First Lines: “Oy, ice-boy! You sure you know where you’re going?”
Since I didn’t start this series until it was all out (hallelujah for that), I didn’t realize that the series was actually supposed to stop with the 3rd book. It was interesting to learn.
*Potential Series Spoilers Ahead*
Like many stories, Ash’s story begins with a girl. Before Meghan Chase, Ash thought emotions were a weakness. And after watching a previous love die, Ash was through with feelings. Until Meghan. The girl who became the Iron Queen tore through all of Ash’s defenses and saved his life a time or two. But Meghan is queen of a realm where Ash can’t go. With the help of Puck, Grimalkin, and a few others, Ash is on a quest to complete his vow to Meghan. He will be with her again. But to do that, Ash needs a soul if he has any hope of surviving the iron realm…something that may not be possible.
This was an interesting read. I think, first of all, that it was a perfect example of what’s called The Hero’s Journey. (As an English teacher, I need to be up on this terminology.) Basically, think of the story of Odysseus. He had one goal: get home. It was a long journey in which he battled monsters and received a little bit of help from wiser beings while ultimately being responsible for his own survival. It’s pretty much the exact format this story covers. I respected it for that. It’s perhaps the most classic form of storytelling we have.
And I appreciated that it was told from Ash’s perspective this time. There’s a lot I didn’t know about Ash before this book. So much of him is locked up inside his gruff demeanor, but it comes out here.
However, something about the narration just felt off to me. I think it’s partly because I just like Meghan’s voice better. She’s sarcastic and makes pop culture references that the fey don’t get but readers do. And that’s awesome. Ash isn’t really that character. But I also don’t think he always made the story accessible to readers. For example, I have no idea what a manticore is. Ash does, and he really didn’t do much in the way of describing it to me. (Yes, it is possible that I somehow glanced over a description. I’ve been known to do that, but I tried to reread the section where this was and I still don’t remember a description.)
Generally, I liked the story. I thought it had a great cast of characters (some who were familiar and some who were new) and it contained new scenery for us to discover. Fun times. But I’m not sure that Ash is the best storyteller.
Huh. You know whose story I’d love to see? Puck’s. I bet his narration is stellar.