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The Iron Knight (Iron Fey, Book 4) — Julie Kagawa
Book Reviews
October 28, 2011 posted by Kiona

The Iron Knight (Iron Fey, Book 4) — Julie Kagawa

Check out this teaser quote from the Iron Knight:

“Yes,” I said, repressing a sigh. “I heard you. I think the jabberwocks on the other side of the swamp heard you.”

“Oh, good! Maybe if we fight a couple you’ll start paying attention to me!” Puck matched my glare before gesturing around at the swamp. “This is crazy,” he exclaimed. “How do we even know he’s here? The Bone Marsh isn’t exactly on my list of favorite vacation getaways, prince. You sure your contact knew what he was talking about? If this turns out to be another false lead I might turn that phouka into a pair of gloves.”

Intrigued yet? Look for another excerpt tomorrow at Curling Up by the Fire’s blog.


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…

The fourth book in the Iron Fey series is easily my favorite and I’m sure I won’t be alone in thinking that. At the end of the third book, Meghan banished Ash from the Iron Realm, knowing he would stay by her side despite how harmful living in the Iron Realm would be to his health. But before he left, Ash made an oath that he would find a way to be with her. The Iron Knight tells the story of Ash’s journey to find a soul — to become mortal and therefore immune to the effects on iron. Of course, he doesn’t embark on such a perilous mission alone; he has Grim and Puck, as well as a couple other surprising companions they meet along the way.

At first, I was a fan of the Iron Fey series. But by the third book, I read reluctantly and slowly, putting the book down for long stretches of time before returning to it. Meghan’s character began to wear on me, but at the same time, I needed an end to her and Ash’s story, so I happily reached for the fourth book. Despite the length, I flew through the conclusion to the Iron Fey series.In my opinion, writing a book from Ash’s point of view is the best idea Julie Kagawa could have for this series. Being in Meghan’s mind grew so annoying, but reading the story from Ash’s point of view is fresh, enjoyable, and exciting. Not only that, but a majority of the book is free of Meghan’s whining voice, and instead filled with my favorite character, Puck. Without Meghan around, Ash becomes a much lighter, carefree individual and we finally get to see the close friendship between Puck and Ash reemerge. And because Meghan wasn’t around too often to annoy, the scenes she did spend with Ash were sweet and heartwarming. Less tears, more determination.

The Iron Knight is also full of non-stop action, but there are more intellectual puzzles in addition to constant battles. Kagawa delivers surprise after surprise, leaving the reader in a constant state of agonizing suspense. I tried and mostly failed to predict what would happen next, which filled me with an odd sense of elation due to the depressing nature of most of my predictions. Some aspects of the journey and of Ash’s trials do seem a little cliche, but not so much so that they distract from the plot at all. For the most part, the conflicts and plot twists are incredibly unique and intricate. Just reading Iron Knight is an emotional roller coaster almost as harrowing as Ash’s — and he has to live through all these crazy events!

The only problems I had with this book are the same ones I had in the previous three. First, overuse of the word “writhing” — it must be Kagawa’s favorite verb. Also, the characters all formally address each other too often to be believable. Every sentence seems to contain some variation of a moniker: Prince/Little Prince/Ice Boy/Winter Prince, Puck/Goodfellow/Robin Goodfellow, Grim/Cat. Especially when it came to Ash, I wanted to shake every person that insisted on calling him “Prince of the Winter Court” in every sentence of speech. So unnecessary. But these are things that, after reading the first three books in the series, I’ve come to accept. And while a majority of the second half of this book left me bewildered and perplexed, internally protesting in outrage, I believe that was Kagawa’s intent and I’m glad she could inspire such a strong emotional reaction in me.

Essentially, if you’re an Ash fan, you’ll love Iron Knight. If you’re a Puck fan, you’ll love Iron Knight. If the end of Iron Queen made you throw the book against the wall in frustration, demanding some sort of resolution for Ash and Meghan, you’ll love Iron Knight. This book is a long, crazy ride, but one you’ll enjoy every minute of.

Pages: 386
Publication Date: October 2011
Publisher: HarlequinTEEN
Challenge: N/A
Rating : ★★★★☆

Teaser Quote: “You know me, Meghan Chase.” Ariella stepped forward, the mist parting for her, to stand before us clearly. “I am the one who was left behind, the one Ash knew before you ever came into the picture.”


To celebrate the release of The Iron Knight, HarlequinTeen is offering a giveaway of one copy to a U.S. or Canada resident only. Loved the review? Just wait until you read the book!

The Nitty Gritty:

  • Simply fill out this form with your name, email, and mailing address. We randomly draw the winners using random.org.
  • Giveaway is open to US/Canada residents only.
  • Ends on November 04, 2011.
The Iron Queen (Iron Fey, Book 3) – Julie Kagawa
Book Reviews
October 13, 2011 posted by Kiona

The Iron Queen (Iron Fey, Book 3) – Julie Kagawa

My name is Meghan Chase.

I thought it was over. That my time with the fey, the impossible choices I had to make, the sacrifices of those I loved, was behind me. But a storm is approaching, an army of Iron fey that will drag me back, kicking and screaming. Drag me away from the banished prince who’s sworn to stand by my side. Drag me into the core of conflict so powerful, I’m not sure anyone can survive it.

This time, there will be no turning back.

The third book in the Iron Fey series provides the same non-stop action as its predecessors. The only thing is, this time around, the constant conflict started to wear on my nerves. I didn’t really start caring about this book until halfway through, when the major Narnia-esque conflict began. The first half just seemed like a way to kill time and unnecessarily impress the reader. But by the third book in a series, we don’t need flashy new creatures or foreboding prophecies to be impressed; we’re already invested in the characters, their world, and in this case, their fight against the false king. I didn’t think it was possible for Julie Kagawa to introduce even more creatures, but she did, making it even harder for me to keep track of everything and everyone. There came a point where I stopped caring about the descriptions because I knew I’d never be able to remember what each specific faery looked like.

Now let’s talk about Meghan. Meghan’s near-constant state of helplessness was clearly becoming a problem and so it made complete sense for her to learn how to defend herself. But doesn’t sword-fighting take years of practice? Meghan spent all of a month or two learning and then instantly dove into numerous battles, coming out the victor each time. I’d understand if she got lucky a couple of times, especially if she had the help of Ash or Puck, but she literally fought trained soldiers, alone, and managed to win, without coming to any serious harm herself. And then, suddenly, she was ready to fight in a war? I just don’t find any of that plausible. Meanwhile, a power all her own lies dormant and unusable until the very end of the book. I’d be far more willing to believe she mastered her own summer/iron power and use it defend herself than a sword.

As for Puck and Ash, I still love Puck, though I still think the amount he addresses Meghan as “Princess” is a little unnatural. But I’m used to that. He’s as sarcastic, witty, and humorous as ever; he captures my attention in every scene. Then there’s Ash. I’m probably the only girl in the world who isn’t in love with him. I just don’t see the insane appeal and I don’t really understand his willingness to devote his entire life to Meghan. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t dislike Ash. I’m just not in love with him, nor am I sure why Meghan is, besides the obvious physical attraction. I think Kagawa goes a little over the top with their romance-to-end-all-romances. The idea that (mini spoiler alert!) sleeping together signifies the merging of their souls is completely ridiculous, to me. But as much as I don’t understand their relationship, I was still touched by the ending and left craving answers that only the fourth book will provide.

Basically, fans of the series will love this book. It’s written exactly as the first two in the series and provides an intricate, suspense-ridden plot. It has its moments of joy, battle, discovery, and heartbreak. Readers will fly through the second half of the book and turn the last few pages anxiously, praying for it not to end. But never fear, for the ride will continue in the fourth book, The Iron Knight.

Review of The Iron King.
Review of The Iron Daughter.

Pages: 358
Publication Date: January 2011
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Challenge: N/A
Rating : ★★★☆☆

Teaser Quote: “For the record,” Grimalkin stated as we ventured, single file, into the black, “I do not think this is a good idea. But, as no one listens to the cat anymore, I will have to wait until we are completely lost to say ‘I told you so.’”

The Iron King – Julie Kagawa
Book Reviews
December 14, 2010 posted by Kiona

The Iron King – Julie Kagawa

“Meghan Chase has a secret destiny – one she could never have imagined…

Something has always felt slightly off in Meghan’s life, ever since her father disappeared before her eyes when she was six. She has never quite fit in at school…or at home.

When a dark stranger begins watching her from afar, and her prankster best friend becomes strangely protective of her, Meghan senses that everything she’s known is about to change.

But she could never have guessed the truth – that she is the daughter of a mythical faery king and is a pawn in a deadly war. Now Meghan will learn just how far she’ll go to save someone she cares about, to stop a mysterious evil no faery creature dare face…and to find love with a young prince who might rather see her dead than let her touch his icy heart.”

When I first began The Iron King, I was afraid I wouldn’t like it. I’m always wary of the Faery world. Some authors describe it well and some authors completely butcher it. But as soon as I realized Iron King offered a modern twist on Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” I was hooked.

On her sixteenth birthday, Meghan Chase begins to see things that can’t be real. She chalks these odd visions up to her imagination, but when her sweet, four-year-old brother suddenly attacks their mother, she realizes she’s been fooling herself. Her best and only friend, Robbie Goodfell, reveals himself to be Robin Goodfellow, the age-old prankster known as “Puck” in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” He explains that her real brother has been captured and replaced with a changeling. Puck agrees to take Meghan to the Unseelie Court in search of her real brother and a wild adventure begins.

This story is definitely action-packed. Every chapter provides a new twist and turn. I thought the constant plot twists would become exhausting at some point, but instead I just kept turning the pages, wondering what would happen next. Julie Kagawa does a phenomenal job when it comes to world building. Meghan and Puck journey through the Nevernever, the Seelie Court, and the Unseelie Court. Meghan meets all sorts of interesting creatures and beings, each of which are carefully described and easy to imagine. Reading The Iron King allows you to fully immerse yourself in a completely new world.

I loved the characters introduced in this first installment of The Iron Fey series. Meghan was realistic and relatable, though it was sometimes hard to understand if she was more of a damsel-in-distress type or the type of girl willing to fight for herself and her friends through whatever means possible. Puck is witty and protective, the kind of guy I wish could be my best friend. His relationship with Meghan isn’t forced or unbelievable. Eventually, Prince Ash is introduced, creating the stereotypical love triangle. But this love triangle works. Romance isn’t the central focus of this book, for once. Friendship and understanding grow between Meghan and Ash before any romantic feelings take over. Sure, there’s that initial attraction, but the two don’t instantly fall in love, as is the case with so many other novels. And Meghan’s confusion between her feelings for Puck and her feelings for Ash is palpable, which lets the reader sympathize with her.

I can only think of two downsides to this book. The first is Puck’s near-constant use of the title “Princess” in reference to Meghan. By the first chapter, we get it. Puck knows something we don’t know. By the second chapter, it’s obvious that there’s something different about Meghan…she’s a princess. The amount of times Puck calls Meghan “Princess” in every conversation is unnatural and forced. But because he’s Puck, I’ll let it slide. The second downside was the use of the word “writhing.” Not a big deal, by any means, but still distracting. Everything was constantly writhing, especially toward the end of the book. Any other verb would have sufficed.

But those are just minor details. The Iron King is a gripping lead with a surprising ending that leaves reader’s dying to get their hands on the second book in the series. Kagawa has created a world that is difficult to stop thinking about for too long.

Pages: 363
Publication Date: February 2010
Rating : ★★★½☆

Teaser Quote: I licked my lips and whispered, “Is this where you say you’ll kill me?” One corner of his lip curled. “If you like,” he murmured, a flicker of amusement finally crossing his face. “Though it’s gotten far too interesting for that.”