Review - The Iron Queen by Julie Kagawa (1)

Monday, April 11, 2011

The Iron Queen by Julie Kagawa
Series: The Iron Fey #3
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Released: 25 January 2011
Genre: YA paranormal/fantasy/romance
My Copy: bought - paperback

My name is Meghan Chase.
I thought it was over. That my time with the fey, the impossible choices I had to make, the sacrifices of those I loved, was behind me. But a storm is approaching, an army of Iron fey that will drag me back, kicking and screaming. Drag me away from the banished prince who's sworn to stand by my side. Drag me into the core of conflict so powerful, I'm not sure anyone can survive it.
This time, there will be no turning back.

I read the first book, The Iron King, during the 24-hour Dewey Read-a-Thon in April of last year. I wasn't sure what to expect. I had always resisted reading faery novels. I can't really tell you why; it was just one of those things. However, all of the book blogging world was abuzz with how great this book was, so I decided to give it a try. I loved it. I bought the second book, The Iron Daughter, the day it came out and devoured it in one day as well. I anxiously awaited the third book. I bought it the day it was released as well, but then I waited. I read the first chapter and set it down. I waited longer, read the first chapter again, and again set it down. Why couldn't I read it? I'm not sure. It wasn't that the chapter was bad. It hooked me just as swiftly as the other two, but I dreaded finishing it. It might have to do with the fact that at the time I was under the impression this was the last book in the series. Even after I heard about The Iron Knight, book four, I still couldn't start the novel. My inability to read it drove me mad. I read several other books until I remembered the Read-a-Thon coming up. I knew I wanted to start a book blog and wanted to participate with it during the marathon reading. Time seemed to speed up, and then it was here. (I was clearly not ready for it, as seen by the blank layout.) The Read-a-Thon started, and still I didn't pick up The Iron Queen until the last hour that I was awake. I tried very hard to stay awake to finish it, but ultimately a lack of sleep the night before and being awake for so long overwhelmed me. I finished it without pausing the next morning.

The plot was absolutely fantastic. Julie Kagawa is truely a wonderful storyteller. The blend of mystery, action, adventure and love story weave a tale which is inspiring and bittersweet. All I can say is I'm sorry I waited so long to read it. In this book, Ash and Meghan have been exiled from the Nevernever while the Iron court threatens to swallow all of the Wyldwood and both Summer and Winter courts. Puck and Grimalkin join up with the duo early in the book, and the four fight to save Nevernever from the deadly iron. I felt like slapping Puck several times throughout this installment. That is not to say he is a bad character. Quite the contrary, he's a great character, just a slightly annoying one in the beginning. It takes a gifted writer to create a character which you love and want to throttle at the same time. His childish act early in the book fades into a better acceptance of his role as the best friend as the story moves quickly along. Meghan's reactions to his attitude do much to show her character and growth through the series. She never backs down from a fight, never shies away from danger, never puts herself before those she loves. She's one of my favorite heroines in any book I've read. Ash is a swoon-worthy character and much more open with his emotions (I have forgiven him for his icy cruelty in book 2). He is protective of Meghan, but not in that crazy possessive freak way which seems so popular with YA novels since Twilight. He recognizes her worth and appreciates it. He matches her character well; winter to her summer, so to speak. All of the characters, Puck included, are very dynamic and well developed. I could sense the time put into creating even minor characters like Razor and Glitch. This series comes highly recommended from me.

Other notes:
The book cover was not my favorite in the series. That honor still remains with The Iron King. I'm just not a big fan of pink. I love the vines that wrap around the book and are featured on the chapter pages.

Favorite quotes:
"Let it be known--from this day forth, I vow to protect Meghan Chase, daughter of the Summer King, with my sword, my honor, and my life. Her desires are mine. Her wishes are mine. Should even the world stand against her, my blade will be at her side. And should it fail to protect her, let my own existence be forfeit. This I swear, on my honor, my True Name, and my life. From this day on..." His voice went even softer, but I still heard it as though he whispered it into my ear. "I am yours." - pg 128

Rating breakdown:
Overall: 5+ stars
Characters: 5+ stars
Plot: 5+ stars
Writing style: 5 stars
Recommended: Absolutely!

Other Books in the Series:

*All links go to Goodreads*


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