OMG! What should I say?
When I finished the Iron Queen earlier this year I was devastated. Meghan and Ash survived their missions, saved the Nevernever and in the end after they sacrificed so much couldn't be together. I was so depressed. Especially because at this time I didn't know that there would be a fourth book.
Since I knew that The Iron Knight would be published in October and that Ash would have another chance of getting together with Meghan I couln't wait for October (I didn't even care for the summer). Then I got the ARC via NetGalley (thanks again to Harlequin) on a Friday afternoon and my weekend was set.
I wasn't disappointed. The Iron Knight is the perfect ending for the Iron fey series.
In contrast to the first 3 books, which were told from Meghan's point of view, the story is now narrated by the Winter Prince. Though I was a fan of Ash since the Iron King I didn't know a lot about his inner feelings. He doesn't exactly carry his heart on his sleeves. So I really appreciated to read this story from his POV and to know about what is important to him.
The whole story is kind of an adventurous, fairy-tale-like road trip (without roads). Ash promised Meghan to find a way to be together and as Fey can't stand iron he has to become mortal and human. In his quest he is joined by several of his old friends and even enemies. It's kind of a fellowship but not everyone, or better nobody, is completely open about their motives.
I was pleased that Grimalkin is once again on board. This cat is just too amusing.
And of course, Puck is back. The interactions between Ash and the mischievous Summer Fey are definitely one of the reasons I enjoyed this book so much. These two used to be friends, became enemies over the death of Ash's former love and now they try working together. There is a lot of teasing going on. You get to know more about their former friendship and some of the pranks and adventures they lived through. At the same time they are still enemies because Ash swore to kill Puck and if he doesn't intend to keep his promise he will stop to exist. And you realize that this is hard for both of them and very complicated. There isn't just one truth, there are layers of truth and lies tainted by their feelings.
And you watch Ash changing. When he was cold, unfeeling and almost brutal he becomes more and more human. And he realizes what being human really means. He becomes vulnerable.
I don't want to give away too much but there are more members in this odd traveling group. One of them plays a central role for the whole plot and for the Puck-Ash-relationship.
As usual Julie Kagawa writes an amazing plot. There are a few massive surprises and twists. There is plenty of action and new fascinating fantasy creatures. But what really make you love this book are the calm scenes in between.
Meghan isn't there in long parts of the book. But as Ash is doing all this because of her, she is still a central part of the story.
Overall an amazing creative fantasy story about friendship, humanity and most of all love and how we deal with people we love. Well done, Julie Kagawa!
ARC courtesy of NetGalley.