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The Iron Daughter (Iron Fey, Book 2) – Julie Kagawa
Book Reviews
January 10, 2011 posted by Kiona

The Iron Daughter (Iron Fey, Book 2) – Julie Kagawa

“Half Summer faery princess, half human, Meghan has never fit in anywhere. Deserted by the Winter prince she thought loved her, she is prisoner to the Winter faery queen. As war looms between Summer and Winter, Meghan knows that the real danger comes from the Iron fey – ironbound faeries that only she and her absent prince have seen. But no one believes her.

Worse. Meghan’s own fey powers have been cut off. She’s stuck in Faery with only her wits for help. Trusting anyone would be foolish. Trusting a seeming traitor could be deadly. But even as she grows a backbone of iron, Meghan can’t help but hear the whispers of longing in her all-too-human heart.”

Meghan’s journey continues with the second installment of The Iron Fey series. At the end of the last book, Ash returned for Meghan to bring her back to the Winter queen, as they’d agreed. Iron Daughter picks up right where Iron King left off, with Meghan living as a prisoner in the Unseelie Court. Living in Unseelie probably wouldn’t be so bad if Ash hadn’t become mysteriously cold and distant, treating Meghan as if he hated her.

The Faery world turns to chaos when the Scepter of Seasons is stolen from the Winter queen. Queen Mab, of course, blames Oberon and declares war against Summer. The only ones who know the truth – that the scepter was stolen by the Iron fey – and the only ones who can stop the war are Meghan and Ash. The only problem is that Ash isn’t willing to work with Meghan.

This book is just as action-packed as the last. Each page provides a new twist to the story and the fast pace keeps the reader interested until the very end. Though I wouldn’t have believed it possible, even more new creatures are introduced in this book, along with new characters that are easy to love. We also see the return of wonderful characters like Grim, Puck, and even Ironhorse. It is fun to see such familiar characters in such a believable world and to watch them grow with each passing chapter.

Iron Daughter has a much stronger focus on Meghan’s romantic life. She admits her love for Ash a little too early on for my taste and even he admits she doesn’t truly know him, while her relationship with Puck seems more natural. But Ash is just as intriguing, mystifying, and aggravating as ever. I love seeing Meghan hack away at his icy exterior. Throughout the story, the two really do develop an understanding of each other’s personality. Of course, the tension between Puck and Ash only escalates. Puck is his charming, snarky self, but in this book we see him occasionally drop his over-confident mask and show Meghan his true feelings. It is impossible not to love Puck and to share in Meghan’s torn feelings over the two guys in her life.

I noticed the same sorts of inconsistencies with Meghan’s character as in the last book. First of all, any time Meghan swears seems unnatural and forced to me. Beside that, she unnecessarily bemoans her situation too often, making her come across as weak. But at other times, a fierce determination takes over and she fights just as ruthlessly as her defenders. I was sometimes agitated by the way she hated the fact that she had to make tough decisions. It takes awhile for her to come to terms with the fact that her life isn’t easy, something I feel she should have learned in the first book. I love her strong moments though and the way she refuses to give up on Ash. She has a power all her own and though others may have overlooked that fact in the first book, her strength cannot be ignored in this one.

Overall, I find the plot of Iron Daughter even more riveting than Iron King, which I thoroughly enjoyed. The characters really grow in fascinating ways and the unpredictable plot twists keeps you on your toes. The Faery world comes alive and offers a unique escape, one different from typical fantasy novels. The ending is extremely surprising and leaves me wondering just where the third and final book in the series will take us.

Review of the first book:  The Iron King
Pages: 359
Publication Date: August 2010
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Challenge: n/a
Rating : ★★★½☆

Teaser Quote: Puck looked at me aghast. “Oh, man. So that’s where the war rumors are coming from. Winter really is going to attack Summer.” He glared at Ash. “So, we’re at war. Perfect. Shall we save time and kill each other now, or did you want to wait until later?”

The Iron King – Julie Kagawa
Book Reviews
December 14, 2010 posted by Kiona

The Iron King – Julie Kagawa

“Meghan Chase has a secret destiny – one she could never have imagined…

Something has always felt slightly off in Meghan’s life, ever since her father disappeared before her eyes when she was six. She has never quite fit in at school…or at home.

When a dark stranger begins watching her from afar, and her prankster best friend becomes strangely protective of her, Meghan senses that everything she’s known is about to change.

But she could never have guessed the truth – that she is the daughter of a mythical faery king and is a pawn in a deadly war. Now Meghan will learn just how far she’ll go to save someone she cares about, to stop a mysterious evil no faery creature dare face…and to find love with a young prince who might rather see her dead than let her touch his icy heart.”

When I first began The Iron King, I was afraid I wouldn’t like it. I’m always wary of the Faery world. Some authors describe it well and some authors completely butcher it. But as soon as I realized Iron King offered a modern twist on Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” I was hooked.

On her sixteenth birthday, Meghan Chase begins to see things that can’t be real. She chalks these odd visions up to her imagination, but when her sweet, four-year-old brother suddenly attacks their mother, she realizes she’s been fooling herself. Her best and only friend, Robbie Goodfell, reveals himself to be Robin Goodfellow, the age-old prankster known as “Puck” in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” He explains that her real brother has been captured and replaced with a changeling. Puck agrees to take Meghan to the Unseelie Court in search of her real brother and a wild adventure begins.

This story is definitely action-packed. Every chapter provides a new twist and turn. I thought the constant plot twists would become exhausting at some point, but instead I just kept turning the pages, wondering what would happen next. Julie Kagawa does a phenomenal job when it comes to world building. Meghan and Puck journey through the Nevernever, the Seelie Court, and the Unseelie Court. Meghan meets all sorts of interesting creatures and beings, each of which are carefully described and easy to imagine. Reading The Iron King allows you to fully immerse yourself in a completely new world.

I loved the characters introduced in this first installment of The Iron Fey series. Meghan was realistic and relatable, though it was sometimes hard to understand if she was more of a damsel-in-distress type or the type of girl willing to fight for herself and her friends through whatever means possible. Puck is witty and protective, the kind of guy I wish could be my best friend. His relationship with Meghan isn’t forced or unbelievable. Eventually, Prince Ash is introduced, creating the stereotypical love triangle. But this love triangle works. Romance isn’t the central focus of this book, for once. Friendship and understanding grow between Meghan and Ash before any romantic feelings take over. Sure, there’s that initial attraction, but the two don’t instantly fall in love, as is the case with so many other novels. And Meghan’s confusion between her feelings for Puck and her feelings for Ash is palpable, which lets the reader sympathize with her.

I can only think of two downsides to this book. The first is Puck’s near-constant use of the title “Princess” in reference to Meghan. By the first chapter, we get it. Puck knows something we don’t know. By the second chapter, it’s obvious that there’s something different about Meghan…she’s a princess. The amount of times Puck calls Meghan “Princess” in every conversation is unnatural and forced. But because he’s Puck, I’ll let it slide. The second downside was the use of the word “writhing.” Not a big deal, by any means, but still distracting. Everything was constantly writhing, especially toward the end of the book. Any other verb would have sufficed.

But those are just minor details. The Iron King is a gripping lead with a surprising ending that leaves reader’s dying to get their hands on the second book in the series. Kagawa has created a world that is difficult to stop thinking about for too long.

Pages: 363
Publication Date: February 2010
Rating : ★★★½☆

Teaser Quote: I licked my lips and whispered, “Is this where you say you’ll kill me?” One corner of his lip curled. “If you like,” he murmured, a flicker of amusement finally crossing his face. “Though it’s gotten far too interesting for that.”