Book reviews

Ironside – Holly Black

Release date: 24 April 2007
Rating: ★★★★★★★★ – 8/10
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Ironside (Modern Faerie Tales, #3) 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 drunkenly declares herself, he sends her on an impossible quest. Now Kaye can’t see or speak to Roiben unless she finds the one thing she knows can’t exist: a faerie that can lie.

Miserable and convinced she belongs nowhere, Kaye tells her mother the truth – that she is a changeling left in place of a human daughter stolen long ago. Her mother’s shock and horror sends Kaye back to Faerie. But once there, Kaye finds herself a pawn in the games of Silarial, queen of the Seelie Court. Silarial wants Roiben’s throne, and she is ruthless. In this game of wits and weapons, can a pixie outplay a queen?

I really love Holly Black’s books. I know that people call Maas the Queen of Fae, but I’m pretty sure she should be handing that title over to Ms Black. (Yes, that probably was an unpopular opinion, but I’m sticking by it!!)

OK, so Ironside, we return to our main characters from Tithe, Kaye and Roiben. Kaye gets pretty wasted at a Faerie shindig and because she’s a pixie and not very well liked, some other Fae get in her ear and convince her that declaring her love for Roiben would be the best thing for her, you know, before someone else does! So, of course Kaye does. Unfortunately this means that Roiben has to send Kaye on a quest. Not just any quest, because if it’s too simple then it means he doesn’t love her, so Roiben sets Kaye an impossible quest, because if she can finish it, then no one will be able to question his choice.

At the same time, Roiben is also contending with the manipulations of his former queen, Silarial. She is playing a deadly game and wants the crown of the Unseelie Court, and she is not above putting those who Roiben love in his way to stop her.

This book has some epic twists in it, including finding a faerie who can lie, and to be honest, I can’t really find a fault with it. But more importantly than that, is that the characters’ stories DO NOT END HERE!! Both Kaye and Roiben make an appearance in The Cruel Prince, and it’s entirely possible they will also be around in The Wicked King (not confirmed, but I have suspicions this won’t be the last we hear of them). This is really what I love most about Holly Black’s faerie world – it really is one world. The stories seamlessly transition between the different courts, and you can actually see how conflict in one affects the others. And while you can read them as separate series, it’s really cool to see them interact!


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