*Minor Spoilers of Tithe.
Ironside by Holly Black picks up where Tithe leaves off. Roiben has been coronated as king of the Unseelie Court. Kaye, while wasted on wine, decides to declare her love for Roiben at his coronation. He reacts by sending her on a quest to find a fairy who can lie – which is impossible because fey can’t lie. At this time, Roiben’s rival, Queen Salarial of the Seelie Court decides she wants the Unseelie Throne as well, and will use whatever she can to get the throne.
I actually liked Ironside better than Tithe. It’s not quite as gritty. There are still swears, though. And you all should know by now that I love swears. What I loved especially was the quest aspect. It is one of my favorite storylines, whether people are looking for Horcruxes or dropping a ring off of Mount Doom, I LOVE QUESTS. It’s awesome seeing how clever Kaye is. Especially when a battle of wits ensues between her and Silarial. And well, I am always down for a good battle of wits, unless it’s against a Sicilian, I never want to go against one when death is on the line.
There is a complex relationship between Kaye and Roiben. As said, in order to be his consort, she has to complete the quest. And of course, she spends much of the book questioning why doesn’t he give her an easy quest. Which begs the question does a harder task prove a deeper love, is there a sliding scale of proof? And we come to the conclusion that Roiben doesn’t want Kaye entangled with the courts, but of course because she loves him she wants to throw her lot in with his. There’s certainly miscommunication on both ends. Seriously, though, what relationship doesn’t have miscommunication? What I thought was interesting was seeing how everything would play out as well as the motivations of the two.
Sidebar: There is more Corny. Yay!
As far as the narration goes, I thought Kate Rudd greatly improved in Ironside. I didn’t think her voice was quite as stilted as in Tithe. There are also more voices that she uses and more accents, I think we see more of this because there is more dialogue. Ironside is a shorter audiobook than Tithe. It is 7 hours and 6 minutes unabridged. I thought it was well produced by Brilliance Audio with a clear sound.
Disclosure: Received For Review.