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.
The third book in the Iron Fey series provides the same non-stop action as its predecessors. The only thing is, this time around, the constant conflict started to wear on my nerves. I didn’t really start caring about this book until halfway through, when the major Narnia-esque conflict began. The first half just seemed like a way to kill time and unnecessarily impress the reader. But by the third book in a series, we don’t need flashy new creatures or foreboding prophecies to be impressed; we’re already invested in the characters, their world, and in this case, their fight against the false king. I didn’t think it was possible for Julie Kagawa to introduce even more creatures, but she did, making it even harder for me to keep track of everything and everyone. There came a point where I stopped caring about the descriptions because I knew I’d never be able to remember what each specific faery looked like.
Now let’s talk about Meghan. Meghan’s near-constant state of helplessness was clearly becoming a problem and so it made complete sense for her to learn how to defend herself. But doesn’t sword-fighting take years of practice? Meghan spent all of a month or two learning and then instantly dove into numerous battles, coming out the victor each time. I’d understand if she got lucky a couple of times, especially if she had the help of Ash or Puck, but she literally fought trained soldiers, alone, and managed to win, without coming to any serious harm herself. And then, suddenly, she was ready to fight in a war? I just don’t find any of that plausible. Meanwhile, a power all her own lies dormant and unusable until the very end of the book. I’d be far more willing to believe she mastered her own summer/iron power and use it defend herself than a sword.
As for Puck and Ash, I still love Puck, though I still think the amount he addresses Meghan as “Princess” is a little unnatural. But I’m used to that. He’s as sarcastic, witty, and humorous as ever; he captures my attention in every scene. Then there’s Ash. I’m probably the only girl in the world who isn’t in love with him. I just don’t see the insane appeal and I don’t really understand his willingness to devote his entire life to Meghan. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t dislike Ash. I’m just not in love with him, nor am I sure why Meghan is, besides the obvious physical attraction. I think Kagawa goes a little over the top with their romance-to-end-all-romances. The idea that (mini spoiler alert!) sleeping together signifies the merging of their souls is completely ridiculous, to me. But as much as I don’t understand their relationship, I was still touched by the ending and left craving answers that only the fourth book will provide.
Basically, fans of the series will love this book. It’s written exactly as the first two in the series and provides an intricate, suspense-ridden plot. It has its moments of joy, battle, discovery, and heartbreak. Readers will fly through the second half of the book and turn the last few pages anxiously, praying for it not to end. But never fear, for the ride will continue in the fourth book, The Iron Knight.
Publication Date: January 2011
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Rating [rating: 3]
Teaser Quote: “For the record,” Grimalkin stated as we ventured, single file, into the black, “I do not think this is a good idea. But, as no one listens to the cat anymore, I will have to wait until we are completely lost to say ‘I told you so.’”