Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Review: The Iron Knight by Julie Kagawa


The Iron Knight by Julie Kagawa

Series: Iron Fey (#4)
Pages: 386
Publisher: Harlequin
Published: October 25th, 2011
IBSN: 9780373210367

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…

Meghan's ordeal was long. Fighting to find her kidnapped brother stolen away to the realm of fey turned into a fight to save the second world she was tied to by blood. At the end she took her throne as the Iron Queen, ruling over a place lethal to her Ash. Determined to see her again, he's seeking out mortality. His journey, of course, won't be easy either, but he'll find that the most trying obstacles aren't the physical ones.

The Iron Knight is the unexpected fourth book in the Iron Fey series, one I first saw as tacked awkwardly onto the end of an established and successful franchise. Though this first impression was diminished as I continued and it became clear that Ash's story is a necessary addition to the saga and I wasn't giving Miss Kagawa nearly enough credit.

The writing style was fluid and descriptive enough to create a vivid image of the ethereal world. Her characters were created with distinct personalities, though sometimes it feels like they lacked depth. Much of Puck and Ash's interactions read in the exact same way, with Ash entirely stoic and Puck steadfastly energetic. I got tired occasionally of their stereotypical personalities.

The major appeal to me in Julie Kagawa's narrative style, however, is the plot and pacing reminiscent of children's epics. There is a series of complications on the way to the solving the overall problem. If the plot were a mountain, regular stories would be of characters climbing it. Kagawa's plots are like large step pyramids, with heights and heights to scale.

The ending disappointed me slightly, though. I felt like the issue Ash found with the mortality he was seeking wasn't addressed properly. He essentially ignored the problem and hoped for it to go away -- and it did. I liked the place where we parted with the characters, but it felt like some things were overlooked in order to get them there.

The Iron Knight should appeal to fans of earlier books in the series, and to those who miss the adventure stories of their younger years.

I give The Iron Knight a 4 out of 5.