The Iron King Excerpt!
- The Iron King
- The Iron Daughter
- The Iron Queen
- The Iron Knight
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Unable to survive in the kingdom of his beloved due to his supernatural nature, a warrior prince sets out to turn himself human. But first he must cross deadly lands and overcome nightmarish obstacles before reaching the fabled testing grounds, where he will endure a series of challenges. He is joined on his quest by a team of fantastical creatures, each with an agenda of their own—one, a faery prankster whom the prince has vowed to kill for past misdeeds; another, a wise-speaking cat who claims to be a truthful guide; the third, a legendary and villainous beast pulled right from the fairy tales; and finally, the last, a seer who appears to be the resurrection of the prince’s former love, long thought dead but now restored to life and as beautiful and tempting as ever. With these dubious allies by his side, the prince sets off to achieve his ultimate prize, but to do so will require overcoming the greatest challenge of all in his quest for a human soul—himself.
When exiled faery prince Ash swears an oath to his love, Meghan Chase—the half-human ruler of the Iron Fey realm—to return and be with her forever, he knows what that promise entails. Her Iron Kingdom is anathema to a fey creature such as himself, and in order to survive in it he must renounce his powerful supernatural nature and acquire a mortal soul. Only then will he be able to return and be with his love. But even as a prince of the fabled Winter Court, Ash knows only rumors of how an immortal can become human. Ash needs help, even if that help comes from the last set of creatures in the entire Nevernever realm that he would ever want to join him.
The first to join Ash on his quest is his best friend and fiercest, most annoying rival, Robin Goodfellow—better known as Puck the mischievous prankster. Despite their friendship, a bitter chasm exists between them—Puck is also in love with Meghan Chase, and Ash has vowed to one day kill his friend as payback for a past action. To aid them on their quest, they turn to one of the wisest creatures in the mythical realm of Nevernever—Grimalkin, a talking cat who agrees to help in exchange for a future favor. They set out to find a seer to show them the route that they must take, but on the way they encounter a legendary monster—the Big Bad Wolf. The Wolf is perhaps the most dangerous creature ever to walk the wilds of Nevernever, but now it seeks to join them on their journey so it can increase its own legend and power. The last member of the quest, however, is the most shocking of all to Ash. The very seer they have been seeking turns out to be Ash’s first love, Ariella, a fey princess long thought dead. Not only is she not dead, but Ariella is now an oracle who promises to aid Ash on his quest to be with his new love. But can Ash trust Ariella or will she sabotage their mission in order to win him back for herself?
Ariella advises the party that they must follow the treacherous River of Dreams to the final barrier at the End of the World. There, in an ancient place known as the Testing Grounds, a guardian who holds the key to becoming human awaits. But in order to claim it from him, Ash will first have to endure a deadly series of tests.
As Ash gets closer and closer to fulfilling his quest, he finds it more and more difficult to go on. He is being pulled in many directions—by his two loves, by visions of a deadly future, and by indecision that could destroy him, his allies and all of Nevernever. Ash is under oath to Meghan to complete his quest, but can he do it? After all, in some fairy tales, the hero gets eaten by the monster and doesn’t get to live happily ever after.
EXCERPT FROM THE IRON KNIGHT!
Oy, ice-boy! You sure you know where you’re going?” I ignored Robin Goodfellow as we wove through the gray murk of the wyldwood, pushing farther into the soggy swamp known as the Bone Marsh. Mud sucked at my footsteps, and water dripped from twisted green trees so covered in moss they appeared sheathed in slime. Mist coiled around the exposed roots or pooled in sunken areas, hiding what lay beneath, and every so often there was a splash in the still waters farther out, reminding us that we were not alone. As its name suggested, bones were scattered throughout the marsh, jutting out of the mud, half-hidden in tangles of weeds or shimmering beneath the surface of the water, bleached and white.