Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Iron Knight, by Julie Kagawa- Review

After the ending of Iron Queen I could not dig into Iron Knight fast enough. I came home, riding a euphoric high from Iron Queen, announced I was not cooking, and after bubbling effusively to the hubby, and then my dad when he called about my Oma's birthday, and after crowing over the timely arrival of my ARC for the Immortal Rules (see my prophetic tweet from earlier that same day:
Rhiannon Ryder ‏ @BookwormsDiary
Also, I'm such an ass, but after this insane Iron Fey obsession, there is NO way I won't dump everything when my copy of Immortal Rules shows) I plopped myself down on the couch and dug in.  Seriously, I couldn't stop talking/tweeting peoples ears off about this series.  It was love, pure and simple.

A classic quest story, written in a very tragic fairy tale vein, Julie has given her fans a beautiful treat to end what was supposed to be a three part story.  Dedicated to Team Ash, which I think is one of the sweetest dedications I've ever seen, Iron Knight is Ash's story of his trials to fulfil his last vow to Meghan as she lay dying.

If Iron Queen was the heart racing conclusion to the story arc, Iron Knight is the cathartic conclusion to the love story Julie's fans are obviously insane for.  It was heart breaking, surprising and just plain fantastic.  I may have sobbed so much that I spilled coffee on myself repeatedly, thank god I was home alone.  This was the happy sob though, not the Dumbledore is dead sob which was not cathartic.  Every moment of this book felt like it was a gift written for the Iron Fey fandom.  She managed to fulfil everyone of my desires for a final story and I would guess that would be the case for most fans of the series.

It was delightful to actually see things from Ash's perspective, to get a feel for how he thinks and why he does what he does.  To see snapshots of his long history, and to see why he fell for Meghan, even when serious competition crops up.  I'm talking about you shocking page 81!

As an enormous Puck fan I have to say this was as much a gift to Team Puck as Team Ash.  Puck was a shinning light of humour and had his own profound moments.  He made me laugh easily three times as much as he did in any of the previous three books, and I loved seeing more of his relationship with Ash.  I may be struck down by some of the blogosphere for saying so, but the Ash/Puck relationship is my favourite in this series, even more so then the Ash/Meghan relationship.  

The spiders' numbers were increasing; I'd cut one down only to have four others come at me from all sides.  They were everywhere now, crawling over the railing and skittering across the roof... the Wolf was going berserk, bucking and rolling as spiders crawled all over him like monster ticks.
"Come on prince! Don't tell me you've forgotten!"
I hadn't forgotten.  I knew exactly what he wanted me to do.  It was risky and dangerous and would take a lot out of us both, but if the spiders kept coming, we might not have a choice.
"Ash!"
"All right!" I yelled back. "Let's do it...Everyone else, take cover now!"
I stopped fighting for an instant, feeling several of the creatures land on me, their slender legs scuttling up my clothes.  Ignoring them, I knelt and drove the point of my sword into the wooden floor.
There was a flash of blue, and ice spread out from my blade, covering everything.  In an instant, it had coated the deck, the railings, the benches, even some of the spider things, freezing them in place.  It covered the branches of the thorns around us and spread a thin sheet of ice over the water around the boat.  Though the spider things continued to pour out of the brambles, dropping onto the deck, for a moment, there was absolute, frozen silence.
"Now," Puck muttered, and I pulled up my blade.
The Ice shattered.  With the sound of breaking glass, it fractured into thousands of razor-sharp edges, glinting in the darkness.  And at that instant, Puck unleashed the whirl wind.
With a roar of Sumer glamour, Puck's cyclone whipped through the thorns and surrounded the boat, shrieking and causing the small craft to lurch sideways.  It picked up debris in its wake, branches, spider bodies and thousands of fractured ice shards, spinning them through the air with the force of a tornado...
When the winds finally ceased, we were surrounded by twigs, branches, melting ice and spider parts, oozing over everything...
"Yes!" Puck cheered as I sat down on the floor leaning against the railing.  "Home team, one- spiders, zero!"...
The Wolf shook himself, spraying ichor and spider parts everywhere, making Grimalkin lay back his ears.  "Magic and parlor tricks," the Wolf snorted, wrinkling his muzzle, "will not get us to the End of the World."
"Well, duh," Puck shot back. "That's why we're on a boat."

Ah the bromance.

Even better yet was the addition of the Big Bad Wolf to this tale.  Because like Puck and Ash, Grim and  the Wolf have an endlessly amusing rivalry of rather epic proportions.  And since I love Grim, how could I not love his frenemy?

If I had to sum this book up in just a few words, it would be: it has it all.  Julie has shot directly onto my list of favourites on my bookshelves, reserved for a surprising few.  If you haven't read this series you are missing out.  So go forth, read it, then pretty please, come back and rhapsodize with me.  Because there is only so much gushing my husband can lovingly tolerate.

Julie Kagawa, thanks for making my week!

The Iron Knight, by Julie Kagawa
Published by Harlequin Teen,  October 25th 2011
Buy The Iron Knight on Amazon

3 comments:

  1. I LOVED this installment of the Iron Fey series. It was great getting into Ash's mind. And the endd was so good... Nice review!

    Stop by Gripped into Books sometime :)

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    1. I know right? For an unplanned book it's an amazing addition to the series. And I don't want to give anything away but lets just say the cheering at the end of Iron Knight killed me!

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  2. Wow, I originally bought the Iron King book for the cover (how shallow) and it sat on my shelf for half a year. I finally picked it up out of sheer boredom and burned through that and the other three in less than a week. There are only a few authors deserving that kind of dedication on my bookshelf too. This book was surprising in it story arc and the overall character development was not only lovely, but dark and deep. Every character gained more facets of complexity with every chapter from the shallow beauty they all possess to the darker needs all of them have, but are too afraid to express due to the risk of unbalancing or severing the tenuous ties that bind them all together. Julie Kagawa also shows her own depths of understanding of the mortal coil. I loved this book. It was a hero's journey mixed in with the wry humor that can only be found in Young Adult novels mixed in with a YA version of the Christmas Ghosts of Past, Present and Future. Absolutely masterful! Thanks for your brilliant review.

    Marie MW

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