The fourth and final installment in the Iron Fey series had a lot to live up to; the previous three have been full of action, adventure and wit but could this one match up? The answer is unequivocably yes! I found book 4 to the best so far and this is why:
The Iron Knight is written from Ash's perspective. For Ash fans out there that's a winning component in itself but what I loved about it so much was the way Kagawa has conveyed his character. I really felt that now that I could see how Ash thinks and expresses himself that I understood his character much better. I particularly loved the exploration of his relationship and constant fued with Puck - reading about this from Ash's point of view and being able to see that they are actually great friends was a huge reason why I loved reading this book.
The story itself is the best so far though. This time Ash is on a quest to become human and with the help of Grimalkin (everyone's favourite cat), the Wolf (who you might remember from one of the novella's Kagawa has written) and of course Puck (the cheeky summer fey). The quest is so much fun to read about! Ash must journey to the end of the world (yes really) and find the battle grounds where he must complete a series of tests to become human. The journey to the end of the world was gripping in itself and full of lots of different fey but the tests Ash had to complete were so gripping - I just couldn't put the book down.
Each test Ash completes will show him what it truly means to become human. In particular, he will learn what it means to no longer rely on being a Winter Prince, being weaker than the fey, feeling guilt and pain. To demonstrate this we get to revisit all of the things that Ash has done in the past, so we get a really brilliant insight into his past and backstory. Of course we do get to see Meghan once or twice too so she isn't completely out of the picture; after all Ash's quest to be human started because he was banished from the Iron Realm where Meghan is because of the effects it has on his health.
Overall, I found this book reignited my love for Julie Kagawa's Iron Fey series. I had enjoyed the previous stories but was beginning to feel that they were becoming repetitive and lost interest a little bit. However, after reading the Iron Knight I can't recommend this book enough and I can't wait to see what Kagawa will do with her spin-off series starring Ethan Chase as the lead.
on 22 March 2012
I don't think it's actually possible to describe in words my utter love for this book and series as a whole. I'm going to try my hardest but, really, nothing I say can truly do this story justice.
This is the 4th and final book in the Iron Fey series by Julie Kagawa (author extraordinaire!) and as it is the final book, and as I don't want to give away spoilers, I'm not going to summarise but simply list all the thing I loved about it. Here goes:
1) Prince Ash - nuff said right? This book is told from Ash's POV and this worried me before I read it. The other three are from Megan's POV and they really worked. So I worried that Ash's perspective wouldn't be able to carry the story like Megan's. Oh how wrong I was. Ash's perspective brought a whole new light to the beautifully written world of the Nevernever. Seeing it through his eyes and indeed seeing other characters through his eyes (such as Puck and Grim) added something that I never even knew was missing from Megan's books. Being a winter Prince and having lived in the Nevernever for centuries, Ash views things very differently to Megan, and knows a hell of a lot more and it was such a dream to get inside his head for once.
2) The writing. As usual Julie's seamlessly flowing style of writing makes this book a joy to read. But on top of that, I was also very impressed that she managed to make Prince Ash come across as an `actual male character'. Confused? I'll explain. When female authors try to write from the POV of a male character, they more often than not end up with a male character who feels decidedly female on the inside. Examples - Sam from Shiver, Linger and Forever, also Ethan from Beautiful Creatures. Although good characters, they do not feel `manly' but more feminine and cute. Julie managed to avoid this trap with complete ease. Ash was the same character we had grown to know and love throughout the first three books, even his internal monologue was what we would expect of him. His quiet, brooding, yet courageous and heroic characteristics were not lost at all.
3) The Bro-mance! You know what I'm talking about if you've read this one. The relationship between Prince Ash and Puck (Robin Goodfellow) was brought to the forefront of this story for much of the chapters. And about time too! These two really needed to sort out their differences and old rivalries and boy did it make for some fantastic reading. The journey they went on together, (their actual journey as well as their emotional one) was a beautiful yet funny thing to read and I'm so glad they got so much `screen time' together!
4) Puck! Now as I said, Puck features heavily throughout The Iron Knight. And I've always loved him as a character (he's no Prince Ash for book boyfriend reasons but he's certainly one of the funniest fictional characters I've ever come across). In The Iron Knight Puck steps up to accompany Ash on his quest... and I'm very pleased that he did. He provided some of the most hilarious `laugh out loud' one liners I've ever read. So much so that I'm actually considering doing a post for my blog to highlight some of the best ones. And of course, when the time was right, he proved he's just as courageous and heroic as Prince Ash.
5) The twist. Yes there's a twist. I don't think that's a spoiler to say so because if you've read the first three then you'll already know that Julie is the master of amazing twists and turns. Well the twist in this one actually made me gasp out loud in astonishment. It was so clever and so unexpected... but brilliantly and strategically placed at the right moment and I just loved it. If anyone knows how to make a twist work, it's Julie Kagawa!
6) The ending. Again, this is a spoiler free review so I'll just say 10 out of 10 Julie. I couldn't have hoped for anything better. It was simply the right way to end this unbelievable series. And it made me cry. I very very rarely cry when reading a book. But I was just so swept up in pure joy and also some sadness that this was the end of the journey of all these characters that I had come to love so much.
So there you go. I've tried to explain some of the reasons why I loved this book so much (yes only some - there are more but I don't want to write an essay) and I just have to say that I truly recommend this series to all YA fantasy fans. Or anyone who likes to read really... I'll defy anyone who enjoys a good book not to get sucked into the world of the Iron Fey and come out the other side a beaming, yet blithering mess of emotion like me!
Well done Julie Kagawa, you truly are 100% amazing!
At the end of THE IRON QUEEN, Meghan became the Iron Queen. Realising that Ash could never survive in the Iron Realm, she released him from his oath and used his True Name to make him leave. But Ash loves Meghan and is determined to find a way to be with her, which means finding a way to gain a mortal soul.
Fortunately Puck and Grimalkin are equally determined to help him. They're joined by the Big Bad Wolf who sees this as a chance to ensure his own legend lives on and by a person from Ash's past who he thought he'd never see again. In a quest that takes them from the Bone Witch to the very ends of the Faerie realm, Ash will be forced to confront his own past and his deepest emotions as he learns what it means to be mortal ...
The last book in Julie Kagawa's Iron Fey quartet is a must-have for Ash fans, seeing him take on a quest that will enable him to learn about humanity and his own faults.
Unlike the other books in the quartet, this is almost completely told from Ash's point of view and whether it succeeds depends on whether you already liked him as a character. Personally, I found his brooding to be a little bland and although I liked the way Kagawa depicts with his amoral attitude and lack of empathy, it correspondingly made it harder for me to believe in his love for either Meghan or Ariella. The final quarter of the book is the strongest where Ash is forced to confront what mortality and having a soul means and while there's a degree of sermonising here, it's crisply written and gives insight into Ash's character and why he's the way he is.
Ash's relationship with Ariella never came alive for me - partly because I never understood her supposed resemblance to Meghan, partly because Ariella's an anaemic, passive character who only exists for Ash and who's supposed fierce temper comes too infrequently to be convincing. I preferred Ash's relationship with Puck and was disappointed that they never ended up as a couple as they had more spark.
The ending is a foregone conclusion, which will please romance fans but left me meh. I am however a fan of Kagawa's writing and will definitely read her next book.
I normally purchase all of my books via Amazon as my other reviews show, however I must confirm that I purchased this book elsewhere (TBP) as it came as a pack of the first four books in the Iron Fey series and at just under the price of one individual book - so apologies Amazon for the 'betrayal' but you couldn't beat the price on this set. I also wouldn't normally write a book review on Amazon for a book I had purchased elsewhere but this series has me absolutely hooked and I wanted to add my twopence to the other reviews already posted.
The series follows Meghan Chase who discovers around her sixteenth birthday that she can see The Fey, that the person she thought was her biological father and who disappeared when she was six is not her father and her actual father is King Oberon Lord of the Summer Fey, her best friend at school is actually Puck from A Midsummer Night's Dream and that despite her reservations about being the half breed princess daughter of King Oberon that actually she does care and fit in with the world of The Fey. This book picks up straight after the third book; The Iron Queen, which saw Meghan become as the title suggests - The Iron Queen and ruler of the Iron Fey. As Ash would not be able to survive in the Iron Realm, Meghan releases him from his vow to be her knight by using his true name and making him leave the Iron Realm. This story is all about Ash and was by far my favourite in the series. Ash is determined to find a way to be with Meghan and therefore seeks out with the aid of Puck, Grimalkin and the Big Bad Wolf to find a soul. So will he manage to reach the end of the earth, earn his soul and finally be able to be with Meghan or are they fated to never be together?......
There is quite a few twists, turns and surprises in this book and a character from Ash's past turns up along with the Big Bad Wolf who plays a brief part in the short story Winter's Passage which is included in the short story compilation book; The Iron Legends. I loved the Wolf and especially his and Grimalkin's interactions with each other which I found really funny. Grimalkin and his honourable yet devious and self-serving ways is still my favourite character however the Wolf has managed to slip up into the top three (Ash and Grimalkin being the other two) especially following his actions in the Gauntlet. A brilliant series which I am so sad has ended although I know there is another trilogy featuring Meghan's brother Ethan which I will hopefully be able to read soon. Please also don't let the 'the next twilight' sticker on the front of the book put you off (although I am a massive Twilight book fan) if it would normally do so as honestly the series stands on it's own merit without having to compare it to any other book series. I have listed the reading order of the books so far below in case this is of help to anyone else:
The Iron Fey:-
Book 1: The Iron King (The Iron Fey - Book 1) (MIRA)
Short Story e-book: Winter's Passage (The Iron Fey short story - Book 1)
Book 2: The Iron Daughter (The Iron Fey - Book 2)
Book 3: The Iron Queen (The Iron Fey - Book 3)
Short Story e-book: Summer's Crossing (The Iron Fey short story - Book 2)
Book 4: The Iron Knight
The Iron Fey Call of the Forgotten:-
Short Story e-book: Iron's Prophecy (The Iron Fey - prequel to The Lost Prince)
Book 1: The Lost Prince (The Iron Fey - Book 5)
Book 2: The Iron Traitor (The Iron Fey)
Compilation of all e-books in paperback:-
The Iron Legends (The Iron Fey)
on 24 August 2014
I love this story and the different take on fairies, this one is different from the others as its from Ash' s perspective and brings you in to different parts of the nevernever definitely recommend to anyone who looks fantasy novels
on 22 May 2016
This is the fourth book in the Iron Fey series. I absolutely loved it!
Ash is a fantastic character. I didn't like him when he was first introduced into the Iron Fey series, as he, being the third son of the Unseelie Queen and prince of the Winter Court, was the enemy of Meghan. However, as the series progressed, I fell for this complex being. By the end of The Iron Queen, he had my heart. Now that Meghan is the Iron Queen, Ash faces a difficult choice. Live without her forever, or find a way for them to be together at great cost to his fey life by becoming mortal. Ash's decision to find a way to be with Meghan in the Iron Realm will have huge consequences if he should fail. But, in order to keep his oath to be her Knight, he will have to find a way to earn a soul.
After reading the first three stories through the view point of Meghan, I found myself intrigued with this tale as it's told through Ash's eyes. He usually hides his emotions under an icy exterior. This is due to his upbringing where showing emotion is seen as weak in the Winter Court, so getting to see the world through his eyes was an eye-opener for me.
I loved meeting Puck and Grimalkin again, as well as a few other characters from the previous books. The story is again full of danger and adventure. In this story, the reader gets to see what happened to cause the feud between Ash and Puck. It was a tragic accident, but their friendship had become irrevocably strained by a vow made in anger and sorrow. Even though they are bound by this vow, there is a respect and deep friendship hidden amongst the heartbreak.
As the story unfolded, I found myself on a roller coaster ride of emotion. I had tears streaming down my face even when there was no logical reason for them. Call me a soppy romantic if you will. However, the danger that Ash, Grimalkin, The Big Bad Wolf and Puck faces had me sitting on the edge of my seat. I love the witty dialogue between Ash and Puck, and Grimalkin is his usual secretive self. Due to the vivid descriptive writing, I could picture everything perfectly in my mind's eye. I had shivers running up and down my spine when the group of characters ended up in a town where the fey who have been forgotten congregate. It was incredibly creepy. Just thinking about it has just sent another shiver down my spine! Although the trials Ash faces to gain his mortality are dangerous at times, it was the courage of another character that impressed me; there is a surprising twist involving them that I didn't see coming.
I reached the end of the book feeling a little wrung out. Ash's quest to be with his love touched me deeply. This story (and series) has to be one of the most emotional reads I've read for years. As I said in my review of The Iron Queen, I must be a masochist because I am looking forward to reading The Lost Prince, which follows Meghan's brother, Ethan, as soon as I can.
Julie Kagawa has written a fantastic Young Adult series. I love her writing style, which is fast paced and exciting. The flow was also wonderful, as each scene moved effortlessly into the next. She has found a firm fan in me and I will definitely be reading more of her books in the future.
There are scenes that have some violence or are a little gory, therefore, I do not recommend this to readers under 15. However, I highly recommend this book if you love YA fantasy or paranormal romances. - Lynn Worton
on 20 October 2012
I do not wish to hide this entire review under a spoiler tag so please use this as a warning that if you have not yet read the earlier books in this series, please continue with caution. And secondly, why have you not yet read the previous books in this series? I strongly suggest that you do... quickly!
There was no better way to end this series than by letting us inside the head of Ash as he faces his hardest challenges yet. As he fights his way through the Nevernever to reach the End of the World as he attempts to earn his soul and become human so that he can be with Meghan in the Iron realm.
There is hardly any Meghan in this story but I really didn't find myself missing her. We know her story and the decisions she has made. This is all about Ash, his past, his present and his future.
The same cast of characters are along for the adventure... Ash, Puck, Grimalkin, a new face and an old one also come along for the ride. There are a lot of trials and tribulations that are faced along the way and not everybody makes it out alive... The world building has continued to be exceptional in this series. I know quite a bit is pulled from previous fey stories and legends but Kagawa has blended the past and future seamlessly.
Puck is his same old self, funny, caring and loyal. I have never hidden my love for Puck and why would I want to? He is the most amazing character and as much as I have also come to love Ash I do feel for Puck. He has appeared to have accepted Meghan's decision to be with Ash but you can see there is still hurt there. Obviously with Puck being Puck I think he will be able to move on, of course at his age this can not be the first time he has been in love and will not be the last. It is obvious that he loves Ash as a friend just as much as he loves Meghan and he does want them to be happy. I loved that we were able to see Puck and Ash's relationship evolve into something new. The vow that Ash made to kill Puck long ago was made at a moment of anger and pain. It has always been apparent that his heart was never in the task. If Ash really wanted Puck dead I believe it would have been taken care of a long time ago. It was nice to see them working through their problems.
In order to know what it is to become human, Ash must face his past. The walls that he has built up over his long life, the damage he has done to others around him, the death he has caused, the heartache... He has not always been a very nice guy. He also feels what it will be like to have a human body. His strength and agility will disappear. He will be able to be at Meghan's side but at what cost? He is her Knight and has vowed to protect her forever. When you are mortal the days will add up, unlike when you are fey and time does not matter.
The choice is difficult and it is one that can not be changed once made. What will he choose in the end?
I have read a few stories here and there that Kagawa had intended the Iron Fey series to be just the three books. I would have gone insane if it would have ended after The Iron Queen. To be honest it would have been hard for me to pick up anything else she wrote because I would have felt there was an empty space that needed filled. I truly say that The Iron Knight has filled that empty space and I am very happy with the way this series has ended.
Now with that said, there is a spin off series starting very soon, The Iron Fey: Call of the Forgotten. There is one final novella that I must read before I can start The Lost Prince but I am very excited to see where this world will be taking me next...
"There is nothing more terrible than a spurned faery queen, particularly if you defy her a second time. I escaped the Winter Court with my life intact, but just barely, and I won't be returning any time soon. My loyalty - and my heart - belongs to another queen now."
Rainy Day Reads
on 4 March 2016
Just have to keep reading the whole story, it is well written and very clever in how this lady brings reality and fantasy together. Some of her points of view need to make us stop and think of what we are doing to our children and the world we live in. They are old before they have become adults. Nothing wrong in imagining Fairy and a world of magic, play time and imagination is very important in the growth of our minds. I love Ash but he is not a receiver into life and love. Puck is the immortal child. the Iron men are what we are and will become, sadly.
on 23 March 2013
The Iron Knight is, without a doubt, my favourite book in the entire Iron Fey series - yes I am counting The Lost Prince in this. I loved reading from Ash's perspective but really it was also the plot of this book that truly blew me away. Not happy with spending an eternity without Meghan by his side, he takes a vow to do everything in his power to change his destiny. With the help of Puck and Grim, he travels to the end of the Fey world to do this. I was enthralled with all the different challenges that arose throughout this journey, I thoroughly enjoyed the relationship between all of the characters - but I especially enjoyed the friendship between Ash and Puck and all of the complications that arose from it. My favourite part of the book, however, was right at the very end of the book when they finally reach their destination - but don't worry, that's all I'll say so as not to ruin it.
This book was, in my opinion, the perfect ending to this series. It was a great, fun, emotional, powerful story that literally took you on a journey and showed you the many strengths of the secondary characters in this series. It was interesting, unique, and really enchanting. I was overjoyed while reading this book and I just really loved the ending of it to pieces. I truly enjoyed Ash as a narrator and simply could not recommend reading this series just to read this book more. The series as a whole was really enjoyable, but it was this book that really tipped the scale for me. So, what are you still reading this for? Go and get started on the Iron Fey series NOW.
on 2 June 2013
I found this fourth book in the series to be rather an interesting read. We've all been reading the series so far from Meghan's pov and I really enjoyed her narrative voice throughout the first three books, then we get to the fourth one and find it's from Ash's pov. I was excited because I liked Ash from the start so I was looking forward to reading the story from his pov and getting his aspect on the nevernever, which was slightly different to Meghan's. In this novel Ash is determined to find a way to be with Meghan after he was banished by her from the iron court, so the story follows his journey with a few 'helpful' friends to find a way of being with Meghan. Ash faces many challenges as well as having to face his past and the reader finds out a lot more about Ash as he tries to deal with all of this. However if you're not into a lot of brooding, Ash can be a bit of a brooder! The relationship between Ash and Puck is an interesting development which I found funny and interesting. On a more critiquing note, I did miss Meghan in this story, the relationship between her and Ash, and the end had me a bit like: "really? that's how it ends, that's it?"
I'm hoping that book 5 will sort of show us how Meghan and Ash are getting on in the future, even though it's in Ethan's pov. :)