Sorry for the great delay getting this one out. I've been a busy, busy worker bee at work all week. As usual, the giveaway is posted down below, and there are only TWO (2) DAYS LEFT to enter, so hurry up and get your entries in!
Now, without further ado, the review:
Pub. Date: January 25th 2011
Series' Reviews on PiF: The Iron King | The Iron Daughter
Out of all the Iron Fey books that I've read so far, I think that I've loved this one the most. The Iron King took a while to find it's place, mainly focusing on introducing us to the land of the Nevernever, and giving us not-so-very-detailed introductions to our main cast. The second book, The Iron Daughter, had surer footing, saw more character development, and dragged us deeper into its original storyline. This book, The Iron Queen, blew me away.
Meghan Chase had thought she was finished with the Fey. She'd killed Machina, the Iron King; she'd defeated Virus, and returned the Scepter of the Seasons to Queen Mab. When all was said and done, she and Ash, the Winter prince, were both exiled from the Nevernever for sharing a love forbidden between those of Summer and Winter descent.
Meghan was more than happy to remain exiled to the human world with her prince, who'd sworn to stand by her forever – or, until she didn't want him anymore – but the Iron Fey had other plans.
This book was a constant struggle. A struggle for the fate of the Nevernever; the struggle that comes with fighting a war; a struggle for Puck to watch the girl he loves love another, and for Meghan's dad to relearn who he was; also, it was a struggle for Ash and Meghan, as Meghan learns to accept her destiny and Ash faces the threat of a curse placed on him long ago.
I think that's why I liked this book so much. Anyone who reads and/or writes knows (or should) that stories thrive on conflict, and I believe The Iron Queen is a prime example of that. I'll admit, that when I am in the process of collecting my thought about my latest read, I tend to glance over the reviews of others. One of the common thoughts I saw was that this book appeared to be the favorite in the series.
Now, we all could be biased, and just like it more because we love the characters more. Really, I just think it's because, as is the case with most series, most of the major conflicts that have been building up come to the forefront and conclude towards the end of a story-arc. And The Iron Queen is the end of the story-arc (Meghan's, at least, as she has met her destiny. The Iron Knight is all about Ash, as he tries to find a way to remain a part of it), which could only mean struggles galore. And, of course, with all this struggling there was always something going on – never a dull moment. Which is awesome, because when it happens (and it doesn't always, or the phrase anti-climactic would never have been coined) it makes that story such an enjoyable, fast-paced read.
I don't really have many complaints for this book. Those I had for the previous novels in the series don't hold true here. Julie Kagawa has definitely developed more as a writer with the more she has written, and I think it was kind of cool to watch her progress unfold throughout this series. There was an instance, or two that may have seemed a little stretched, but I thought them fairly easy to overlook in favor of the story. For argument's sake, though, an example:
Meghan, after two books of people trying to kill her and being unable to defend herself, decides it's time she learned to fight. Ok, good. I'd been wanting that to happen for ages, so I was all for it. Ash went out, got her a sword, and spent everyday for, like, a month training her to use it. So far, so good. She then gets into a few scrapes here and there and, with the help of Puck and Ash, manages to come away the victor. I can chalk that up to Ash being an excellent teacher.
BUT – and this is actually common in a lot of similar stories (helpless girl gets hunted, trained by friends to fight, and fights big battle), so it's nothing new, but still a little irritating – Meghan then becomes involved in bigger battles, even the conclusive battle to a major war in which her side was the underdog, often gets separated by her protectors, and yet still can come out on top of warriors who have been training and fighting for years? Hell, they're fey, so they're probably hundreds, if not thousands of years old, and probably have been soldiers for about as long, yet they fall to a girl has been playing sword for about a month? It's a little far-fetched, but still something I can easily look over if the story is good enough.
Overall, I believe Kagawa did a superb job of bringing to a close Meghan's part of of the tale. Sure, I would have liked Meghan and Ash to have a more solid, happy ending, as I turned the last pages of The Iron Queen, but I suppose then there would be no Iron Knight (which I am already loving). I think this installment of the Iron Fey saga warrants a solid 5 Crazy Hearts.
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Please Note: It has been brought to our attention that some people, when viewing this entry form, see one from a giveaway we did previously, and not one for the Iron Fey.. If you are one of those people, do not be discouraged, the form on this post here should show the correct giveaway.Unabridged Andra