Ironside: A Modern Faerie Tale (Playaway Young Adult)
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About the Author
Holly Black is the author of bestselling contemporary fantasy books for kids and teens. Some of her titles include The Spiderwick Chronicles (with Tony DiTerlizzi), The Modern Faerie Tale series, the Curse Workers series, Doll Bones, and The Coldest Girl in Coldtown. She has been a finalist for the Mythopoeic Award, a finalist for an Eisner Award, and the recipient of both an Andre Norton Award and a Newbery Honor. She lives in New England with her husband and son in a house with a secret door. Visit her at BlackHolly.com. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
Things have been uneasy ever since Roiben assumed the throne of the Unseelie Court, and with the threat of war in the air and Roiben's coronation drawing near, everyone is on edge. Changeling Kaye Fierch knows that she loves Roiben, but she feels increasingly unwelcome and out of place in the Unseelie Court. So the night of the coronation, determined to prove herself to Roiben and the rest of the court, she makes a formal declaration and pledges herself to him as his consort. However, faerie custom demands that a quest be undertaken before anyone can sit as the Lord's consort, and Roiben grants Kaye an impossible task: to find a fairy who can tell an untruth. Now she is forbidden from seeing or speaking to him until she completes something she knows cannot be done.
Kaye doesn't know where to go, because she has been feeling uncomfortable at home as well, knowing that she stole a human child's life. In a moment of desperation, she tells her mother the truth: that she is a changeling that was switched with Ellen's real daughter, the real Kaye, and she vows to retrieve her from the Seelie Court and return her to Ellen. She feels that this, at least, is something she can do, even if there's no way she can complete Roiben's quest.
But with all the tension between the courts there is nowhere safe, and in venturing into the Seelie Court to find her human counterpart, Kaye puts herself within reach of Lady Silarial.Read more ›
The good news is that there's more story to this. The impossible quest is interesting (albeit you can guess how it's going to play out pretty much the moment it's set) and you get more of a sense of the politics between the Seelie Court and the Unseelie Court. Luis and Dave make a reappearance from VALIANT, which I thought was well handled, especially because of the way it built on Luis's role as a fixer whilst further developing the relationship between the two brothers.
The best parts of the book though are those that focus on Corny. The character is a like a walking open wound - still grieving the death of his sister and recovering from his own experiences at the hands of the Unseelie Court, he's terrified by faeries and by his own vulnerability to them and that makes him determined to never give them power over him. In many ways, Corny is the most dynamic character in the book, he's the only one who is actively trying to take control of his own destiny and whilst he sometimes gets infected with Stupid Decision For Stupid Reasons Syndrome. When Corny brings a powerful curse down on himself at the hands of a faerie, it's a twisted blessing in disguise as it finally gives him the means to hit back at the faeries who would torment him and I think that Black does well to handle the exultation and despair that the curse brings him, even if I would question the means by which Corny and his friends try to deal with it as being slightly too contrived.
Unfortunately, the big problem remains Kaye.Read more ›
During Roiben's coronation, Kaye makes the rash decision to declare herself to him, in front of the whole court. Tradition forces Roiben to accept this declaration by handing Kaye a quest. But the one he chooses, to find a faery who can tell an untruth, is an impossible feat, for such a faery does not exist. Kaye sees this quest as an act of betrayal by Roiben, suggesting that he set her such a task precisely because it was unachievable. Not able to see Roiben until she has fulfilled her quest, Kaye feels rejected. It is perhaps this rejection that makes her decide to tell her mother the truth - that she is really a pixie who was exchanged with a human child and left in her place. Feeling as though she does not belong in either the world of faerie, or the mortal world, Kaye enters back into the realm of faerie in order to find the human girl she was swapped with, so that she can be reunited with her mother.
But the faeries of Kaye's world rarely play fair, so it is not long before Kaye realises that, yet again, she is being played like a pawn in a battle between the faerie courts.
Although I did enjoy IRONSIDE, I did not find it as exciting as TITHE, hence only 4 stars for the rating. Personally, I felt that the pace of the book died down during the middle part, almost to the point that it became a chore to plod through. Perseverance paid off, however, and the pace picked up again towards the end. Because there were also characters from the second book, VALIANT, by the end of IRONSIDE you felt as though you had gotten complete closure of all the characters. As the end book in a trilogy, IRONSIDE has certainly done a very good job.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
follow up to the brilliant Tithe. original, clever, brilliantly written, great characters, likable fallible heroine. see my review of valiant for similar recommended titlePublished on 24 Feb. 2014 by b roberts
Roiben is now King of the Unseelie Court and Kaye has asked him to set her an impossible task. One that she finally achieves. Read morePublished on 11 Jan. 2014 by Pyewacket
This follows on from Tithe, and was an improvement on it. Kaye is allowed to be more proactive in this, although she does spend a lot of time mooning over Roiben. Read morePublished on 21 Nov. 2013 by Ann Smyth
After reading and enjoying 'Tithe' I decided to move on to 'Ironside'. The book returns the series of 3 books (so far) back to the story of the first and mantains the same charm... Read morePublished on 29 Mar. 2008 by R.
The sequel to Tithe featuring some of the main characters from Valiant. Roiben is being crowned King of the Unseelie Court and Kaye, his Pixie girlfriend, takes it upon herself to... Read morePublished on 18 Jan. 2008 by rhinoa