Ironside by Holly BlackRobin: Ironside, the final book of the Modern Faerie Tales series, returns to Kaye, the heroine of Tithe, though Luis from Valiant features prominently. Roiben, reluctantly crowned king of the Unseelie Court, sends his pixie sweetheart Kaye away to protect her from the awfulness of his subjects, making the two of them miserable. Kaye has decided she must confess her changeling identity to her mother and bring the true Kaye, still a child, back from Faerieland. She also has the problem of her human friend Cornelius who is ruthlessly seeking revenge on the faeries for his humiliation and his sister’s death. When Corny is cursed with a deathly touch, they seek out the reputed curse-remover in New York, who turns out to be Luis.

Meanwhile, the faerie war has broken out again, and the first gambit inflicts serious losses on the Unseelie side. Just when Queen Silarial seems sure to win, she offers to settle the war the old-fashioned way – by single combat. Clearly, she is up to something yet again.

The romance is nicely handled – well, not too sickening, anyway! Kaye and Roiben seem poorly matched, what with Roiben being a knight of the faerie Gentry and Kaye a mere pixie, but they are both in-betweeners with divided loyalties – they don’t belong were they are, and they don’t belong where they came from either. This situation finds a rough-and-ready resolution by the end, with them both dividing their time, in the manner of Persephone, half above, half below.

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