Disowned by his own people, banished from the Iron Realm for his own good by a girl he loves, Ash begins his quest to find a way to get back to her. Winter faery can’t be around iron for long so for this to be possible, Ash has to become a mortal. And for that he needs a soul. Bound by his oath as Meghan’s Iron Knight there aren’t really any other options: he finds a way to be with her or he dies. Wait, there is one other future, because if he failed, Ash wouldn’t be just a regular promise-breaker, he would become something terrible, threatening the newly found balance of the Faery world.
"I'm going to kill you," I said softly, and Puck's eyebrow rose. "Not tonight. Maybe not tomorrow. But soon. Our past is catching up to us, Goodfellow, and this feud has gone on long enough"
Over the first three books Ash has become as human as a winter fey can possibly be and seeing it from his perspective is a whole new amazing experience. But it The Iron Knight there is also his other half – the unseelie half – that often surfaces and makes your blood run cold, makes Ash as dark as never before, because not only he has to earn his soul, he also has to come a long journey for the soul to be able to survive in his body. Those two sides – his dark unseelie nature and his other part that fell in love with half-human girl - battle for control and promise an amazing drama. Ash has to come to terms with his past as a ruthless unseelie prince and give up things that make him what he’s always been. It’s a tough journey full of obstacles and both physical and psychical pain. Will he even want a soul, once he really understands what it really means to be mortal?
His other catches included a yellow boot, a giant turtle that asked us for a pocket watch, and what looked like a large, normal catfish. That is, until it started sobbing enormous tears, begging us to return it to its family. I might’ve ignored the wailing fish and stuck it over the fire anyway, but the softhearted Goofellow let it go.
Unlike the previous books, The Iron Knight’s plot is fairly simple and straightforward. Ash has to fight his way through the tests – there is a generous amount of skirmishes and scuffles with all kinds of magical creatures, which don’t really count as my favourite part of the story, but these are regularly punctuated by dream sequences, prophetic visions, memories, witty dialogues and others. Ashe’s vow to kill Puck inevitably surfaces and demands fulfilment he no longer can ignore and results in some – well... heart throbbing scenes that made a brilliantly thrilling horror movie in my head. Also Ash has a new unexpected companion that makes him doubt everything he believed to be true and unchangeable.
"I'm not fearless," I told her. "There are a lot of things that scare me." Failure. My own savage, Unseelie nature. Being unable to save those I has sworn to protect. Having my heart ripped from me once more. "I'm not fearless," I said again. "Not by a long shot."
The writing is impeccable as always – beautiful prose packed with strings of enchanting almost magical words and sentences which made me reread whole paragraphs and bookmark like crazy (all in all 48 bookmarks for my favourite funny, romantic, dramatic and otherwise memorable parts.) I’m in awe of the way new faery creatures and places are presented and described – it all feels so deliciously new and imaginative but ancient – in a way that I believe they all have already existed in some old fairytales (which they probably do) – at the same time.
Great sequel that puts an end to an amazing trilogy (tetralogy). It’s not a full-fledged five star just because my favourite romantic subplot was overpowered by a lot of fighting.