Actual rating: 3.5, but I'll round it up cause I'm nice.In the back of this book there’s an interview with the author. In one answer she states that she wrote The Iron Knight because her editor was a fan of happily ever after endings, which The Iron Queen did not really have, and so her editor convinced her to write another book to give Meghan’s story a happier ending. And honestly? You can tell The Iron Knight wasn’t ever really part of Kagawa’s game plan for the Iron Fey series. That’s not to say it’s a bad book, because it isn’t. It’s about as good as The Iron Daughter, and considering I’m ambivalent on Ash a lot of the time, the fact that I liked his book is a very good thing. But the book itself isn’t really necessary to the original trilogy. The biggest sign that this book wasn’t really planned for is the return of a character that had previously died before the start of the original series. The only reason we’re ever given for her revival is “she was needed so Faery brought her back.” It’s one of the weakest points of the plot, and while I did appreciate finally getting to know this character outside of a device to give Ash manpain, the fact that her revival was obviously brought in as yet another plot point was a bit irritating. She had agency, but the ending to her story was still uncomfortable for me. Also, one wonders why Ash simply didn’t ask for immunity against Iron’s effects while keeping his Fey nature, instead of becoming a full out human. It worked out all right for him in the end, and it doesn’t quite do a disservice to the character, but now I wonder if it was the editor’s idea or the author’s. I shouldn’t have to wonder about that in a book. The inclusion of the Big Bad Wolf as a sidekick was awesome, and it was nice to revisit the secondary characters I liked the most from the first three books. The complicated relationship/friendship between Ash and Puck was nice to see from Ash’s point of view, and it was nice that, even when Ash’s oath to kill him was broken, they both knew they couldn’t go back to how things were. I appreciate Kagawa’s willingness to give no easy answers to the characters in her stories, which is why it’s a shame she was talked into tying everything off with a neat little bow. She’s capable of a lot more than what she’s talked into. On the other hand, Ash really did have to fight for his soul. It wasn’t just handed to him easily. It did feel like he had truly earned it in the end. At times, when recounting all the bad he’s done in his life, it was hard to really root for him, but Kagawa is up front about the reader not sympathizing with him. He’s done vile things and he doesn’t get off lightly for them. Still, it does make one wonder if he really deserves this happy ending with Meghan. Kagawa’s creativity shines in creating the lands Ash and his companions have to go through. There was one place that was deliciously creepy, and I hope it’s revisited and explored in other Iron Fey books. The world building has always been the strongest point of the Iron Fey series, and it’s no different here. For all that the book was ultimately unnecessary, it’s still a good, solid addition and ending to the Iron Fey series. It took a while, but the Iron Fey series finally became enjoyable and downright good. I have The Lost Prince waiting for me and I’m actually excited to get to it. I hope Kagawa won’t disappoint.