Book Review: The Iron Queen by Julie Kagawa

September 14, 2012 at 12:22 am Leave a comment

Title: The Iron Queen (Iron Fey #3)
Author: Julie Kagawa
Genre: Fantasy, Faeries, Young Adult, Iron Fey
Publisher: HarlequinTEEN
Review copy purchased through Book Depository.

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.

At the beginning of The Iron Queen, we find Meghan and the love of her life, Prince Ash, both exiled from the Nevernever for following their hearts and falling in love with each other. Unfortunately for Meghan and Ash, their trials are not yet over, as the Iron Fey attack them even while on earth. Oberon and Mab – King of Summer and Queen of Winter, former enemies, and now forced allies, see no other choice but to pardon their wayward children and to request for them to save the Nevernever one more time. When Ash and Meghan agree, they do not realise that the perils that await them in the land of the Iron fey will be even greater than they have anticipated, and the disaster they will encounter will be something even they might not overcome. With the army of the Iron fey marching towards the territories of Summer and Winter, and the fate of the entire Nevernever on the line, Meghan must find a strength within herself she hardly knew she had.

As of now, I’m officially not Team Ash or Team Puck anymore. I’m Team Meghan ftw! The way that girl has grown from a regular, somewhat shy and insecure teenage girl into the single most courageous, determined, intelligent and honest creature walking the Nevernever, is simply amazing. Gone is the love-struck half-faery we see at the beginning of The Iron Daughter, long forgotten is the girl who had no money to buy decent clothes and was the laughing stock of high school. Meet Meghan Chase – daughter of King Oberon, Princess to the Nevernever, and the most dangerous opponent the Iron Fey could possibly face. She is willful, strong, independent, but without ever losing her charming personality, and all the reasons why she’s still human and only a teenage girl. She literally and figuratively kicks ass in this novel, and it was a pleasure to witness.

But Ash, my poor little Ash, what the heck happened to you? You just went from being one of the most interesting, charming, distant and icey Princes of the Faerie Realm and then you turned into a…love-struck teenager? I don’t know exactly why – I mean, I do support Meghan/Ash – but the latter just can’t play the role of Meghan’s boyfriend and still be an interesting character with a dark edge. Gone, dark edge. And that leaves him rather one-dimensional, flat, and not all that interesting. With the dissapearance of the love triangle, and Meghan’s firm choice for Ash, there was a huge romance plot missing in this novel. Ash and Meghan were interesting…until they started dating. Now I’m wondering whether or not they’ll watch a movie together sometime, snuggling in front of a TV screen and perhaps worrying about daily chores or homework. WRONG. That’s not what I want to think about when I imagine a Summer Princess and a Winter Prince! And yet, somehow I did…it’s like Meghan/Ash lost all their magic once they actually got together.

Once again, Julie Kagawa’s world-building is exquisite, her characterization brilliant, her writing style excellent. The Iron Queen pulled me in from page one, and left me breathless till I turned the last page and read the ending. Spellbinding, fascinating, amazing, and the best ending to one of the most magnificent, original and well-written young adult fantasy series currently available. Here I was, thinking it couldn’t get any better, and then it did.

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