Thursday, March 15, 2012

Book Review: The Iron Knight

Book being reviewed: The Iron Knight
Author: Julie Kagawa
I give this book:
4 out of 5 owls.

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.

Another huge win for Julie Kagawa and her The Iron King series!  This book was angsty, tragic, beautiful, all read from within Ash's POV, and, of course, it kept me mostly entranced from beginning to end.  Speaking of the end, I LOVED the way Ash revealed himself to Meghan.  I figured they would reunite at some point, and when they finally did, holy toledo did I ever have butterflies in my stomach!  I know I've said it before, but I'll say it again: Meghan and Ash's is an undeniably sweet and true love.

Did you ever notice how multiple enemies throughout the books turn out to be a trusty side-kick to Ash or Meghan?  The Big Bad Wolf must have been my favorite in The Iron Knight.  Just like Ironhorse, he was definitely a scary character at first.  Well, he was scary for most of the book, but then at the end he sort of grew on you.  I don't know if it was the fact that he was willing to sacrifice himself in order to save Ash just as Ironhorse did for Meghan, or the fact that he finally softened some in the end.  Somehow, it just happened.  The Big Bad Wolf's constant banter with Grimlakin was also quite entertaining.  I personally think they don't hate each other as much as they let on.

While we're on the subject of Grimlakin, what is his deal?!  I honestly assumed that we'd find out more about what's going on behind the cat, what's made him the way he is?  Or at least the reason why he seems to know every-darn-thing under the sun.  That cat is too smart for his own good and I think he knows it.

As far as an aspect of the book I didn't particularly like, but I also knew it was a key point in the story, was when Ash was tested in the end of his journey in gaining a soul and saw what his life would be like as a human.  As I've said, I totally understand why he had to see this, but it was long and drawn out.  Maybe it was because I began to pity Ash.  I pitied him because of what he potentially would one day become and how weak he possibly might be.  It was truthfully hard to comprehend, seeing as I've always viewed him as such a strong character.  Regardless of this insight into my brain, it didn't end that way.  And for the record, I'm glad of it.

There's no mistaking the possibility of me going on and on forever about The Iron King books, I honestly could.  This beautiful and imaginative Faery world kept me entranced and pining for more.  I figured, however, that I've gotten most of those adamant thoughts and opinions that were bursting to come out while reading the books.  So I'm satisfied... for now. ;)

So, fellow bookworms, pick up a copy of The Iron King if you haven't already.  You won't regret it.  And if you already have, then you were way ahead of me.  Kudos to you.

Spreading the Team Ash love,

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