Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Review - The Iron Knight, Julie Kagawa

SPOILER ALERT.

I've finally finished Julie Kagawa's The Iron Fey series, closing with the fourth and final book The Iron Knight (well, its the fourth if you're not including the novellas).

I was a bit dubious at first, as I said in my review of The Iron Queen, I'm not a huge fan of series that change narrator part way through. I just about tolerated New Moon so wasn't going in to this book with high expectations, figuring it would feel a bit disjointed.

However, I was actually really impressed. I thought I'd miss Meghan as the narrator but I really didn't. Ash, Puck, and Grimalkin were more than enough to carry this story (which makes me doubt my previous reviews) and a handful of additional characters held it together nicely.

From the very first book in the series The Iron King, it was blindingly obvious to me that we would eventually meet Ariella, and what do you know, here she is. This is the only character I really didn't wan't to appear in Ash's story because I feel she was a pointless addition. Kagawa is not going to write a whole series of books based on the relationship between Meghan and Ash then throw a spanner in the works right at the very end where Ash goes 'Oh Hey Ariella! Lets go make babies again' - No. Ash would clearly have never chosen Ariella over Meghan after all that build up, so why even bother posing the obstacle?

Again, you have to give it to Kagawa for her description in the book, and in fact, the whole series. She has a wonderful way with words and knows just the right amount of weird to include to really make you think 'God, this place is creepy'.

I loved that Meghan was still a relatively dominant character of this book, and giving her dialogue in the dream scene was a really nice idea as it felt like their relationship was kind of renewed at that point. Puck, as always, was a welcome presence in Ash's story. It was almost a little insight in to the previous relationship they had, hunting and fighting together, but at the same time still addressing the current tension between the two.

In terms of characters, the question that I did want answered was 'what the hell is Grimalkin?'. I kind of expected him to reveal himself as some bad ass deity type character but nothing ever came about, which I think is a shame. I would have proffered more focus on Grim than bringing back Ariella.

The romantic in me also wanted more of an epic reunion for Ash and Meghan at the end (and also hated Ash's fourth trial - the living the mortal life bit. Sad face for Ash), the ending felt a bit rushed to be honest and the very last paragraph really soured what could have been a great close to the series - Ariella was a main character for 1 book, and not even an interesting one at that, why close the entire series with her and Grim? But hey ho.

All of that said, I really enjoyed the story from Ash's perspective, and I loved Puck's ever annoying presence, but something just didn't quite sit right with me. I mentioned in my last review that The Iron Daughter was my favourite book in the series and I still stand by that. I felt like there was a lot of entertaining build up, for a pretty unsatisfactory and dull ending, so I'm going to give The Iron Knight a 3.5/5.

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