When I started reading this series, I was a little surprised at how it drew me in. However, I think that four books was just too much for this story. I felt like this book dragged on and on. There seemed to be so many parts that were just completely unneccesary and the parts that I thought could be elaborated on kind of fell flat (Ash's guilt seems to go away rather quickly).
I'm also not sure how I feel about this book being from Ash's point of view. All of the other books have been from Meghan's eyes, so this was a little more difficult to get into. Especially since the writing didn't change much from Meghan to Ash, which I found to be a little strange. I would think that a centuries old fey and a 17-year-old girl would have much different inner dialogue. I understand why it was done, I just wish it would have been more thought out.
All in all, I'd have to say that it is an okay series. I've read better, but I have most definitely read worse. If you're really into Fairies and the like, you may really like this series. However, fey have never been the most interesting to me and this was just way to much of it for me.
Since Meghan became the Iron Queen, Ash cannot be with her. He has made a vow to find a way for them to be together and to return to her. Even if that means becoming human. So Ash starts his quest with Puck following him, looking for Grim. The cat is found at the house of a witch that Puck angered in the past. Grim agrees to take them where they need to go with the promise of a future favor. They leave quickly and Grim tells them that they are on their way to a Seer. There are many obstacles along the way, including the Big Bad Wolf, who tells them that he was sent by Queen Mab to help Ash (really, he wants to be part of the story, so that he is remembered more and grows stronger).
Upon Arriving where the Seer is, Ash and Puck are stunned to learn that it is Ariella (Ash's old love that Puck had supposedly had a hand in her death). Since Ariella turns out to be alive, the vow that Ash made to destroy Puck was voided. Ariella tells Ash that she is to take him to the End of the World so that he can take the trials to become human. However, Ash is starting to have doubts about who he really wants to be with.
Of course, they reach the End of the World with some difficulty. Their raft shatters in the River of Dreams. Ash travels to Meghan's dreams in his sleep. They find the town where forgotten fairies go to fade away and start to have their memories sucked away. They just manage to catch the ferry that will take them where they need to go. Ariella shows Ash what could happen if he broke his promise to Meghan.
They reach the end of the world, but have to go through the Guantlet before Ash can take his trials. They race against time, as they only have so long before the doors close and they are trapped forever. They fight two huge beasts for keys, solve a riddle, and fight evil versions of themselves in order to get through. However, the door started to close before everyone could get out. The Big Bad Wolf held the door open and decided to stay there in case they needed to go back that way as well.
The Guardian appears and Ash starts his trials. First, he is torn apart to show that being human means being weak and mortal. Next he is forced to relive all of the horrible acts of his past with a conscious. Last, Ash lives out the rest of his life as a human with Meghan as the Iron Queen and Kierran, their son. After he dies, old, alone and forgotten, he is returned to the guardian. The last test was to show how his mortal life could go.
After all of this, Ash is unsure about what to do. However, Ariella comes to talk him into going through with it. However, after the ceremony is started, Ash finds out that someone needs to willingly give their life to make his soul. Ariella volunteers. She knew that was her purpose for a long time, but obviously, Ash had some issues with that. Grim calls in his favor from Ash--to let Ariella make her own choice.
Being mortal was exactly like Ash was expecting. He still had a little left from being fey. He took his journey with Puck to the border of the Iron Kingdom and then started his search from Meghan. Eventually, He finds her and they live happily ever after.
The Iron Fey Series:
The Iron King
1.5 Winter's Passage
The Iron Daughter
The Iron Queen
3.5 Summer's Crossing
The Iron Knight