Author: Julie Kagawa
Synopsis (Courtesy of Powell’s Books):
“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…”
Thoughts: Warning. Do not read this review if you have not read the rest of the series, especially The Iron Queen, or do not care about being spoiled. Continue at your own risk.
Just when you think a series cannot get any more thrilling and perfect, Ms. Kagawa comes around and proves you wrong. The Iron Knight picks up after Ash has been banished from the Iron Realm as he is on his journey to find the Cheshire cat and a way to become human. Puck, his ever-faithful best friend/arch-enemy accompanies him on this perilous journey. The back-and-forth banter between Ash and Puck is at its best, while Ash discovers what it means to become a human.
Unlike some of the more fantastic, mythical elements of the Iron Fey series, The Iron Knight’s true horror lies in the exploration of humanity. Frailty and mortality are only small portions of a human soul, and the tests Ash faces on his journey highlight just how strong humans are, much to his surprise. It is a battle unlike any Ash or Puck has previously faced and a welcome surprise for readers who were wondering how Ms. Kagawa could possibly pull off a fourth story without rehashing previous plot twists.
More than any of the other novels in the series, The Iron Knight is about heart, courage, and strength of character. In a society that idolizes the supernatural and is always seeking eternal youth, Ms. Kagawa reminds readers that being human is not easy and involves its own kind of strength. She makes a reader proud to be human instead of wishing that the Fay or other supernatural creatures do exist.
Julie Kagawa knows how to finish a series. She stays true to each of her characters without changing their voices or mannerisms. She provides the happily ever after while leaving enough to the reader’s imagination to satisfy even the most discerning of readers. The Iron Knight is a satisfying ending to one of the best paranormal YA series out there.