The Iron Knight (The Iron Fey #4)
by Julie Kagawa
Summary: 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.
Despite the fact that I’m not really a fan of Ash, I enjoyed this book a lot. It was from Ash’s point of view as he embarks on a quest to find a way to survive in the Iron Realm to be with Meghan.
Ash’s adventure was extremely interesting, especially because Puck decided to tag along and the banter between both of the characters is never dull. Grim accompanies them, along with two other characters, one of which is a huge surprise and I won’t talk about that. The journey leads them to the End of the World and they encounter forgotten fey along the way, which was incredibly interesting to me.
I loved Puck’s humor and I love that he stuck with Ash through the entire journey because he knew if Ash found a way to be with Meghan, it would make her happy and that’s what mattered to Puck. Somehow, he became my favorite character in this series and I wouldn’t have enjoyed this book without his presence.
Ash learns what it means to be human during his tests and it changes him completely. This book was more serious and focused a lot on what it means to be fey and what it means to be human and how different the species really are. The previous books don’t really venture down that road too often, nor do they touch upon what it means to be a forgotten fey and I liked that The Iron Knight expanded upon all of it a lot more. The beauty and magic I felt while reading the very first book in the series came back to me while reading this book because of the new places and creatures they stumbled upon in their adventure. It was unfamiliar territory to Ash and Puck, as was the world of Faery to Meghan in book one.
Despite enjoying this book and getting to know Ash more and realizing what he had to go through just to be with Meghan, I still don’t like him that much. I hated the conflict that presented itself in this book and hated that Ash even hesitated for a moment and it angered me. Despite Ash having to experience a wide range of human emotions during his tests, I thought Puck’s emotions were stronger and I still feel sympathy for him in ways that I never feel for Ash. I feel like I can really say all of this now because even the synopsis makes it obvious as to who won and it wasn’t Puck and I don’t like that! I guess I just feel like Puck is much more complicated and real and better than Ash, even in this book where Ash becomes more complicated and real.
Overall, this is a wonderful addition to the series and I’m glad I read it, even if I’m not Ash’s biggest fan.