The Ironwood Tree is the fourth book in the Spiderwick Chronicles. It was written by Holly Black, illustrated by Tony DiTerlizzi and published at Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers in April 2004.
The book opens with the Graces on their way to Mallory's fencing match, as they go on they pass a quarry and Jared wonders if faeries could be living there. At the match Mallory easily wins but Jared notices a girl with blonde hair rummaging through her bag. He attempts to approach the girl but is stopped by the coach. When he attempts to alert the coach he finds the girl had disappeared. As he turns to leave he looks back to see a copy of Simon still going through Mallory's bag. Jared follows Simon's double into the hall and confronts him with a pocketknife, the double mocks him and then transforms into a frightened boy. Jared is caught by the vice principle and the faerie runs away. Later after their mother is done talking to the principle (and Jared is presumably expelled) she tells him and Simon to go find their sister but they are unable to do so. While they search outside they find her fencing medal in the center of a circle of rocks from the quarry one of which says "TRADE". They assume Mallory has been kidnapped by faeries who want the field guide and they go to get one of their textbooks to pass off as the guide. As night falls they enter the quarry and are captured by dwarves who take them underground as they pass through the caves they are showed the Ironwood Tree built by the dwarves.. The dwarves take them to the Korting the king of dwarves and trade the fake guide for Mallory (now imprisoned unconscious in a glass coffin in medieval clothes). The Korting trick them by saying "they bargained for their sister not their freedom" and take them to the treasure room. Inside the treasure room they manage to steal the keys from the guard, escape the cage they were in and wake Mallory. The siblings run through the tunnels being chased by mechanical dogs made by the dwarves. In one room they meet a creature called an knocker who shows them a secret tunnel and gives Jared a stone. They crawl through the passage to the chamber of the Ironwood Tree where the dogs catch up to them. But Simon is able to distract them by throwing the stone the Knocker gave Jared. They manage to escape the cavern only to see the dwarves presenting the fake guide and a supply of weapons to the ogre Mulgurath and his army of goblins (with a human prisoner who's face is covered). Mulgurath reveals that he already has the guide and he orders the goblins to kill the dwarves. The Grace kids scared and tired decide to return to the house and regroup.
- Table of Contents
- List of Full-Page Illustrations
- Letter from Holly Black
- Letter from the Grace kids
- Map of the Spiderwick Estate and Surrounding Areas
- Chapter One IN WHICH There Is Both a Fight and a Duel
- Chapter Two IN WHICH the Grace Twins are Triplets
- Chapter Three IN WHICH Simon Solves a Riddle
- Chapter Four IN WHICH the Twins Discover a Tree Unlike Any Other
- Chapter Five IN WHICH Jared and Simon Wake Sleeping Beauty
- Chapter Six IN WHICH the Stones Speak
- Chapter Seven IN WHICH There Is an Unexpected Betrayal
- Mallory's imprisonment is an allusion to the fairy tale "Snow White and the Seven Dwarves" by the Brothers Grimm. Mallory is preserved in a comatose state in a glass coffin built by dwarves.