My name—my True Name—is Ashallayn’darkmyr Tallyn.
I am the last remaining son of Mab, Queen of the Unseelie Court. And I am dead to her.
My fall began, as many stories do, with a girl…
The fourth book in the Iron Fey series is easily my favorite and I’m sure I won’t be alone in thinking that. At the end of the third book, Meghan banished Ash from the Iron Realm, knowing he would stay by her side despite how harmful living in the Iron Realm would be to his health. But before he left, Ash made an oath that he would find a way to be with her. The Iron Knight tells the story of Ash’s journey to find a soul — to become mortal and therefore immune to the effects on iron. Of course, he doesn’t embark on such a perilous mission alone; he has Grim and Puck, as well as a couple other surprising companions they meet along the way.
At first, I was a fan of the Iron Fey series. But by the third book, I read reluctantly and slowly, putting the book down for long stretches of time before returning to it. Meghan’s character began to wear on me, but at the same time, I needed an end to her and Ash’s story, so I happily reached for the fourth book. Despite the length, I flew through the conclusion to the Iron Fey series.In my opinion, writing a book from Ash’s point of view is the best idea Julie Kagawa could have for this series. Being in Meghan’s mind grew so annoying, but reading the story from Ash’s point of view is fresh, enjoyable, and exciting. Not only that, but a majority of the book is free of Meghan’s whining voice, and instead filled with my favorite character, Puck. Without Meghan around, Ash becomes a much lighter, carefree individual and we finally get to see the close friendship between Puck and Ash reemerge. And because Meghan wasn’t around too often to annoy, the scenes she did spend with Ash were sweet and heartwarming. Less tears, more determination.
The Iron Knight is also full of non-stop action, but there are more intellectual puzzles in addition to constant battles. Kagawa delivers surprise after surprise, leaving the reader in a constant state of agonizing suspense. I tried and mostly failed to predict what would happen next, which filled me with an odd sense of elation due to the depressing nature of most of my predictions. Some aspects of the journey and of Ash’s trials do seem a little cliche, but not so much so that they distract from the plot at all. For the most part, the conflicts and plot twists are incredibly unique and intricate. Just reading Iron Knight is an emotional roller coaster almost as harrowing as Ash’s — and he has to live through all these crazy events!
The only problems I had with this book are the same ones I had in the previous three. First, overuse of the word “writhing” — it must be Kagawa’s favorite verb. Also, the characters all formally address each other too often to be believable. Every sentence seems to contain some variation of a moniker: Prince/Little Prince/Ice Boy/Winter Prince, Puck/Goodfellow/Robin Goodfellow, Grim/Cat. Especially when it came to Ash, I wanted to shake every person that insisted on calling him “Prince of the Winter Court” in every sentence of speech. So unnecessary. But these are things that, after reading the first three books in the series, I’ve come to accept. And while a majority of the second half of this book left me bewildered and perplexed, internally protesting in outrage, I believe that was Kagawa’s intent and I’m glad she could inspire such a strong emotional reaction in me.
Essentially, if you’re an Ash fan, you’ll love Iron Knight. If you’re a Puck fan, you’ll love Iron Knight. If the end of Iron Queen made you throw the book against the wall in frustration, demanding some sort of resolution for Ash and Meghan, you’ll love Iron Knight. This book is a long, crazy ride, but one you’ll enjoy every minute of.
Publication Date: October 2011
Teaser Quote: “You know me, Meghan Chase.” Ariella stepped forward, the mist parting for her, to stand before us clearly. “I am the one who was left behind, the one Ash knew before you ever came into the picture.”