Release Date: Already out, buy a copy.
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.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.
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.
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!