Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Review: The Iron Knight

Author: Julie Kagawa
Release Date: Already out, buy a copy.
Publisher: HarlequinTeen
Add it: Goodreads
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.
Meghan's sacrifice left a dull ache in our hearts as we concluded The Iron Queen, but Ash gave us a thread of hope for a happy ending. And so now he takes us on his journey, one that I began with both excitement and trepidation. Ashallayn'darkmyr Tallyn has endured centuries of deceit, bloodshed, mind games and heartache to become the faery that he is today. But if wants to find a soul for any hope of a future with his beloved, he must face tests far greater and more defining than ever before. The Iron Knight is abound with cinematic action, jaw dropping revelations and tug-your-heart, rip-your-soul, oh-my-gosh-is-Julie-really-doing-this-to-me emotions.

While I did miss reading from Meghan's perspective, Ash is an equally strong narrator. And being a character I've become so captivated by, it was so rewarding to delve deeper into his psyche and the vulnerabilities that have previously lay hidden behind his icy mask. And oh, did it make me grow to love him so, so, so much more! This story is his journey to find his way back to Meghan and ultimately, to find himself. Soon he begins to question everything, when long-buried secrets rise to the surface and choices that were once easy, become the hardest decisions he will ever make.

He's not alone on his path to humanity. What adventure would ever be complete without Puck prancing around, making light of every scary ass thing they come across? I LOVE every Puck/Ash interaction - there is obvious tension, regret and anger simmering between them, but you can see their past friendship blossoming underneath. They can read one another so well and there's a really sweet, amusingly frustrating balance between the two. Their past is resurfaced and we explore their broken bond and perhaps see it on the road to recovery. And oh... Grimalkin. I am not a cat person, but that damn cat! That infuriating, sarcastic, all-knowing furball is the most awesome kitty I have ever come across.

I loved how Julie maintained the suspense right until the very end. There was a point where I honestly didn't know how things would pan out, nor could I decide how I wanted them to go. And I've never quite faced that indecision with a story before. Usually there is a clear cut happy ending, the path you're hoping the author will travel down. But she tore my heart in two, in three, in a thousand pieces, because there were two roads presented where sacrifice gleamed strongly ahead, no matter where our tortured knight tread his footsteps.

The Iron Knight left me floored. It's amazing how one minute Julie has your adrenaline rushing, with edge-of-your-seat scenes that jump out at you from nowhere and the next, you're as still as stone, too afraid to move lest you break the emotionally charged moment. She has truly poured her heart and soul into this final installment. Tears were shed while reading this. Tears of joy and sorrow and disbelief, tears for the conclusion of a story that has crawled it's way into my heart with it's fantastical world and charming characters. I have grown to love their quirks, care for their feelings, worry over their fates and to see it all come to a close.... to be honest, I haven't quite felt this way since I closed the final page of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. There's a deep sense of loss and bittersweet happiness. I could not have asked for a more phenomenal goodbye to such an amazing series.

5/5 Golden Apples!

13 comments:

  1. Oh my goodness, you're KILLING me. WHY oh WHY have I not read these yet? WHHHYYY?

    Why couldn't you just tell me this is the worst book you've ever read and no one should ever read it, because now I'm back to my 'what next' dillema: Vampire Academy or Infernal Devices or Iron Fey? You see my dilemma, right?

    And I love kitties! Like Maruman in Obernewtyn or Black Cat in Neil Gaiman's The Price, or the the cat in Coraline, and pretty much if you have a hilarious furball, I'm there. Now, to get off work to go home and read Iron King...

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  2. This really is the perfect ending to Meghan and Ash's story. I am excited that there is another series that revolves around Ethan coming up! Hopefully Meghan, Ash, Puck and Grim make little cameos from time to time.

    I felt the same as you. My heart was ripped into a million little bits and it was so hard to know what kind of ending she was going to give Ash.

    Amazing, fantastic review!

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  3. YAYYYY!!!! ABOUT TIME YOU FINISHED THIS SERIES <3 Hahaa, Grimalkin's going to kill you for calling him a 'KITTY'! Ahhhhhh your review makes me want to re-read the entire series again!! I MISS MY ASH <3 Awesome review! You summarised my feelings perfectly!

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  4. I'm super-duper happy you loved this book as much as I did. It was such a great conclusion for the series and now I totally want to re-read it! Now unlike you, I'm a cat person (how can you not be). Loved Grimalkin! Great review.

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  5. I've been kind of scared about reading from Ash's point of view, but it seems like most people have enjoyed it. I'm interested to see how the story dynamics will change with the POV switch.

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  6. I totally agree! I missed Meghan narrating the story, but Ash was wonderful to read through. :) Gah, the suspense! It almost killed me!! lol!

    I hate to see the series end as well, but this was a wonderful ending to the series. :) I can't wait to see were Julie takes us next!

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  7. @Sarah: WHY, INDEED!! Trust me, I have asked myself that so many times already, "WHY DIDN'T I READ THESE SOONER?" You're going to be doing that alot with both this and VA, so I recommend giving up that annoyingly distracting thing called a 'real life' and diving into these NOW.

    @Kathy: I am SO excited to see what Ethan will have in store! And of course, The Immortal Rules (how freaking amazing does that sound?). I love how unpredictable the ending was and wow did it have a hold on my heart.

    @Shirley: ....... HE WILL NEVER FIND OUT! *eyes dart around frantically for him to appear* My gosh. Ash. Honestly, I LOVE Puck, but how did I ever think he was the one? FORGIVE ME, ASH!

    @Erin: Haha I have always had an aversion to cats for some reason. They're kinda creepy. But Grimalkin... well I'd totally want to push him in the water if he did his vanish-without-warning-because-i-am-a-cat-and-i'm-not-so-not-putting-my-tail-on-the-line-for-anyone act with me, but he's still badass :D

    @Natalie: Oh, DEFINITELY read this soon! I loved reading Meghan's POV, but Ash brought something new and utterly engaging to this story and just... wow <3

    @Christy: LOL the suspense was INSANE! I was clawing at my face with the last quarter, thinking "HE CAN'T CHOOSE THAT. BUT HE CAN'T GO THE OTHER WAY, BECAUSE THAT WILL DEPRESS ME! WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS TO ME, JULIE?!" Okay, I really want to go back and reread now haha.

    Thank you all for your lovely comments! <3

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  8. Great review. I've always adored all the covers for this series. Must be impressive if it garnered 5 stars. Guess I better get on it.

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  9. I could not have asked for a more phenomenal goodbye to such an amazing series. THIS. It was just...brilliant. Seeing inside Ash's head was awesome (though I missed Meghan as well). I bet you're feeling sad that the series is over now :P. Definitely one that everyone should read! Fab review, Brodie. I agree with basically everything you said :P.

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  10. Check check check check checkcheckcheck.

    PRETTY MUCH what you just said! I loved reading from Ash's POV <3 I loved him to bits before reading the book but getting into his mind and seeing things from his perspective... indescribable. Julie really did a phenomenal job with this series :) You've got me all sad that it's over again! Awesome review!

    Sonia

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  11. Frigging beautiful review, Brodie. Seriously, you put this so much more brilliantly than I ever could. And I agree with you one hundred and ten percent. It was just the right conclusion to a series that OWNS my heart.

    - Asher (from Paranormal Indulgence)

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  12. ZOMYGOSH Brodie!! Eeeep! I'm SO happy that you finally read this! Now it's done. D-O-N-E and I know that you loved it as much as I did. I agree that Ash as a narrator was very interesting and entertaining. Love the way he sees the world. Your enthusiastic review will no doubt convince many people to read this series. ;)

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  13. I fell in love with Ash<3 I wish julie would make another book about there long life.im still confused how Ash can live longer,,,,or can he.???This is one of the best series that I have red id a long time. This series is highly recommended for all ages.

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