Iron Knight by Julie Kagawa (fourth book of the Iron Fey series)
Ash was one of my favorite characters throughout the entire Iron Fey series, and when I read in one of the reviews that he and Megan don't have a good ending in the Iron Queen, I actually put the series away for a while. I asked a friend who had read them if it was worth reading and on her recommendation, I finished the rest of them. It was so worth it.
**Warning** **There are a few minor spoilers!**
In The Iron Queen, we finally see Megan get a backbone and stand up for herself. She annoyed me up until this point, but redeemed herself. At the end of Iron Queen, however, Ash has to leave because he can't stay within the Iron Realm with his queen without dying from the poison of the iron. In Iron Knight, we are able to get inside Ash's head and we finally see his emotional side. We see how much he loves Megan and how he would do anything for her. It's one thing to see it from Megan's side and hear him say it, but when he commits to being her knight and doesn't quit even when she becomes part of the Iron Kingdom, we really see it.
So what I liked:
Seeing Ash and Puck work together. After the Twilight books, it seemed everyone was "Team Someone." In this, however, we see them bickering still, but they are former best friends and they work together for what is best for Megan.
The wolf, especially when interacting with Grimalkin. Grim started out as a play on the Cheshire cat from Alice in Wonderland, which was frustrating since it felt like she stole a character, but he turned into my favorite of the characters. He took on a life of his own. And we get to see him being more helpful in this book.
I loved everything about the quest and Ash's persistence. The quest for Ash to become human really brings into question what it means to be mortal and whether it is worth it. While he would gain a soul and would be with his queen again, he would have to give up everything it means to be immortal and a winter prince.
The ending. Everything is sorted out and every aspect is addressed and tied up well by the end of the book.
What I didn't like (**Spoiler**):
Ariella: She is necessary on so many levels, but I didn't like that Ash even has to question who he wants to be with for a minute. (At the same time, I thought this was handled very well and realistically.)
Some of the writing still annoyed me. There were times that were repetitive or silly (I thought Ice-boy was probably the worst nickname I'd ever heard of). This was true throughout the entire series and it had to simply be overlooked for the most part. By this book, most of that was gone and the writing was much better, but there were still times when I thought to myself "really??" before I kept reading on.
Overall, one of the best finales to a series. It truly made the series what it was. I'd recommend it to anyone who wants a fae story.
I've got the notes written up for The Lost Prince and a couple others so I'll get to them soon. Until then have a great day!