Title: The Iron Knight
Author: Julie Kagawa
Publication Year: 2011
Genre: Fiction, Young Adult, Fantasy
Source: E-book version borrowed from the public library
From the cover:
My name — my True Name — is Ashallayn’darkmyr Tallyn. I am the last remaining son of Mab, Queen of the Unseelie Court. And I am dead to her. My fall began, as many stories do, with a girl…
To cold 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 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. And along the way Ash learns something that changes everything. A truth that challenges his darkest beliefs and shows him that, sometimes, it takes more than courage to make the ultimate sacrifice.
I think that this was my favourite book of the series so far. Not that I don’t find Meghan’s story interesting – I do – but there’s something about a boy going to the ends of the earth to make things work with a girl that breaks the mould of most YA narratives just enough to interest me.
What’s more, there’s a certain level of awesomeness achieved by the bromance/faux-hatred between Ash and Puck in this book that really kept me turning the pages. I know the trend is for falling-in-love stories in YA, and that’s fine, but there’s something to be said for exploring complicated relationships between friends that remain just that: friendships.
The Iron Knight ties up some loose ends in the series, but also creates some others to be dealt with. For starters, what will things be like if Ash does manage to give up his fae-hood? How will his relationship with Meghan change then?