Nov 15, 2017

Review--Ironside by Holly Black

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 to Roiben, he sends her on a seemingly impossible quest to find 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 when Kaye returns to the faerie courts, a battle of wits and weapons is being waged over Roiben's throne, and she soon finds herself at the center of it all.

I quickly devoured Holly Black’s Ironside despite knowing I wouldn’t be meeting her this weekend! Once I started my re-read I had to see it through to this one! I skipped over the second book since I heard it was a completely different story with new characters! I mostly wanted to see what would happen with Roiben and Kaye and wow! It was pretty awesome!

So things pick up shortly after we left Tithe, it’s Christmastime, so two months have gone by. Roiben is adjusting to his new life as Unseelie King and Kaye, ready to tell him she loves him, actually finds herself in a different position. With his kingly status, it’s possible Kaye might not be fit to be with him, unless she goes on a quest and accomplishes an impossible task. The task given to her: find a faery that can tell an untruth. And as we all know, faeries can’t lie. Should be fun!

But Kaye’s quest is only the beginning…she’s knee deep into faery politics and the Seelie Queen, Silarial wants Roiben back on her side, to turn over the Unseelie kingdom to her, but Roiben doesn’t want to do this either. War is brewing between the faerie kingdoms. It’s going to be a bumpy ride!

Joining Kaye on her quest is Corny and a newcomer Luis who’s very verse in the ways of faerie despite being human himself. He’s not so much a friend to faeries either, but it makes him an easy ally for Corny and Kaye…or so they may think. Kaye also has the audacious task of finding the real Kaye, the human child that she replaced all those years ago. This is where bargains and betrayals step in.

While I did enjoy this one in part, I was a tad upset to see Kaye and Roiben separated once again. I didn’t expect much in the first book since they just met, but since they’ve sort of established themselves as a couple by its end, I was hoping for some together time. But alas, Kaye’s quest has conditions and one of them is that she cannot see or speak to Roiben until she has completed her quest. It was a bit of letdown in the romance area because there just wasn’t time for them to be together.

I also had thought that the mission to find the human Kaye would’ve taken more than just a mere talking to the Seelie Queen. It was over and done with before it ever really happened. Another minor letdown. But the journey Kaye, Corny, and Luis go does make for some excitement! So it wasn’t a total loss. Though the ending was another story. It wasn’t a bad ending. Not at all. It was just…maybe a little too open-ended? I mean we have ideas of where the characters will be going but even for them, nothing is really set in stone. Those kind of endings are nice in some respect, but sometimes I really just want to know! I felt like Roiben and Kaye’s relationship was still a little rocky and what was to happen between them? While I feel like we’re given a good idea of what will come to pass, it was given more as a suggestion, so here I’m thinking is THAT what happens? It’s definitely something that drives me crazy with series finales!

This was still an enjoyable read though. This is what I was reading (the first book at least) long before I knew what Paranormal YA was. I just knew that I liked vampires, ghosts, faeries, werewolves and the like! So these books will still hold a special place in my heart, but after reading a lot of other books over the years, I feel like something was missing just a bit in the execution of the finale. Perhaps if there was just a little bit more said on what our heroes would do now that everything is over, I would’ve been happier! Or thrown in a little more kissing and I would’ve be happier! Lol! Still an enjoyable read through it all though! Definitely excited for Holly’s next faery book though I am thinking it’s a new kind of faery instead of this one! Can’t wait either way!

Overall Rating 3.75/5 stars
—yup awakward rating time! It was good and enjoyable but falls just a niche short of very good!


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