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. (from goodreads.com)
Available: Oct. 25th 2011 by Harlequin
**An advanced copy of this book was provided by the publisher (at NetGalley) for review**
REVIEW: (no book spoilers but there may be some spoilers to previous books in the series)
It's no secret that I was really looking forward to reading The Iron Knight. For me, the whole Iron Fey series has stood out above other young adult fantasy series for Julie Kagawa's ability to push her characters through growth and change with a view towards making them stronger and better, if not always happier.
The first three books in the series told the story of Meghan Chase and her quest to save her brother and later, the whole Nevernever from the rise of the Iron King and the Iron Fey. If you've read the first three books, you know that love didn't win the day at the end of The Iron Queen and we were left with only a belief that Meghan and Ash deserved to find happiness together but with no easy answer as to how that was supposed to happen.
The Iron Knight stands somewhat apart from the first three books, giving us Ash's quest to fulfill his promise to Meghan that he will return to her . Being fae, Ash is bound by his promise and faces serious consequences if he doesn't at least try to find a way to be with Meghan as her Knight.
In the same way we watched Meghan mature and find the courage to step up to her destiny, accepting the consequences of her choices, this time we follow Ash on a similar emotional journey. Ash must learn the consequences of his prior actions and what will happen if he attempts to reach his goal.
We learn more about who Ash is and who he was during all the many years of his long life as a Prince of the Winter Court and son of Queen Mab. Most of it isn't pretty, but it's very powerful and you will see Ash with a deeper understanding of all the layers that make him who he is. There was a point while reading when I was actually a little teary-eyed. There is so much emotion in this story it will keep you reading long into the night.
Overall The Iron Knight stays true to the previous three books and provides a satisfying (if perhaps bittersweet) ending to a fantastic series. Getting to know Ash throughout The Iron Knight and following him on his journey gives an added depth to the rest of the series, making it easily one of the best series finales I've ever read.
A satisfying finale that asks us to take a look at ourselves & what makes us who we are
If you haven't read The Iron Fey Series, the first three books in the series are:
There are also two novellas in the series, Winter's Passage & Summer's Crossing, both reviews are available in my Not Quite a Book section.