Friday, March 9, 2012

Iron Fey Series (Iron King, Iron Daughter, Iron Queen, Iron Knight) by Julie Kagawa

Meghan Chase has a secret destiny; one she could never have imagined. 

Something has always felt slightly off in Meghan's life, ever since her father disappeared before her eyes when she was six. She has never quite fit in at school or at home. 

When a dark stranger begins watching her from afar, and her prankster best friend becomes strangely protective of her, Meghan senses that everything she's known is about to change. 

But she could never have guessed the truth - that she is the daughter of a mythical faery king and is a pawn in a deadly war. Now Meghan will learn just how far she'll go to save someone she cares about, to stop a mysterious evil no faery creature dare face; and to find love with a young prince who might rather see her dead than let her touch his icy heart.

In this series, this is my second favorite book. Even though the Fey are in way too many books, rarely are the older, more famous Fey talked about. In this book the rulers of the Fey land (such as Oberon, Titania, and Mab) are actually referred to, rather than some magical half-fey or full-blooded fey that live in the human world for the fun of it. Also the prankster in A Midsummer Night's Dream appears as well, and he's up to his usual antics- annoying anyone and everyone he come's across. I really like Meghan's character although she herself is being pulled between two boys- Puck of the Summer Court (her father's) and Prince Ash of the Winter Court (who's supposed to take her to the Winter Court and hold her hostage). Most books have love triangles though, so I've learned to skip over them and focus more on the plot. In this book, Meghan is looking for her brother who the Iron Fey have kidnapped. She is the only person who can safely go after her brother because being only half-fey she can touch iron (unlike the older fey, who the iron burns).  Something I found rather amusing about the book is the near-constant fights that Ash and Puck have over the most trivial matters. On top of that there is this awesome cat who makes me laugh every time. I would give this 4.5 stars out of 5 though, because the writing style sorta annoyed me, although I can't pinpoint exactly what about it annoyed me.

  • “Ash blinked. "Are you raiding the cellars now, Goodfellow?"

    "Me? Stealing?" Puck flashed a devious grin and popped another fruit into his mouth. "In the house of my ancient enemy? What gave you that idea?" He plucked another fruit and tossed it to me with a wink.”

Half Summer faery princess, half human, Meghan has never fit in anywhere. Deserted by the Winter prince she thought loved her, she is prisoner to the Winter faery queen. As war looms between Summer and Winter, Meghan knows that the real danger comes from the Iron fey—ironbound faeries that only she and her absent prince have seen. But no one believes her.

Worse, Meghan's own fey powers have been cut
 off. She's stuck in Faery with only her wits for help. Trusting anyone would be foolish. Trusting a seeming traitor could be deadly. But even as she grows a backbone of iron, Meghan can't help but hear the whispers of longing in her all-too-human heart.

I hated this book... A LOT. The first time I read this was last year and when I got to the end, I was really, super ANNOYED. At the end of the book **SPOILERSPOILERSPOILER**  Ash and Meghan got themselves banished for falling in love. And me, being me, decided that the rest of the series was going to be terrible if they got themselves banished and gave upon it (for that point of time). However, there were some things I liked about. I really liked the plot- the Scepter of the Seasons was stolen, and Meghan goes to get it back knowing that only she can (The Iron Fey stole it). She finds out that even if  she killed the Iron King, another Iron Fey has appointed themselves king, and is trying to find her in order to take the Iron power back (the Iron King gave it to her when he died).  So once again she, Ash, and Puck go on a journey to stop the Iron Fey. This time, however, one of their companion's are killed, and also, like I said before, some really annoying stuff happens at the end which made me mad T_T The love triangle is still in full swing, however, and Meghan manages to kiss both Ash and Puck >.< This book was, in my opinion, the worst in the series...
3 out of 5 stars.

My name is Meghan Chase.

I thought it was over. That my time with the fey, the impossible choices I had to make, the sacrifices of those I loved, was behind me. But a storm is approaching, an army of Iron fey that will drag me back, kicking and screaming. Drag me away from the banished prince who's sworn to stand by my side. Drag me into the core of conflict so powerful, I'm not sure anyone can survive it.

This time, there will be no turning back.

In this book, Meghan and Ash have their banishment undone because the Fey courts need someone who is resistant to iron (*coughcoughMeghan*). Meghan's final journey in battle against Iron starts, and this is much different than before. In this book the Iron fey are actually split between whether to help Meghan, their rightful ruler, and the false king. I really liked this book since you get to know a lot more about both Ash and Puck, and also because it actually made sense. I thought that it'd take a lot of crappy logic to unbanish Meghan and Ash, but no, their reason for being brought back is something that would've happened sooner or later. We also get to learn a lot more about Meghan's powers over Iron and Summer. The ending to this book was amazing, although a little sad- *spoiler*  Meghan becomes Iron Queen and leaves both Ash and Puck behind in their respective lives *spoilerend*. During this book, we also get to know a little more about the laws of the Nevernever (land of Fey), such as the possibility of someone becoming someone's knight*. This book rekindled the amazingness of this series with its awesomeness :D
5 stars out of 5

*Definition from the book: A lady asks a warrior to become her knight, her chosen protector, for as long as they both draw breath. Only those with royal blood can enact this ritual, and the choosing of a champion is something only the lady can do. But it is the ultimate show of faith between the lady and the knight, for she trusts him above all others to keep her safe, knowing that he would lay down his life for her. The knight still obeys his queen and court, to the best of his ability, but his first and only duty is to his lady. Should the lady die, the knight will die too.

Ash, former prince of the Winter Court, gave up everything. His title, his home, even his vow of loyalty. All for a girl… and all for nothing. 

Unless he can earn a soul.

To cold, emotionless faery prince Ash, love was a weakness for mortals and fools. His own love had died a horrible death, killing any gentler feelings the Winter prince might have had. Or so he thought.

Then Meghan Chase—a half human, half fey slip of a girl— smashed through his barricades, binding him to her irrevocably with his oath to be her knight. And when all of Faery nearly fell to the Iron fey, she severed their bond to save his life. Meghan is now the Iron Queen, ruler of a realm where no Winter or Summer fey can survive.

With the (unwelcome) company of his archrival, Summer Court prankster Puck, and the infuriating cait sith Grimalkin, Ash begins a journey he is bound to see through to its end— a quest to find a way to honor his solemn vow to stand by Meghan’s side.

To survive in the Iron realm, Ash must have a soul and a mortal body. But the tests he must face to earn these things are impossible. At least, no one has ever passed to tell the tale.

And then Ash learns something that changes everything. A truth that turns reality upside down, challenges his darkest beliefs and shows him that, sometimes, it takes more than courage to make the ultimate sacrifice .

This was the BEST book in the series. It wrapped up the series quite nicely too. The fact that it was is Ash's POV while he was attempting to gain a mortal soul made it even better because we got to learn about Ash's past and learn more about the Nevernever at the same time :D
As usual Grimalkin and Puck accompany him, but instead of Meghan, Ariella, is the one that goes with him. That's right, Ariella, Ash's former, supposed to be dead, fiancé. We also get to meet the Big Bad Wolf and Baba Yaga (who attempts to kill Puck for tying the legs of her house together a long time ago). The usual humorous quarrels between Puck and Ash pop up, but it gets more serious as their journey progresses. At one point, Ash's control slips and he actually attempts to kill Puck. The tests that Ash had to pass, however, were kinda scary. First he experienced the weakness of a mortal body, then he nearly was consumed by a newly awakened conscience. Last, the Guardian of the tests made him an illusion which made it seem as if he had become truly mortal- then the Guardian made him die in his illusion; a weak, powerless mortal. And then, of course, once gains a soul he manages to have some fey magic left (maybe because Ariella sacrificed her life/second life for him). So yup. 5 out of 5 stars 

Some Quotes:

Water splashed over my jeans, and I yelped as something burned my skin.
We examined my leg. Tiny holes marred my jeans where the drops had hit, the material seared away, the skin underneath red and burned. It throbbed as if I’d jabbed needles into my flesh.

“What the heck?” I muttered, glaring into the storm. It looked like ordinary rain—gray, misty, somewhat depressing. Almost compulsively, I stuck my hand toward the opening, where water dripped over the edge of the tube.

Ash grabbed my wrist, snatching it back. “Yes, it will burn your hand as well as your leg,” he said in a bland voice. “And here I thought you learned your lesson with the chains.”

Embarrassed, I dropped my hand and scooted farther into the tube, away from the rim and the acid rain dripping from it. “Guess I’m staying up all night,” I muttered, crossing my arms. “Wouldn’t want to doze off and find half my face melted off when I wake up.” - Iron King, Ash and Meghan

 The Wolf leaped off the raft and stretched, baring his fangs in an enormous yawn. Shaking water from his fur, he looked around at the enormous trees and panted a grin. “I’m off to hunt,” he stated simply. “It shouldn’t take long.” He glanced back at me, wrinkling his long muzzle. “I’d advise you not to venture into the forest, little prince. You’re in the Deep Wyld now, and I’d hate to come back to find you al eaten. Well, except for the cat. He can get himself eaten anytime he wants.” With that, he turned and bounded off, his black form merging with the shadows -Iron Knight 

Ariel a sat cross-legged in the sand, idly poking the fire with a stick, while Puck and I attended to the business of finding food. Puck had somehow fashioned a pole from glamour, a stick, and a tangle of string from his pocket, but fishing in the River of Dreams was proving to be a strange and frustrating affair. He managed to pul a couple fish out of the river early, but they were odd, unnatural things: long and black like eels, with oversize teeth that snapped at us when we tried to handle them and bit through the sticks we tried to spear them with. We final y decided it wasn’t worth the hassle of a lost finger and let them f lop back into the river. 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 Goodfellow let it go. Iron Knight 
“Mmm, you are speaking of the ghost ferry,” Grimalkin said, pausing in his grooming to look up. “One of the more common legends, I believe. There is a similar ship that haunts the Broken Glass Sea, a pirate vessel made of the bones of men. Or something like that.” He sniffed and shook his head. “According to certain legends, the ghost ferry always appears when there is need.”
“Well, there’s need here,” Puck said, gazing up and down the dark river. “We need it, because I don’t want to go tromping down the river for who knows how long until we reach the Briars or the End of the World or whatever.” He cupped his hands to his mouth and bellowed, “Do you hear me, ferry? Need! Here! We need you now!”
Grimalkin flattened his ears, and the Wolf ’s hackles went up as he looked at me. “How did he ever survive so long without something tearing his throat out?” he growled.
“Believe me, I’ve wondered the same.” Iron Knight 

Ahead of us, a pair of huge double doors stood atop a platform, guarded by two hulking stone creatures, one on either side. The statues looked like a cross between a lion and some sort of monstrous canine, with broad heads, curling manes and thick, clawed forepaws.
“Fu dogs,” Puck mused as we approached the doors, hopping over shattered pillars and crumbling archways. “You know, I met a Fu dog once in Beijing. Persistent bastard chased me all over the temple grounds. Seemed to think I was some kind of evil spirit.”
“Imagine that,” Grimalkin muttered, and the Wolf snorted with laughter. Puck flicked a pebble at him.
“These aren’t like the standard variety,” Puck continued, making a face at the stone guardians. “They’re bigger, for one. And older. Good thing they’re not real Fu dogs, eh? We’d be in big trouble if—”
And of course at that point, a loud grinding sound echoed through the room, as both statues turned their heads to stare at us.
I sighed. “You should know better by now, Goodfellow.”
“I know. I just can’t help it.”
With snarling roars, the pair of massive stone guardians leaped from their bases, landing with deafening booms on the rocky floor, shaking the ground. Their eyes burned with an emerald fire in their craggy faces, their paws crushed the stones beneath them and their bel owing voices fil ed the chamber. Grimalkin vanished, the Wolf added his own howling roar to the cacophony, and the Fu dogs lowered their heads and charged Iron Knight
 “How very sad.” Grimalkin strode up, stopping just shy of the Wolf ’s muzzle, barely out of snapping range. “That the great dog must rely on a human to save him, because he is too weak to move. I shall sit right here and watch, to remember this day always.” Iron Knight 
I groaned.
“Prince.” Something patted my chin. “Wake up.” Shifting on the mattress, I struggled to open my eyes. There was a solid weight sitting on my chest, but exhaustion was making my lids heavy and awkward. I was tired; I wanted to sink back into oblivion, despite the disturbing dreams that waited for me.
“Hmm. For such a well-trained, somewhat paranoid warrior, you are certainly difficult to rouse. Very wel .” The weight on my chest slid off, much to my relief, and I heard a thump as it dropped to the f loor and walked away. “We shall have to resort to more drastic measures.”
Just as I was wondering what “drastic measures” were, a patter of footsteps scampered toward the bed. There was a brief pause…and then that solid, heavy weight landed square on my stomach.
“Oof!” I bolted upright with a gasp, the breath driven from my lungs in a painful, vicious expulsion. Instantly awake, I clutched my ribs and glared at Grimalkin, sitting on the bed with a smug, pleased expression on his face. Iron Knight 
 These are mostly from Iron Knight because I didn't collect quotations from the other books...

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