Finished Date: August 6th, 2011
Source: eARC from Netgalley
Series: The Iron Fey book 4
Blurb from Goodreads: 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 Review: I had very conflicting emotions about this final book in the series, and the one that featured most prominently was of course the bittersweet knowledge that our journey with our beloved (do you call it quartet?) quartet has finally come to their beautiful close.
My summary(which i will try my very best to leave out any spoilers):
Previously in THE IRON QUEEN, Meghan, the new Iron Queen, forbade Ash the son of Winter to enter the Iron Realm where she resides. So now, Ash, with the help of Puck, Grim, and two others (the revelation of these two would surely be a kick in the guts - a real, hard, unexpected kick) would try to gain a soul to be able to stand beside Meghan as Ash, a once-Fae with a mortal soul - in short, the Ash that would not burn to death when placed amidst a whole landscape of iron.
I shall end the summary there lest i reveal more. I love to spoiler stuff, as can be seen from my other reviews, but i shall restrain myself. For now.>:) (Oh and for convenient and my promise for a non-spoilery review's sake, i shall name the 1 of the new companions A).
Wow, there is so much to gush about this book i don't even know where to begin! This book has twice the number of adventures than in the previous 3 books, and a lot more lores and legends brought into play. Our little band of travellers had to venture deep into the Deep Wyld where only the most Ancient calls them home and is considered dangerous and uncharted lands to the normal Fey folks. From there, they have to fight off monsters and spirits, and most importantly, fight through their dark emotions, past torments and inner demons.
This book was relatively darker and more sinister-feeling since Ash himself hadnt had a very clean, untainted history. And without Meghan there to shower some love, it became rather gloomy at parts. However whenever Puck is there, i can guarantee the smile that will surely sprout on your face. Oh man, Puck is hilarious! Seriously, i love the man.
Example: “You realize you’ve just been duped by a fish,” I said, watching the catfish grin at me before slipping into the dark waters, lost from view. Puck shrugged.
“Hey, it was going to name one of its grandfish after me,” he said, tossing the line into the water again. “That’s one of my rules, you know. I refuse to eat anything that names its kid after me.”
Puck has been infinitely more adorable, but when he isnt joking, he can be pretty serious. He does feel lots of strong emotions, i mean not only to Meghan, but to our dear ice-boy too. He's a good friend and i was kind of sad when it was time for.....sigh...i shan't spoiler..
(Are you all hyped up to read the book already, Team Puck-ers?:D)
Anyway, back to Ash. I had this constant fear that the Ash i have come to really, REALLY like (the reclusive, brooding, quietly protective one) will slowly fade away since we're going to constantly look into his head. At first, i was amazed by how well Kagawa managed to keep that image up, like, really well. Really, it was absolutely amazing the skill which she has shown. However towards the ending, it did sort of change a bit, and yeah, i was quite disappointed there. It was sort of like his essence kind of leeched away a little and i couldn't reconcile the Ash that was teary and scared near the end and the Ash i have painted in my head. But the epilogue saved everything so I assure you that everything is still right on track:).
Talking about ending......Ash was SUPER, S.U.P.E.R swoon-worthy! Yep, swoon-worthy indeed. Tho there was the "Im happy you found happiness" thing that was kind of weird..i have an idea of who said it, but still,i like a little confirmation after everyone else has read the book.
The new scenery, new folklores, new legends and myths were abundant here, all richly-detailed, and ever much more enchanting than ever. I really wonder where Ms Kagawa gets them..Did Shakespeare really invent and cover a whole new world so precisely and just so..full of magic in that one little book? Really doubt that..but if he didn't and those things in THE IRON KNIGHT was actually Ms Kagawa's own input, then i must applaud her for her ingenuity and creativity. They are absolutely stunning and just so..cool.
However having all that said, i have to admit that the middle portion of the book got a little boring. Which is surprising since i NEVER get bored reading any this book's predecessors..never. I guess that it is because there wasnt quite as much Ash-Meghan love in here than the others..but still.
Moving on, an old friend, Companion A, joined in our little travelling party. I was feeling rather disgruntled that she was admitted into our protagonists' group, to be able to get re-aquainted with Puck and Ash(*grinds teeth*). I was afraid of Ash being distracted from his vow to Meghan (Yes, the situation is THAT dire!). But as the story progressed, i started feeling sorry for her. For one, Kagawa seemed a little..cruel to her. Made her seem so disposable. It was kinda sad.. That's one of the things that made this novel a very dark one.
Overall, this book was filled with adventures and obstacles, sacrifices and self-discovery (for Ash at least). The plot was rich, refreshing and unexpected, all this amidst the mystical forest deep within the Nevernever where the true monsters lurked. A wonderful curtain call to an amazing series and i really do hope to see more of each of them in the next series which is going to feature Ethan, Meghan's brother, as the main protagonist!
Just a little side notes and thoughts that you would not want to read if you havent already read the book and would contain spoilers:
1) This is something minor..When Ash and Puck were in the wyldwood looking for Grim, it was kind of funny that there were dragonflies in there. I don't know, is it me only or what, that there things in the mortal realm that lives there..I mean, dragonflies? Why not fireflies? They seem more..magical to me, dont it?haha
2)Seriously, this going to be very spoilery.
*This ebook was supplied by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.* Thank you Netgalley and Harlequin!:D