Thursday, October 27, 2011

ARC Review and Interview: The Iron Knight by Julie Kagawa

The Iron Knight
Author: Julie Kagawa
Publication: Harlequin; Original edition (October 25, 2011)

Description: 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…

I really like this trailer too:

My Thoughts: I really loved this story. It was wonderful following along on Ash's quest to become human so that he could spend his life with Meghan. Meghan has exiled him from the Iron realm where she is Queen because the land was killing him. So Ash vows to find a way to become human.

He doesn't travel on this journey alone. Puck - at his irritating best - comes along and so does Grimalkin. First they must travel to find a seer who turns out to be someone very surprising. The seer turns out to be Ash's first love - Ariella. Ariella's death had broken Ash's heart and caused him to vow to kill his friend Puck. Now all those emotions are back at the surface. Ash has to decided between his first love and his current love which is very difficult for him. He determines to keep his vow to Meghan and leave his love for Ariella in the past.

The companions must journey to the End of the World and Ash must perform hugely difficult tasks before he can become human and gain a soul. Along the way they also pick up the Big Bad Wolf as a companion. He joins them partly because he wants to become part of Ash's story and so continue his own existence. Again and again we are reminded that the fey live only as long as they are remembered. We see this in the Big Bad Wolf's joining the journey and when we visit the town of those humans have forgotten and see them fading away.

Ash has to face a number of ordeals in his quest for a soul. He has to develop a conscience and has to remember and regret his past actions when he was behaving as a true, cold-hearted son of winter. He also has to accept a very great sacrifice before he develops a soul.

The story explores what it means to be human. It also gives us a much deeper understanding of Ash's past. The language and the images are so vivid that I felt that I was along on the journey with Ash. People who were sad at the end of The Iron Queen and who want to know more about the world Kagawa created will enjoy this story very much. I highly recommend it to all lovers of fantasy. Count me in as a member of Team Ash.

Favorite Quote:
"I am not fearless," I told her. "There are a lot of things that scare me." Failure. My own save, Unseelie nature. Being unable to save those I had sworn to protect. Having my heart ripped from me once more. "I am not fearless," I said again. "Not by a long shot."
Julie was kind enough to answer a couple of questions for me today. Here they are:

What is your favorite part of being an author?

I don’t know if I have a favorite part; I just love it all so much.  This was what I always wanted to do, and now that I’m here, it’s a dream come true for me.  =)

If you could pick one of the characters from The Iron Fey series to have dinner with, who would it be and why?

I’m going to have to go with Ash, because I know he’d at least be polite.  Unlike a certain faery prankster, who might put something in my food or turn the waiter into a hedgehog.  Meghan would also be a good choice, we could catch a movie afterwards.  Grim…not so much; he’d order the most expensive thing on the menu and then turn up his nose at it. 

When you first started this series, with The Iron King, did you know then that there would be multiple books? And did you know you’d want to write them with a changing point of view?

When I first began The Iron King, I knew I wanted to write at least a trilogy, but I left an open ending on the first book in case the publisher didn’t want to buy the whole series.  Fortunately, they did, though I did intend the series just to be a trilogy.  I didn’t think I would write a fourth book from Ash’s POV, but it made the most sense to continue the series with him. 

I received this eARC from Harlequin Teen via NetGalley. You can get your copy here.

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