Friday, November 18, 2011
Review: The Iron Knight by Julie Kagawa
by Harlequin Teen
Genre: YA Fantasy
Source: review copy from publisher
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.
Before I say anything, can I just say how absolutely gorgeous this book is? I mean, on the outside. The cover is beautiful, the pages are all uneven on the side (which just looks cool). I truly love it. And now let's move on to the inside, because we all know you can't judge a book by it's cover (although I do it all the time).
This fourth book in the series was a bit slow to start. Maybe even a lot slow. And remembering that I didn't particularly love The Iron Queen, I have to say I wasn't especially excited to get to The Iron Knight. Especially, and most importantly, because I've never really warmed up to Ash. This book is dedicated to "Team Ash", and I'm most definitely not Team Ash.
Does that mean I hated the book? Not really. Once it picked up, it was quite an adventure. It seems that the characters are hit with one thing after another, which is really not surprising since this is supposed to be a big quest for Ash to gain a soul. And almost all I could think about was Spike going in search of a soul in Buffy. This is not new stuff, for sure.
There were definitely some "huh?" moments throughout the book, but when I try not to think too hard about those, I can enjoy this for the fast-paced (at least the second half) adventure story that it is. And Ash is very much flawed in the story, which is a nice change from the perfect, flawless boys in a lot of YA. I think I even grew to like Ash as a character a little more, even though I still would have preferred Meghan ending up with Puck. Oh well.
If you read and liked the previous three books in this series, it's a pretty sure thing that you'll like this one. This is definitely not the place to start, though, so pick up The Iron King, The Iron Daughter, and The Iron Queen first.