On the Fifth Day of Christmas my book store gave to me...
Five Iron Knights (well maybe just one, but this song gets tricky the higher up you go, people!)
four unseelie princes,
three teens in love
two red shoes
and a lost book hidden in a library.
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
One of my very favourite books. The Iron Fey series by Julie Kagawa followed Meghan Chase on her adventure with the Fey, Summer Court, Winter Court and Iron Court. Meghan was independent and strong. She never needed saving but spent a great deal of time saving those she cared about. While on her adventures Meghan fell in love with Ash, the Winter Prince. Their love seemed doomed for many reasons and the third (and thought to be final) book, The Iron Queen ended with Meghan making choosing the Iron Realm and her responsibilities over Ash.
The Iron Knight begins after The Iron Queen and is told from Ash's point of view as he attempts to gain a soul (become human) so that he can enter the Iron Realm and be with Meghan again.
What makes this book (and the series) stand out is Meghan and Ash's relationship. Meghan does a lot of growing up and learning about life and responsibilities during the first three books. Ash's finding of a soul is Ash having to step up and accept responsibility for his earlier actions and gain humility and humanity.
In other words, he needs to become worthy of Meghan.
There are some deeply moving and downright sad moments in this book, but in it Ash becomes a character with so much depth and passion for life and love that you can't help but want him to find everything he is searching for.