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Ironside by Holly Black: A Book Review

#3 of the Modern Faerie Tale trilogy

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Blurb: In the realm of Faerie, the time has come for Roiben’s coronation. Uneasy in the midst of the malevolent Unseelie Court, pixie Kaye is sure of only one thing — her love for Roiben. But when Kaye, drunk on faerie wine, declares herself to Roiben, he sends her on a seemingly impossible quest. Now Kaye can’t see or speak to Roiben unless she can find the one thing she knows doesn’t exist: a faerie who can tell a lie.

Miserable and convinced she belongs nowhere, Kaye decides to tell her mother the truth — that she is a changeling left in place of the human daughter stolen long ago. Her mother’s shock and horror sends Kaye back to the world of Faerie to find her human counterpart and return her to Ironside. But once back in the faerie courts, Kaye finds herself a pawn in the games of Silarial, queen of the Seelie Court. Silarial wants Roiben’s throne, and she will use Kaye, and any means necessary, to get it. In this game of wits and weapons, can a pixie outplay a queen?

Thank goodness we are back to following the story of Kaye and Roiben. I still don’t really understand why the 2nd book of this Trilogy was even needed. I honestly feel that you could skip the 2nd book if there was just an extra introduction for Luis and Dave in Ironside. Especially the fact that the 2nd book was from the view of Val who isn’t even in this story… but enough about Valiant, this review is about Ironside.

Ironside is the conclusion to the Modern Faerie Tales series in which Roiben, now King of the Unseelie Court, is at war with Silarial, the Queen of the Seelie Court, and Kaye is sent on what seems an impossible quest by Roiben in a (really bad) attempt to keep her safe.

The development of Corny, who is Kaye’s best friend, in this book is fantastic. In the first book (Tithe), I saw him as kind of a weakling, with no goals in life and over all… kind of pathetic. In this book, he became more confident, more bad-ass and much less of a wet lettuce. I also enjoyed the relationship build up between Corny and Luis, though again, in Valiant, I honestly thought Luis was straight.

Reading Tithe (book 1), I needed Roiben on every page, in Valiant (book 2) I definitely needed Roiben (and Kaye) on every page, but with Ironside, I realised that I didn’t mind that Roiben wasn’t always in the picture, I was still enjoying the story – the adventure of Kaye, Corny and Luis on an impossible quest.

This book wasn’t as dark as the others and I think I missed that in places but overall it was a fantastic conclusion to a story. I think what I enjoy about this series by Holly Black, is that it is dark and a lot of unexpected things happen. I was hoping, and this is why I have given it 4.5 out of 5 stars, that the ending of this book wouldn’t have been so ‘happy ever after’ and that the ‘good guys’ might not have got nearly everything they wanted.

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