In the realm of the Faery, it’s time for Roiben’s coronation. On the night of the coronation, Kaye, drunk from faery wine, declares her love for Roiben and asks for a quest. Roiben sends her on an impossible one: to find a faery that can tell an untruth, and everybody knows no faery can tell a lie, even the tiniest one. See how impossible the quest is? Miserable and convinced that she doesn’t belong anywhere, Kaye tells her mother the truth - that she is a changeling in the place of her daughter. So Kaye ventures to the Seelie Court to see Queen Silarial. In exchange for the human Kaye, she has to give out Roiben’s real name. She uses a fake one, and escapes with Ethine, Roiben’s sister. The two, along with Corny, Kaye’s gay friend, went into hiding. Later, Kaye finds out about the Seelie Queen’s plan, to let Roiben battle his sister to death for the Seelie throne. Will Kaye make it in time to warn Roiben? Or will she fail to save her love because of the quest?
Author Holly Black brings us another tale of dark faery politics and dangerous love. Darker and deadlier than the previous novel, Tithe( I haven’t read Valiant, and judging by the summary, Valiant took place way before Tithe), Ironside is sexy and completely different from the norm. Language lively and expressively vivid, the plot is complete and not without a lot of twists and turns.
Kaye, as always, is brave and very likeable. Roiben is his usual stay-away-from-me-as-you-will-hurt-yourself self. All of the characters are fully fleshed out and lively.
Also, the relationship between Kaye and Roiben is as heartbreaking as ever. You’ll cry and laugh as Kaye dances a figurative dance of love with Roiben. I love how Kaye’s relationship with her mother shift and change into a deeper, truer relationship. The misunderstandings are cleared and lies busted, as Kaye learns that her mother’s love will never diminish, even if she’s a pixie.
Intriguing and magickal, Ironside is a dark modern faery tale with a fresh angle. A job well done by Holly Black, though I wish there were more stories of Kaye and Roiben. Perhaps there are necessary full-stops for wonderful stories.
Cover: This is a cover I Love! See how the well the black contrasts with the shine?
Ratings: 5 stars
* For mature readers