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THE IRON KING BY JULIE KAGAWA BOOK CLUB CHAPTERS 20-25

Brought to you by OBS staff member Annabell Cadiz

Chapters 20-22

New Characters:
Quintus (One of King Machina’s knights)
Tertius (One of King Machina’s knights)

Short Summary/Mini Description: Ash and Meghan set out on the quest to find King Machine’s realm and destroy him. Puck is still locked away in the tree and Grimalkin reports he must leave them because he has a theory of a different way to find King Machina. Before he leaves though, he calls in his favor to Meghan: he will call on her one day and she will have to come to his aid, doing whatever it is he asks of her then he leaves. Ash and Meghan head to the abandoned factory and fight off an iron dragon King Machina had set up to guard the trod into his realm. Ash is able to knock down the dragon temporarily to get to Meghan and surprises her by kissing her but soon the iron dragon is back on its feet and Ash and Meghan barely manage to escape. Ash and Meghan venture into the tunnels with the help of the gremlins who agree to help them in exchange for Meghan’s broken iPod. Ash becomes more and more sick because of the iron draining his power and acid rain begins to fall so they are forced to take refuge. Ash finally confesses why he is so determined to kill Puck. After a few hours of rest, Ash and Meghan head out again. They get attacked by Ironhorse and King Machina’s knights. Ash is too weak to fight for long and ends up getting caught. Meghan and Ash get locked away in a tunnel while Ironhorse and the knights inspect a way around the acid rain falling. The gremlins Meghan had traded her iPod with come to her aid and set her free. Meghan frees Ash but it’s too late, the other gremlins catch them trying to get away and attack Ash and Meghan. Ash fights so Meghan can get away and is left for dead as the tunnel comes crashing down.

Favorite Scene: When the gremlins start poking Meghan because they want her iPod. It was cute how excited the gremlin who got to have the iPod was. Funny little creatures.

Least Favorite Scene: The story of why Ash and Puck are so set on killing each other. Turns out Puck and Ash use to be friends. Ash also had a girlfriend named Ariella. All three had gone hunting after a golden fox and the only way to catch it was to go down this hollow but Ariella thought it was too dangerous. Puck thinks she’s overreacting and hits her horse and they go flying down the hollow with Ash following behind. But they wind up in a wyvern’s nest (think dragon but smaller) and manage to take it down. Just as Ariella drives in the final blow, she gets poisoned by the wyvern who hit her in the chest with its tail. Areilla dies and Ash blames Puck. He had vowed to kill Puck.

I had expected a more dramatic reason as to why Ash was determined to kill Puck. I thought maybe Puck did kill someone he cared about but ACTUALLY killed. Puck can’t take the blame for a dragon-like creature killing Ash’s girlfriend. It was just so anti-climatic.

Favorite Quotes: “I’m a Knight of the Iron Crown. I will not betray my brothers, or my king.” ~Tertius

Discussion Questions:
1)What do you think about Ash’s sacrifice? Do you think Meghan should have stayed behind and helped him fight?
2)What do you think about what happened between Ash and Puck? Do you think it’s right Ash blames Puck for Ariella’s death? Do you agree with Ash or do you think it’s just both of them acting from guilt?
3)What do you think about Meghan and Ash’s relationship? How do you think Queen Mab and King Oberon will react?

Chapters 23-25

New Characters:
Ferrum (First Iron King)
King Machina (New Iron King)

Short Summary/Mini Description: Meghan continues her journey with a broken heart and follows the gremlins deeper into the tunnel. She meets their leader, Ferrum, who use to be the Iron King until he was betrayed by his most trusted lieutenant, Machina. He tries to convince Meghan not to go on but Meghan won’t back out from saving her brother. She follows the gremlins who lead her under Machina’s fortress through secret tunnels. Along the way, the gremlins find Ash’s sword and the Witchwood arrow that Ironhorse had ordered the knights to get rid of when Ash and Meghan were captured. Meghan sneaks into Machina’s fortress and is surprised to find Ash; he’s tied to one of the cogs attached to a fountain. Meghan sets him free. Ash is still weak but tells her shouldn’t have come, it’s a trap. King Machina emerges from behind them. He shows Meghan Ethan, who is being held inside a cage. He tells Meghan he will free Ethan and let Ash live if she agrees to become his queen. Meghan is half human, half fey, she has great power and Machina wants it to take down the Summer and Winter Courts believing the old ways have become obsolete. Meghan refuses and she and Ash fight him. They are able to take Machina down with the Witchwood. They make a run for it as the fortress starts to crumble and escape with the help of the Grimalkin. Meghan and Ethan make it back home and Meghan’s mother finally confesses the truth of Meghan’s father. But just as Meghan gets comfortable with being home, Ash shows up to take her to the Winter Court because of the contract they had made. Meghan says her goodbyes to her family and leaves with Ash.

Favorite Scene: When Meghan meets Ferrum. He’s a bitter old man and half crazed but I kinda liked him. I also liked the battle with King Machina. Meghan ACUTALLY fights back even if it was only a little.

Least Favorite Scene: When Meghan and Ethan make it back home and Meghan’s mother confesses the truth. Meghan doesn’t get nearly as angry as she should. Also, the scene where Meghan meets up with Angie, the ex-popular cheerleader from her high school who Puck ended up giving a pig nose to, on her way home with Ethan. The scene was completely pointless.

Favorite Quotes: “My name is Ferrum. As you no doubt noticed, I am old. Older than that whelp Machina, older than all of the iron fey. I was the first , you see, born of the forges when mankind first began to experiment with iron. I rose from their imagination, from their ambition to conquer the world with a metal that could slice through bronze paper.” ~Ferrum

“There you are. I was beginning to think you would sleep forever. You snore, you know.” ~Grimalkin (to Meghan)

Discussion Questions:
1)What do you think of Meghan having to leave to go to the Winter Court? Do you think Ash should have tried to find a way to get Meghan out of her contract? Do you think he really cares for her or is just pretending to?
2)What do you think is going to happen with Puck? Do you think he will survive?
3)Do you think Machina is really dead?