Title: The Iron Knight (Iron Fey #4)
Author: Julie Kagawa
Release Date: 10/25/2011
It's hard not to approach another Iron Fey book with a little excitement & anticipation. The last book in the series left us with a lot of odds & ends tied up, but with just enough unresolved plot to make another book a natural progression in the series. (BTW, there's going to be another series set after this book following Meghan's younger brother Ethan!) How could we not be interested in a book following Ash as he tries to find a way to be with Meghan?
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.
I'll admit that the change in narrative voices was a little hard to get used to, even though I knew to expect it. It's just not the same, seeing about the fae world through the eyes of a native & part of what I enjoyed about Meghan's narrative is that everything was so new to her. Luckily for me the book's plot would involve Ash going to places that are new & relatively unheard of even to Ash, so this never really interfered with my enjoyment of the book. It made it a little slow to get into, but this was still a very readable & enjoyable book.
It's just I just couldn't relate to Ash as a character like I could Meghan. I could read the book & be entertained, but I just didn't get as good of a "book high" with this read as I wanted to. I was able to get used to Ash's voice but I still couldn't get as excited as I wanted to be. I can't help but feel that there will probably be a few people who will read this book & be disappointed that this just doesn't have the "snap bang!" that the previous books did. There will be those who will devour this book whole & love it as much as the previous books, but I can't help but think that this book just felt a little pale in comparison to the rest of the series.
There is, however, enough interesting material brought up in this book to where readers will still be waiting for when Kagawa starts in on Ethan's story. The ideas brought up in this book as well as the possibilities of a few of the characters introduced were intriguing & despite a few reservations with Iron Knight, I still feel pretty invested in the series enough to want to pick up the next book Kagawa puts out in this universe.
3 out of 5 stars
(ARC provided by Netgalley)