Ironside: A Modern Faery 

"By Holly Black; Simon & Schuster; $16.99

Holly Black’s third solo novel takes back up the story of Kaye, the changeling pixie readers met in her first novel, Tithe. It is time for Kaye’s boyfriend, Roiben, to be officially crowned king of the Unseelie Court. Of course, as most things having to do with Unseelie fairies, this doesn’t happen easily.

First, Kaye, drunk on fairy wine, declares herself to Roiben in front of the entire Unseelie Court and, instead of granting her a boon, he sends her on an impossible quest — a nice way of giving an unwanted admirer the shrug off. In a mad desire to do something right, Kaye reveals her true self to her mother and then goes on her own quest to find the real Kaye, who was taken as a baby. To top everything off, Roiben must go head to head with Silarial, the queen of the Seelie Court and his former lover, and Kaye gets mired in the queen’s machinations for the Unseelie crown.

Corny, Kaye’s friend from Tithe, is a major player in this installment of a modern fairy tale, and in a nod to Black’s second novel, Valiant, Dave and his brother, Louis, who has the True Sight, show up.

As with her first two novels, this is a read you can’t put down. The story pulls you in with the striking combination of the real word and fairy, as well as characters so readable, so relatable that you care about them from the first page to the last.


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