Monday, November 21, 2011

The Iron Queen by Julie Kagawa

Published January 25th, 2011.

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.

Kagawa does not fail when it comes to the third installment in The Iron Fey series. I'm always a little wary of series simply because it's not uncommon for some aspect of the writing to taper off. Not here. Kagawa holds strong and delivers yet another amazing installment.

Meghan has a problem: the two glamours that exist within her, Summer and Iron, really don't like each other. Sure, she can use them but they make her throw up a little in her mouth. Literally. The iron and the oldblood magic violently react to each other, just as a Fey would who wandered into the Iron Kingdom. Except this is going on with Meghan's insides. So if she wants to use her glamour, major hurdle. Loved it. Why? Because it didn't let Meghan have anything easy. I love it when authors do that.

I also really liked how the love triangle really wasn't drawn out. Meghan loves Ash all the way. Puck was a mistake in the romantic relationship department. She admits this to herself. He's her best friend and that's how she loves him. So the kibosh is really smacked down on that. Doesn't leave Puck too happy but I'm loving it. None of this pseudo OMG-who-will-she-choose-although-it's-already-totally-obvious? Loved it.

I am in love with the world that Kagawa created. Reading it is like listening to a brilliant piece of music. It invoked envy and joy and even euphoria simply because it's so beautiful. I think Kagawa really captured the essence of the Nevernever superbly and when it came to creating the Iron Kingdom, it felt just as real as the Nevernever. Just as Kagawa relied heavily on old stories to build up her Faery, she created just as complex of a history for the Iron Kingdom, making it just as pulsing with life as everything else was. She didn't just rely on a few randomly-placed Iron fey in the hopes that people would believe it. The Iron Kingdom was its own character within the story and I wanted to hug it to my bosom and never let it go.

The ending? Effing phenomenal. Talk about not letting your characters off easily. Kagawa should get a crown for that. Totally didn't expect what came and while the overarching plot resolved itself, it left so much open in the end that I'm really looking forward to THE IRON KNIGHT.

THE IRON QUEEN was heads and tales better than THE IRON DAUGHTER. It felt like the story was more alive, there was more passion, more love for everything going on. If Kagawawere to say this was her favorite book to write, it wouldn't surprise me because it totally shows. There is just so much that is phenomenal about THE IRON QUEEN that I can't possibly express it all without drooling on myself a little. No wonder my twin Laura at A Jane of All Reads was super fangirl over this one. I get it now. I have so much love for this book that I want to go all John Cusack with Peter Gabriel on the boom box. Is that weird?

Ban Factor: High - Faeries + Christian Godlessness = Shenanigans
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