Publication Date: 10/25/2011
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
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…
Meeting Meghan Chase was the last thing Ash could have ever expected to do - even more so when he found out she was an unknown missing daughter of the Summer Court. That is, until she became the Iron Queen and Ash found himself physically separated from the girl he had sworn his life to protect. As the last prince to the Winter throne, Ash had to make a choice: find a way to get to her or give her up entirely. His fall then began with a girl, but also a cat, sworn enemy, and a few surprises to aid him on his way. Every fall, after all, has an end.
Let me start off by saying that from the moment I picked up The Iron King and met Ash I knew that we would get on fabulously. There was something abut the way Julie wrote him with just the right amount of standoffishness that hinted that there was something hiding beyond his straight-faced façade. While he was very much part of Meghan's story, it was clear that Ash also had one of his own. One of the best things about this series has been Julie's clever usage of novellas that allow us a glimpse behind-the-scenes for some crucial moments, that, for me, made all the difference in how the characters were developed and my view of them. After Summer's Crossing and seeing Puck's POV I knew that seeing the world from Ash's head would not disappoint.
There were two aspects of this book that I loved above all else. The first being the development of the relationship between Puck and Ash. You can't hate someone as much as Ash hates Puck without first having had a really close friendship, and this is something that's explored with great success here. I will say, however, that there were some Puck moments that I found slightly overbearing ("ice-boy, ice-boy"), although that could be possibly be intentional as Ash would undoubtedly think the same after spending 24/7 with his favorite frenemy. The second is something that I don't want to spoil for you... but I have to say that I absolutely adored the ending. It's possibly one of my favorite things that a storyteller can do when done well, and it worked. There came a point about 3/4 way through that left me slightly uncertain about how I was feeling about the story and then it came out of nowhere and I was hooked. Everything clicked and made sense.
If you haven't started the Iron Fey series, now is the best possible time to do so. All four books are released and at the ready for you to dive in, and, trust me, you want to have more than one on hand because the story is perfect and thoroughly addicting. The Nevernever is an endlessly curious place full of magic and surprises, and Julie's continuing theme of exploring the human impact of the Nevernever and its continued existence from the hopes and dreams of the human world never ceased to amaze me. There's really something in this book, and all those before it, for everyone to explore and fall into.
A perfect ending to an utterly captivating series.
This ARC was received from HarlequinTeen via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.