without eventually dying from Iron. Ash isn't alone in this quest; there are the usuals—Puck and Grimalkin—and other two surprising characters accompanying him and seeing him through to the end. They follow a very dangerous path into the strangest and darkest parts of the Nevernever where it is said those who have gone in there have never come back.
As much as I love Ash, I didn't find the narration via his POV to be very satisfying. There were more than a dozen times when I felt like this book was written in the third person POV rather than Ash's, because if he's voicing the story, I didn't hear it. Only in some chapters did I really get into his head. Any other times it just felt like I'm reading dialogues. And I would doze off and then not pick up the book until another day came. In all honesty, I would say that I enjoyed Meghan's storytelling far more than Ash's.
When I neared the end of the book, I was praying so hard that Ash would change his mind. I was never one to compromise my identity, who I am, for someone else, so that's why I didn't completely agree with the journey he takes on. I didn't find his quest romantic, instead I found it stupid. Stupid, stupid, stupid Ash. But what can I say? Love makes you blind, right? His undying love for Meghan didn't touch me quite as deeply as the sacrifices made for him, and the friendship offered to him by other characters. When Ash lives the future in his head, I felt his sadness and I hoped he would turn his back. A Winter Prince—invincible, immortal—wants to become a weak mortal for his love? I just couldn't grasp it. Why not wish for an immunity against iron instead? That would make much more sense.
The part that I hate the most is when it's one of those weird moments again when I don't like a book as much as everybody else. Every one of my GR friends who have read this all gave it 5 stars. Let me repeat, all of them gave The Iron Knight five stars. And when I finished the book, I was sitting there and all, "Really? Is that it?" and feeling very very very underwhelmed. My feeling and enjoyment while reading this have been sadly rather static in a pretty mediocre level. It felt almost as tedious as household chores. And I hate that because I feel like I missed out on something that nobody missed that could have added two more stars to this rating, or could have made me love this book with all I had. Which obviously didn't happen.
On the whole, I'm happy with the way things turn out. Meghan and Ash get what they deserve in the end. In the past month I've been reading the whole Iron Fey series, and it has given me so much joy. Naturally, I felt sad that I had to let these characters go. I've grown to love them a lot. And I will terribly miss them.
This review is also posted on Goodreads.
This review is also posted on Goodreads.