A Modern Faerie Tale

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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?

Holly Black spins a seductive tale at once achingly real and chillingly enchanted, set in a dangerous world where pleasure mingles with pain and nothing is exactly as it appears.
Edition: PB
ISBN: 9780689868214


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Ironside by Holly Black, Is one of my top 5 books, I don't remember where I first read it, but i thought it was a really great book and I have read it over 5 times. It's not like the best book ever, but I do really like it.

Despite this last book being the highest rated in the series, I found it to be my least favourite. I didn’t connect with Kaye the first time around, and that didn’t change.

Roiben is the high lord of the Unseelie court, and Kaye, in a moment of weakness, pledges herself as his consort...only to be presented with an impossible quest to fulfill if she wants to be with him. Meanwhile, Corny is dealing with the repercussions of his own encounters in Faerie, and when Silarial declares war between the Seelie and Unseelie courts, he and Kaye need help to warn Roiben of her nefarious plans. Luis, the Fixer, joins the crew, and together, they hope to see Roiben crowned as so much more than Lord of the Night Court.

I don’t know what it was about Valiant that gave me more hope, but I went into this pretty excited. I wanted to see more growth in writing style and interesting plot twists, and, sadly, I don’t think that happened here.

I find Kaye so boring as a character. She’s a pixie, yes, a literal green girl with wings, and yet, I just find her bland af. I don’t care about her attachment to Roiben, nor about her constant need to be rebellious and do the bad things that she shouldn’t. I enjoy Corny more as a character, but even then, I cared more about Luis and Dave and Val than I did about any of the first book’s characters.

I think I had hope for this one because I somehow had it in my head that we’d get perspectives from all of the characters of the last two books. That I wouldn’t have to spend the entire time with only the same characters as in Tithe. When Val didn’t factor in, I was majorly disappointed.

So, heads up, if you only read past book two for Val: don’t bother with this one.

Despite that little rant, though, I am glad I read this series. I adore Holly’s later work, and I wouldn’t have been satisfied if I didn’t go back and see where she came from. These will certainly not be books I return to, but they very much feel of their time, and I can respect the journey that Holly has been on since their publication.

Jul 11, 2014

Great book!!

FindingJane Jun 18, 2014

Exploring once again the beguiling, yet lethal, world of faery, Ms. Black shows that, while faeries are mostly inexplicable and unpredictable in their ways, human beings aren’t much better. Kaye and her friends make considerable blunders in striving to get their dreams. Corny wants to be “special”, i.e., have a superpower, a gift for witty sarcasm or be seen as the brooding yet talented loner—he hasn’t quite made up his mind. Luis is desperate to save his brother Dave, even though most people can see Dave may be beyond saving. Kaye, who has long learned and accepted her life as a pixie, is terrified about what will happen if she tells her human mother the truth about her origins.

In their efforts to navigate the treacherous minefield of adolescence and the deadly affairs of the Seelie and Unseelie Courts, the book spirals into the dreamlike terror that is the hallmark of Holly Black’s explorations of the faerie kingdom. The prose is spot on, the action suitably gripping and emotion throbs from the page, as one would expect of teenagers who haven’t quite gotten their passions under control. There are deaths, gory and violent, separations, reconciliations, misunderstandings, betrayal, suffering and most of all love, which in itself can contain any or all of the former.

There are happy and unhappy endings, duels, riddles and quests and I was enrapt by every aspect of this book. It is a splendid finish to this trilogy. But I wouldn’t be unhappy to explore further Ms. Black’s perilous creation.

Nov 22, 2013

Gritty and brash. It was great to be following Kaye's story again (I found Valiant to be trying). The book really picks up three quarters the way through.

Mar 06, 2012

Wonderful book. I got it at my schools library and I finished it in about 2 and a half hours cause it was so good. Yes I am just one opionion and I love the riddle Kaye has to solve! Try it out if you liked the first!

May 21, 2007

Teenager Kaye is a changeling, a faery swapped with a human baby in infancy, and was raised by humans and believing she was human as well. In the first book, Tithe, she learned her true nature. As Ironside begins, Kaye receives some deceitful advice just as her boyfriend Roiben, the faery king, is about to be coronated. Having had a bit too much to drink and not thinking clearly, she mistakenly follows the advice, setting into motion an impossible quest she must now undertake. Along with Roiben, some other favorite characters from previous books also play meaningful roles in Ironside. Recommended, even if you're no longer a teen -- I'm not. :)


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VeganGreen Sep 01, 2009

VeganGreen thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

Oct 26, 2008

Sakuramelody thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

Jun 05, 2008

librarianjen thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over


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Jun 05, 2008

Sexual Content: This title contains Sexual Content.


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Laura_X Jun 01, 2016

Ah coffee. The sweet balm by which we shall accomplish today's tasks.


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