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.
Name: The Iron Knight
Author: Julie Kagawa
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Release Date: October 26, 2011
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. Brutal.*
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.
In 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.
*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.
Some 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.
Ash 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.