The Blurb: 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.
My Thoughts: The hits keep on coming in this book. At first I was like, okay, Ash and Puck, no Meghan because she runs the Iron Realm they’ll both die if they go there. Great. But then Ash has that one last promise he has to fulfill because he’s Fae and he’s bound by his word. He told Meghan he’d find a way to be with her in the Iron Realm and he’s going to die trying.
There were some MAJOR surprise twists in the book that I didn’t see coming. If you’ve read it you’ll know what I mean. It’s always nice when people come back from the dead.
I’ve come to accept that Julie’s books are like Super Mario Brothers. You can’t go very far without a bad guy jumping out of a bush and attacking you, or a tree poking you or some kind of booby trap springing up on you. Julie made her books full of action so you never miss a dull moment with all the fighting going on.
Anyway, even with all the fighting, Ash had a lot of hard decisions to make. He’s basically given the chance of a lifetime in this book. He gets to see his entire future, two paths all laid out for him and he has to make the choice. He chooses to go to the End of the World, the end of Never Never, to where the place that the Fae go to when they die, through the River of Dreams, to the Testing Grounds to get a mortal soul.
Getting there took a long time, Ash had Puck, Grimalkin, the Big Bad Wolf and a mystery character along for that journey. We got to see him battle a bad version of himself, and subsequently a bad version of Puck too. So if you were ever wondering who would win if Ash and Puck DID try to kill each other, um, you get to find that out.
You also get to see Ash’s life with Meghan in fast forward. And you also get to see his past, which *claps* Julie you did an amazing job on that. To say Ash was a cold-hearted Ice Prince in his past is an understatement. He was . . . there isn’t a word for how cruel Ash used to be.
Now, there was ONE thing I LOVED about this book that goes hand in hand with what I believe about some of the otherkin races. As an Ice Prince, Ash is immune to emotion. He did bad things in his past, but he doesn’t feel remorse. Having a soul makes you feel that remorse. (okay she might have gotten that but Buffy but I don’t care.) The point is that I’ve always believed that one of the best and worst thing about the human race is their ability to love. Otherkin races like elvens or faeries don’t have that luxury. They don’t have the capacity to love. During the trials, Ash finally knows what it means to feel remorse for his past actions.
And so I was pretty much having one of my moments with that, squee, gush, whatever you want to call it. In my series, the elvens don’t have the capability to feel love. Gah, the crossovers between me and Julie are endless! I need to meet this girl!
And that was pretty much the best part of the book other than the epic second last scene.
Have I mentioned that Julie Kagawa is my new favorite author? (because she is)
And I’m sad to see this series end. She could have done a fifth book, but instead she’s going on to tell the story of Ethan AND she’s writing about Vampires . . . *sigh* I followed you to the end of the world Julie . . . I just wish that after the end of the world there weren’t vampires.
It’s just this phobia I have of needles and blood and such. I get all queasy when it comes to vampires.
Anyway, for the readers, go and read Julie’s books! Go go now . . . the first few are out in paperback and if you’re lucky, The Iron Knight is still $4.99 on Kindle.