Book Review: The Iron Knight – Julie Kagawa

This is the absolutely magnificent conclusion to the story surrounding Meghan and Ash. Of course there’s still the e-Book novella, The Iron Prophecy, but I definitely have a lot more to talk about here.

Not that I didn’t enjoy The Iron Queen. I absolutely loved it, but with The Iron Knight, it goes deeper into what it means to be human, many beliefs and consequences etc.

And I’ll warn you once again, if you read THIS SYNOPSIS, you’re basically actually 100% spoiling yourself.


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Name: The Iron Knight
Author: Julie Kagawa
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Release Date: October 26, 2011

Synopsis

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…

To cold 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 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. And along the way Ash learns something that changes everything. A truth that challenges his darkest beliefs and shows him that, sometimes, it takes more than courage to make the ultimate sacrifice.


Book Cover Comments

Since this time it’s told in Ash’s POV, it’s natural for Ash to be on the cover :3 The blue vines are really befitting with the concept of Ash, since he is/was the Ice Prince of the Unseelie Court. One cute thing I think with this book is that the back features Puck’s face on it.

I really wonder about the decision for this time’s book layout, as all the previous books, Iron King Daughter Queen are just a regular paperback, while Iron Knight has extra flaps in the covers that stores the premise and the author bio. (kind of like a hardback, except it’s a non-removable jacket). The paper used is also jagged, so the recycled type.

Oh and, since I bought the box set, it comes with a Ash face+Ash quote / Puck face+Puck quote poster. Not that I’m ever gonna put it up. I think I’ll be creeped out by it despite having so many Kpop posters.


The Actual Review

This is (I didn’t cry) the most heartbreaking and beautiful conclusion ever. Seriously. I’m not kidding. Out of all the conclusions I have read up till now, The Iron Knight is definitely the most magnificent and the best.

The fact that Ash has that desire to be with Meghan and overcome any obstacles… It’s heartbreaking TTATT When one’s will is so strong, he or she can do anything in order to fullfill that wish, no matter the price he or she will have to pay, and this is what Ash did in this story: Travel to the Edge of the World, go through the gauntlet, so that he can gain a soul to become human.

*note that the gauntlet, other than being that heavy-metal Medieval knight glove, it is also known as a trial method in the Dark Ages where criminals-whatsoever run through a series of guards and get poked at etc. and just don’t die. Yea. BrutalImage result for tsubasa chronicles quotes.*
Before Ash, along with Puck, Grimalkin and a character I won’t mention cus no spoilers had to travel to the seer. And before that, Ash and Puck had an argument about a precious friend of theirs, Ariella, who was lost to them on a quest they had ages ago. While Ash had lost Ariella and turned to fury against Puck, Puck lost both Ash and Ariella, and I thought this was really heartbreaking. I’m going to bring up an image that I saw some time ago that relates back to Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle (You can find my review on this manga series from my list of reviews), and the fact that Puck is always smiling reflects that he is the saddest in a way. And through this exchange, Ash learns to understand the pain that Puck has been going through. *speechless*

When Ash and Puck went to the seer, there is this insane plot twist+revelation happening, of course I won’t spoil you because that’s not fun, but I was like, wait this is just a dream right? No it’s no real. OH GoD iT’s REaL. And so the seer would basically go on the journey with them (I’m sorry but this is the least of the spoilers that you at least need to know.

 

Screen Shot 2016-11-15 at 12.26.46 pm.pngIn order to reach the Edge of the World, as I said the kiddos would have to go through the Gauntlet. There were two tasks that really hit me. One which I won’t tell you because I really don’t want to spoil you, but the other, I will tell you. So if you don’t wanna be spoiled, skip this paragraph. The crew has to go through a Hall of Mirrors, and if any of you watched Barbie: Mariposa, you would know that Mariposa and her friends had to enter a hall of mirrors as well, reflecting another side of them.

This goes into the concept of embracing your other self, good or bad, because accepting all sides of you is what makes you strong, no matter how painful it would be. You require both your bad side and your good side, balancing them well, in order to draw out your fullest potential.Image result for xxxholic quotes

*ok I haven’t written such a lengthy book review since Throne of Glass books*


Final Trials. Oh God.

This time, Ash goes through these trials alone, and he has three trials to go through. This time I won’t spoil you even though I have the extreme urge to tell you the concepts explored, but I’ll Try my best.

Ash now completely understands what it is like to be a human, whereas before all the trials, the fact that he lacked some things or he exceled in some things made him turn a blind eye to humans.

Image result for xxxholic quotesSome really beautiful things is that the seer reinforces the fact that through strong will and desire, anyone can become strong, even if it is not physical, but the mental will can be as strong as a blade.

 

 

Image result for xxxholic quotesAsh went through so much in order to find his way to be with Meghan, and you might as well as be able to predict the ending, but just before everything, there is the phrase where “you must pay the exact same price for your wish”, and this has been enacted in this book, for what I will not say, but further proves the inspiration coming from xxxHOLiC. (I’m sorry it’s my obsessions)

In fact I’m gonna put a whole ton of xxxHOLiC quotes and let’s see when you read the book, if you can find these concepts.


If I recall, there have been readers that were not satisfied with the fact that there wasn’t enough romance in this book, nor was there much interaction between Meghan and Ash, but it is this separation that makes the meeting much more meaningful.


The Iron Knight is the most absolutely beautiful conclusion that goes through so many morals and truths about humanity, bringing readers to not only enjoy every single page of this book, but also for them to look back on their own lives, and to look at life itself in every single way.

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Book Review: The Iron Queen – Julie Kagawa

It’s quite hard to try to not spoil you readers because I’m just going to assume that most of you reading this blog hasn’t read this series yet, and yet this is the third book I’m reviewing.

Ok heavy warning: don’t read the synopsis if you haven’t read the previous books. I’m not kidding you will ruin yourself.


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Name: The Iron Queen
Author: Julie Kagawa
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Release Date: January 25, 2011

Synopsis

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.


Book Cover Comments

This time the symbol is a flower. And holy crap, that hot pink on black is legit one of the best color combos in the world of colors. Like, Black and Pink? There’s a reason why a new Kpop girl group is called BLACKPINK.

Meghan on this cover also has this really devastating look and I absolutely love it.


The Actual Review

So we all know that there is a sequel to this main timeline, the 4th book, The Iron Knight, but originally The Iron Queen was a wrap up to Meghan’s story, so yea Imma talk about it.

*trying to recall what happened in the book because I did read 4 books and 3 novellas of this series in 2 weeks*

The tension was well built up in this book, with a calm beginning to a cliffhanger ending. Throughout, I really enjoyed the journeys of Meghan throughout her pathway to defeating the False King of the Iron Realm. There were many moments where I thought Meghan was kind of stubborn because she refused to listen to some other people at certain situations which I won’t spoil, and of course, it isn’t until the last minute where she actually listens.

The entire concept of Meghan bearing special powers (now) is absolutely cool, and the quest to control both the powers inside of her, to maintain the balance instead of tipping the scale, is really interesting. This concept can actually also be seen in The Iron Knight, where I will talk more about in my next review (geez gotta catch up on my reviews. After this I’ll be taking a nap)

In the end when the other courts of Nevernever had to come back to Meghan for help, it was kind of funny, since Oberon and Mab have been ruling parts of Nevernever for centuries. And through the event of asking Meghan for help, it also shows that little bit of emotion, connection and humanity from Oberon and Mab, despite being soulless fae, and that’s what I really love about them in this story.

And Grimalkin is still the best cat in the world, being the one to lead them on, help them through paths and leading to the conclusion of the book.

I’ll get to talk more about Ash and Puck in detail in my next book, since it’s still currently Meghan’s story and Meghan’s life, but right now it’s time to talk about the romance.

The Romance is this book is deafening to a point that I cannot even describe. It is terrifically amazing. The romance throughout the entire series is just mind-blowing. If you’re looking for fae x romance, this is the thing that you MUST go for. Meghan and her lover (I’m trying not to spoil for readers who haven’t even read book 1 ~ 2) are just hot as hell, and I can’t die not swooning over these two’s love. I also really like the concept of how lover’s glamour is so strong, and that is what love is. Isn’t it?

The conclusion was heartbreaking and terrifying, but at the same time absolutely magnificent and beautiful. I don’t want to say this but the title does give away what happens in the end, though anyone would forget what it is until they close this book and take a deep breath. Meghan has grown so much from The Iron King up till here, The Iron Queen, and the decisions she makes in order to protect those she loves dearly are brave and Queen-like, out of pure love, even if it means a great cost and pain.

I’m so glad I bought the box set so I could read the next book immediately.


The Iron Queen is a beautiful wrap up to the climax of the first arc of the Iron Fey series, full with romance, decisions, choices and a cliffhanger conclusion that will make you want to read the next book immediately.

Book Review: The Iron Daughter – Julie Kagawa

 

I’m quite happy because I’m back on track with my reading. And holy crap this series’ romance is definitely something to die for.

Also I used tape to stick my left pinky together with my left ring finger so I wouldn’t use my pinky because it’s exhausted. I also put my left leg up on my table while typing this because my thigh is so sore.


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Name: The Iron Daughter
Author: Julie Kagawa
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Release Date: August 1, 2010

Synopsis

Half Summer faery princess, half human, Meghan has never fit in anywhere. Deserted by the Winter prince she thought loved her, she is prisoner to the Winter faery queen. As war looms between Summer and Winter, Meghan knows that the real danger comes from the Iron fey—ironbound faeries that only she and her absent prince have seen. But no one believes her.

Worse, Meghan’s own fey powers have been cut off. She’s stuck in Faery with only her wits for help. Trusting anyone would be foolish. Trusting a seeming traitor could be deadly. But even as she grows a backbone of iron, Meghan can’t help but hear the whispers of longing in her all-too-human heart


Book Cover Comments

So first of all praise for the beautiful vines because they’re always so pretty. And omg this time Meghan looks even prettier on the cover. I love how this time it’s a butterfly, and in my opinion, butterflies basically relate to metamorphosis, and how Meghan begins to grow up even more in this book.

 


The Actual Review

Once again, if you haven’t read the first book I suggest you stay on my Iron King review before moving on. And don’t ever read the synopsis/premise of Book 3 and 4. Especially 4. You will spoil the hell out of yourself.

I, absolutely, absolutely, love this book. Slightly reminds me of A Court of Mist and Fury. I need to stop thinking about Sarah J. Maas for a second.

In this book, Meghan spends the beginning of it in the Winter Court, hanging out with Mab and dealing with her. I love how she’s basically the Snow Queen and all of that, and I love her personality. Way better than Titania, at least. In this book. We also get to meet Sage and Rowan (ffs not Rowan Whitehorn), who are Ash’s bros, and their personalities and such. I really wanna know tons more about Sage, but of course he’s not the focus. He seems kind compared to how Ash described them in book 1, but alas.

This time, it’s a different threat from the same Iron Kingdom, and how Julie once again entwines the modern world with fae is really interesting, especially her choice of where the Iron Fey are based in this book in the human realm. We also get to meet the character Leanansidhe, who lives in the in-between world, and helps out Meghan. I find her extremely amusing in unpredictable, with her thoughts and how people describe her.

And during the time the main cast spends time with her, the “dancing around the truth” and “true names” always comes back to me, and the true name thing is definitely why this has gives me a reminiscent of xxxHOLiC, as I have mentioned in my previous review.

There are secrets hidden from each other in this book, but it is because of so, where people learn how to deal with those hiding from them, and the timing of things. It was also saddening to see relationships growing apart, breaking relationships because of misunderstandings, and I wanted to kill myself throughout this book because it was fantastic.

And the romance, holy crap. I die for this romance. It is absolutely sweet and magnificent, and how Julie decides when the relationships are glowing brighter and dimmer, as well as jealously and accepting one’s past relationships, all these fused into this book, and oh my god romance.


 

The sequel where the characters grow up into their next stage and face their next level of challenge, along with new allies, secrets, betrayals, enemies, the Iron Daughter brings the reader into the realm of Nevernever even more, making sure we never stop flipping through the pages.

Book Review: The Iron King – Julie Kagawa

I sincerely apologise for the 11 day gap between the previous review and this review.

I took an entire week to read Alice in Wonderland & Alice Through the Looking Glass despite it being short. Probably because I seriously don’t understand classics that well. I do wanna talk about it so I guess, another book review it is.


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Name: The Iron King
Author: Julie Kagawa
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Release Date: October 4, 2016

Synopsis

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.


Book Cover Comments

 

Now let’s put aside the human face, because I’m really not a big fan of human faces on book covers XD I’m too 2-D. My mate is also in 2-D (how tragic my life is)

I love the borders so much, and the blue ombre gradient is actually so pretty I cannot. The spine is ACTUALLY GORGEOUS, MAINLY BECAUSE OF THE SIMPLICITY, AND THE SAME GOES TO THE BACK AS WELL. FONT ON BLACK IS SLICK AND DEAD GORGEOUS.


The Actual Review

 

I should have done tabbing.

This book is absolutely magnificent.

I delayed this series since June and I wasn’t sure what to expect since I did buy the box set, a.k.a. determined to read the four books. BUT WHEN ALL THE TOPICS ABOUT FAERIES CAME UP I STARTED GETTING SUPER HYPED. The Iron King touches to the very basis of what faerie legends are to us, with the Seelie and Unseelie Courts. I actually had absolutely no clue about these things until this book. Ok Fine. I had a concept, but that came from the anime “Earl & Fairy”. SO when the terminologies such as Kelpie, Oberon & Titania ties into the terminology I hear from the anime, I hyperventilate and got soooo excited.

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That is my Grim right there. You see him?

Then there are the courts, which I did research after I read the series, with all the Seasonal Courts and how they work. Thank you Julie Kagawa for giving me the opportunity to expand my faerie legend knowledge even by a speck.

I don’t really know what to talk about characters. I’m just not a good book blogger, am I XD We’ll begin with Grimalkin then. He’s a cait sith that’s Meghan’s buddy in the faerie world. I absolutely love his mysteriousness and the fact that he’s a cait sith, and that just sparks things up a lot, with his abilities and identity, and just the fact that I can imagine what he’ll be like, thanks to the Earl & Fairy.

I find Meghan quite a daring person. Maybe I’d be like her when I visit the faerie world. As the faerie world and characters unveil around her, Meghan discovers herself and what she can do more and more, and how she sees those around her. Though I have to say she does have that certain dumbness in her with her mind and her eccentric tastes in clothing, but I glamour my characters like hell so who cares XD
Image result for seelie and unseelie courtAsh is the Winter Prince whom you’ll meet in the series, and it’s really sad to see such a character like him, the vows that he has to keep because he is the Winter Prince of the Unseelie Court, and the past he has dealt with. And all of a sudden, this series is starting to give me a Throne Of Glass Feel. No spoilers at all. Don’t worry. Then another character you’ll see around a lot is Puck. Puck is the playfulness to Ash’s coolness, and you don’t say that that’s a cliche love triangle whatsoever, but it’s these kind of romance relationships that I invest my mind into simply because I’m so shallow minded. I really can’t say anything more about him or I would be giving away spoilers.

So plot wise, I’m not going to spoil you readers, but I really really love the concept behind the Iron Fey Series, and you can figure out the meaning behind that if you would like to read this series. It really ties back into modern context about reality, the industrial revolutions as well as modern society booms, and how that ties back into the whole plot. The reality that the fairytales are facing right now, now that science is the absolute fact and human’s ambition to discover the truth of everything.

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I also wanna point out how the rules that the book series is setting, with bargains, promises and requests just really reminds me of the manga/anime series xxxHOLiC. The price of any wish must be paid at an absolute equal amount, and how promises must be kept and cannot be taken easily. Truths and lies and how the fae dance around these rules, the deep morals of some of these faerie world rules just makes me fall in love with it even more.


The Iron King kicks off the series with a strong start, tying in not only the very basis of the faerie world, as well as modern context that brings a whole realisation to readers of the world around them, rules in life, as well as a rich and lush romance that will send any reader into a bliss of love.