I normally purchase all of my books via Amazon as my other reviews show, however I must confirm that I purchased this book elsewhere (TBP) as it came as a pack of the first four books in the Iron Fey series and at just under the price of one individual book - so apologies Amazon for the 'betrayal' but you couldn't beat the price on this set. I also wouldn't normally write a book review on Amazon for a book I had purchased elsewhere but this series has me absolutely hooked and I wanted to add my twopence to the other reviews already posted.
The series follows Meghan Chase who discovers around her sixteenth birthday that she can see The Fey, that the person she thought was her biological father and who disappeared when she was six is not her father and her actual father is King Oberon Lord of the Summer Fey, her best friend at school is actually Puck from A Midsummer Night's Dream and that despite her reservations about being the half breed princess daughter of King Oberon that actually she does care and fit in with the world of The Fey. This book picks up straight after the second book; The Iron Daughter, which saw Ash announce his love for Meghan and her for him and them both banished from the Nevernever as relationships between Summer and Winter are not allowed. However this decision is soon revoked by both Oberon and Mab when they realize that Meghan is their only hope of defeating the oncoming army of the Iron Fey and so a deal is struck whereby if Meghan stops the new Iron King then the banishment is lifted. Meghan has also been followed into the human world by Puck and so she feels she must ensure that both Ash and Puck are free to return to the Nevernever lest they one day just cease to be and so the trio along with Grimalkin of course set off on their mission to defeat the new Iron King and save the Nevernever. So will they succeed or will being in the Iron Realm be too much for Ash and Puck and will Ash and Meghan finally catch a break and be able to be together properly?....
I am totally hooked on the Iron Fey series and loved this third installment which I have absolutely whizzed through and sat up very late at night unable to put the book down. I absolutely love Grimalkin and his honourable yet devious and self-serving ways and without giving the ending away it was so sad but also necessary for that certain persons survival. A brilliant series and don't let the 'the next twilight' sticker on the front of the book put you off (although I am a massive Twilight book fan) if it would normally do so as honestly the series stands on it's own merit without having to compare it to any other book series. I am already steaming through book four and as stated above I am absolutely hooked. I have listed the reading order of the books so far below in case this is of help to anyone else:
The Iron Fey:-
Book 1: The Iron King (The Iron Fey - Book 1) (MIRA)
Short Story e-book: Winter's Passage (The Iron Fey short story - Book 1)
Book 2: The Iron Daughter (The Iron Fey - Book 2)
Book 3: The Iron Queen
Short Story e-book: Summer's Crossing (The Iron Fey short story - Book 2)
Book 4: The Iron Knight (The Iron Fey - Book 4)
The Iron Fey Call of the Forgotten:-
Short Story e-book: Iron's Prophecy (The Iron Fey - prequel to The Lost Prince)
The Lost Prince (The Iron Fey - Book 5)
The Iron Traitor (The Iron Fey)
Compilation of all e-books in paperback:-
The Iron Legends (The Iron Fey)
on 6 November 2011
Julie Kagawa, you have managed to change my mind about this series. The Iron King and The Iron Daughter were mediocre reads for me, books that I had to force myself through. The Iron Queen stepped it up a notch for me.
Okay, so I'll get this out of the way first - this book still took me some time to get into. The first fifty or so pages were such a push to me but as soon as we got back into Meghan's journey I was gripped again. This book is a little more action packed than the others, there were moments when I felt a bit bored but the good outweigh the bad.
It's very hard for me to admit this because I'm a stubborn person and hate to admit that I'm wrong, but I was wrong. I have been claiming all along that these books lack originality along side all of the other faery worlds out there, but in this book we see a whole new side of Kagawa's fae world, we see this corrupted poisonous iron realm in a new light which gave off an almost steampunk vibe that I liked.
As always, I loved Grimalkin, he is still my favorite character. Puck is less funny this time, and I missed his witicisms, Ash is still broody and dark but we also see his super romantic side, which has made me release that at some point I moved from Team Puck to Team Ash. Meghan is helpless as ever, though she has a few moments of strength I still don't like the whiny little girl.
And what can I say about Kagawa's writing, I've liked it before but I loved it here. You totally get into the characters heads, feel how they feel and see what they see, I am so impressed with how gorgeous and descriptive the narrative is. She's such a great writer that she really hit me with that ending - heart broken and saddened, I can't wait to read The Iron Knight
Overall, The Iron Queen is a step up from its predecessors and impressed me with the action and romance that was written so beautifully.
on 24 October 2011
(This review contains spoilers if you haven't read books one and two)
At the end of the last book both Ash, the Unseelie prince, and Meghan, our half-fae protagonist were banished from Faerie forever for their love which they now refuse to hide or give up. It was an enormous gesture made by Ash. After fighting his feelings for so long and trying to push Meghan away at every turn, he suddenly decided that he will not give her up, no matter what, and said as much to his mother, Queen Mab of the Winter court. As love between different courts is forbidden, Mab was left with only two choices for her son and heir: death or banishment. And Meghan, who is loyal to a fault, as well as being just as hopelessly in love with Ash, opted to join him in his exile.
So we join the happy couple at the start of the book back in the human realm, or the "real world" as Meghan prefers to call it. Being back is actually quite a relief for Meghan. Daughter of Oberon or not, she spent the first sixteen years of her life here thinking she was just a regular human girl, and so it still feels like home to her. For Ash, however, being in the human realm means only that he will start to fade; his immortality will weaken and he will eventually wither and die, but not before watching Meghan do the same. Also, the Nevernever was his home for a lot longer than sixteen years, so his sacrifice for Meghan goes way beyond what she did for him. When he finally decides to declare his love, he certainly doesn't do it by halves!
They are soon joined by a jealous, bitter and also banished for bad behaviour, Puck. He also made his feelings for Meghan known loud and clear in the last book, and they shared a kiss, but she has ultimately made her choice. So although it was nice to see the trio back together again, it was hard to watch Puck suffering. He's usually so unflappably jovial, it was hard to witness him being snide and bitter.
The action really hits off when they receive a message from Mab and Oberon. The war with the Iron Fae is not going well, and guess who is the only one who can go into the Iron Fae's realm without dying from iron poisoning? Yes, you guessed it, it's half-human Meghan. The message states that all three will have their banishments revoked on the condition that she goes to the Iron court and kills the Iron king. She might have been tempted to tell them both where they could stick it until she sees the looks of longing for home on both of Ash and Puck's faces.
The rest of the book is all out war. Meghan's character described it as feeling as though she'd been dropped into a movie scene, and that's just how it felt for me as a reader. The world-building has been phenomenal in the previous two books, and this one was no exception. I could see the encampments clearly, the various fae creatures all waiting to go into battle, celebrating with song and faerie wine on what could potentially be their last night alive. It was truly a joy to read. After the somewhat quiet beginning to this book in the human realm, the rest of the novel is just action sequence after dramatic emotional scene after epic battle and was an exhilarating, fast-paced read with an ending that shocked even me. I cannot wait to see what happens next for these characters after the events from this book!
on 29 August 2011
These books have been hailed as the new Twilight ~ there is the love triangle ~ two (immortal) boys in love with one girl: The Winter Prince, who is totally unsuitable for Meaghan and Robbie/Puck who would be the more obvious choice in the circumstances (and who reminds me of an adult version of Peter Pan). Puck is the infinite lovable rogue but I have to admit that I am definitely Team Ash (The Winter Prince).
However, this series is a lot larger than the Twilight Saga ~ it doesn't just follow it's heroine and her friends and family. These books are about the whole existence of Nevernever, including the Summer and Winter Courts and the human world. Realms that have co~existed for eternity. However, progress in the human world has conceived the Iron Kingdom (through technology) and it's very existence threatens the survival of the Summer and Winter Courts. There are political struggles, mistrust and deceit rife amongst their powerful, immortal and magical rulers.
The author's skillful use of adjectives paints a wonderfully full and vivid picture of the worlds that she has created. It is so easy to visualise the kingdoms unfolding before the reader ~ the misty greyness and savagery of the Wyldwood, the vicious RedCaps, the Fae with their respective courts ~ all come to life under this author's very talented guidance.
The characters are all well developed. They develop through the story, from book to book, changing and adapting as real people would. The characters provoke powerful emotive responses from the reader as real tenderness, frustration, worry and compassion are felt for them.
It is a world where is is difficult to decide who is your friend and who is your enemy, who you can trust and who you can't. Promises become iron~clad contracts and the words "thank you" indebts you in unimaginable ways.
It truly is a series to rival Lord Of The Rings with it's wonderful tapestry of fantasy and would make a fabulous series of films. There is fantasy, horror, humour, romance and action. Some parts of the books are definitely not far the feint hearted when passages describe flesh being melted off, beings being suffocated, brutal slayings etc.
I have been waiting for "THE IRON QUEEN" with eager anticipation and was not disappointed. I loved it so much that I read it cover to cover TWICE in three days! The first time I read it, I was so loathe to put it down that I actually fell asleep whilst reading it in the small hours of the morning! I woke up and immediately continued reading it until I finished. And then started all over again!
The brilliantly penned characters have reached out to me, forming an emotive connection that has made them feel like real people to me ~ I felt real concern for their well being and safety!!
The way that modern language (even some swearing!) interweave and unite the modern world with the immortal Faery Realm, made the story seem more believable ~ more realistic.
Danger, power, political manoeuvrings, love, passion, danger, horror, fantasy, action, responsibilities (both familial and for the greater good), vengeance, gore, self sacrifice ~ this series has all the bases covered. It moves quickly, fast paced, with no lulls in action and pulls the reader in to a mystical and fantastic world.
I have laughed, been fearful and cried in equal measures during this series. I had thought that "THE IRON QUEEN" was the last book in the series ~ initially I was disappointed that the story hadn't reached the conclusion that I'd been waiting for BUT then I realised that another book meant that I can continue to read about characters that I am not yet ready to say goodbye to! I am therefore more than eagerly waiting for the next installment, "The Iron Knight" to see what happens next in the magical world that this extremely talented author has drawn me in to.
Ash and Meaghan have been exiled from their Courts... but that doesn't take away the looming threat of the Iron Court.
So you can probably guess what "The Iron Queen" is about, now that Kagawa's heroine has finally gotten together with her wintry prince. The first half of this book is kind of fragmented, but Kagawa neatly ties off the whole storyline of the false king of the Iron Fey -- and throws in a rather shocking twist that I did NOT see coming.
Exiled from their Courts, Ash and Meaghan start tying off various plot threads -- they go hunting for tokens so they can free Meaghan's stepfather from the Leanansidhe, and retreat to a woodland lodge so Ash can teach Meaghan to fight. Meaghan also discovers that Puck was involved in her dad's abduction, but she still needs his help to master Summer magic.
Then Oberon and Mab make Meaghan an offer -- they will lift the banishments of Ash, Puck and Meaghan if she goes into Iron Fey territory and kills the false king. Since she inherited Machina's Iron power, she is the only one who can stop the Iron Court from destroying the other Courts. But achieving that might take away what she loves most.
It takes awhile for "Iron Queen" to achieve liftoff -- the first half of the book is dedicated to wrapping up plot threads from the last two books, and prepping Meaghan for whatever is ahead. However, the second half is really excellent, particularly a climactic twist that Kagawa blindsides us with in the final chapters. If there wasn't another book coming out, I would be demanding she write one.
And Kagawa's atmospheric, richly-detailed writing shimmers, whether she's describing the chilly technofaeries or the haunting decay of New Orleans graveyards. The Faerie world feels somewhat less dangerous and more distant than it did in the last few books, but then again, Meaghan and Ash spend more time in the mortal world.
Meaghan goes through a lot of wrenching emotional issues in this book -- her romance with Ash hits some speed-bumps, and she has to deal with her unraveling friendship with Puck and the secrets he's kept from her. One of the most moving, powerful subplots in the story is her desperation to regain her father, who spends much of the book in a semi-amnesiac haze.
Julie Kagawa wraps up some of the many plot threads in "The Iron Queen," but the door is left open for a forthcoming sequel. Wrenching, powerful, a little disjointed.
on 23 March 2013
The war between Summer and Winter is over but now there is a war against the Iron Fey that threaten to ruin the entire fey world, and all the traditional fey in it. It is up to Meghan as a half-fey to do what she can to save her beloved fey-world once and for all. This third book in the series was really interesting to read and I truly enjoyed reading it. Just like the previous two books in the series, it had enough action within it to really capture the readers' attention and just when you're certain things will calm for a moment, something else will happen causing you to be caught unawares. In this story, there is some heart-breaking scenes, some heart-warming scenes, and some scenes that even in the middle of the war, will have you laughing out loud. It just goes to show that Julie Kagawa is simply brilliant at bringing these stories to life.
In summary, this was a book that took a step further for Meghan and Ash. A book that was compelling, action-packed, and full of every emotion under the sun. It was beautifully written making it truly easy to see the world that it was set within. I also really liked getting to see more of the Iron Fey in this story and all of the things that they represented. It was good to see that there was more to them that met the eye, it made them feel more realistic. This book had a heart-breaking ending which made me incredibly happy to realise that there was one last book in which my heart may have a chance to repair itself.
on 10 December 2014
Can you believe that the third story in The Iron Fey series is more affecting than the others? I was almost drawn to tears at the end! We see Meghan trying and failing to wield her Summer and Iron glamours (powers) and her constant worries over the land of the fey, because as the Nevernever dies, so do the faeries within it. She might consider herself to be a human and wish for things to return to normal, but the fact remains that she belongs to this new world and her heart is set on some of the beings in it.
Grim is back with a vengeance! Yay! And there are crazier characters to accompany him, like Razor the eccentric gremlin. The gremlins remind me of the houselves from HP, slaves of the iron master. Ironhorse died in the last book, but I was glad to see his 'spirit' again, which was sweet but a leeetle creepy.
Puck is around as always, as is Ash, but the character that showed the most change and strength was of course Meghan. In Iron Queen she realises that she can only expect the boys to protect her for so long. In the end she needs to learn how to fight, and I enjoyed seeing how she takes charge of her situation and makes her own decisions despite being the half breed in a strange land. Ash’s belief in her is inspiring, and if I was unsure about being Team Ash before, there is no doubt now!
Now for the heartbreak... We all knew it was a love that wasn't meant to be, but having it confirmed is far worse. I won't spoil it too much but I hope Ash keeps his promise!
"I don't see how you mortals do it, these feelings you must endure. They will ruin you, in the end..." [Puck]
I couldn't let him go. Gods forgive me if I was being selfish, but I wanted nothing more than to stay with him forever. [Meghan]
"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.'"
"Why do you think I brought you that creature, human? To keep up my stalking skills? I assure you, they are quite adequate already. Please attempt to use the brain I know is hidden somewhere in that head..." [Grim]
"Do try to stay out of trouble, human. I will be terribly annoyed if you manage to get yourself killed." [Grim]
"I love you, Meghan Chase," he murmured against my skin. "For the rest of my life, however long we have left. I'll consider it an
honor to die beside you." [Ash]
on 30 December 2012
The ending of The Iron Daughter saw Ash and Meghan exiled to the Mortal Realm after admitting their love to each other on the battle field in front of both courts. As Oberon said, the Summer and Winter Courts share many things but love isn't one of them.
Meghan now know's her memory she gave was of her mortal father who left when she was six and she's determind to free him from the queen of the exiles and bring him home. Ofcourse deals must be made but now she has Ash nothing seems too far out of reach.
The courts know of the Iron Fey finally and after seeing their effect on the Nevernever they realise the important part Meghan plays in being immune to Iron. With the loyal and determined Puck in tow the trio must once again journey into the Nevernever and the Iron Realm to save all Fey kind from the Iron's advancement over the land.
Puck has admitted his love to Meghan but for her it was always Ash, still he hopes for more and stays at her side no matter what.
Ash has left his Court and family for Meghan and now risks his life once again in the Iron Realm but for Love and not a contract.
Meghan is changing. Her powers are growing just like she is. She's seen so much, learned some hard truths and left her family behind all within one mortal year. This time the fate of the Nevernever all it's people rest on her shoulders.
Puck is a firm favourite of mine and I almost wish he and Meghan could be together but love triangles are there for a reason and both men have qualities that any woman would want. He plays an integral part to the story so glad he's stayed in it even though he know's where Meghan's heart now lies.
Meghan and Ash are still learning who the other is but one thing their sure of is that they would die for one another. They've battled through hardship and you can really see why they work.
The ending is very bittersweet but not everythings a bed of roses and with Meghans powers being both Summer and Iron her road was never going to be easy.
Very good YA series that isn't predictable and draws you into this beautiful ruthless world.
on 27 December 2011
How can a book be so freaking good?! Honestly, I can't even begin to describe how awesome was this book. But yes, I know I have to try xD
So, at the beginning of this book we see Meghan and Ash returning to her house in order to keep their lives (human normal lives that is) going on, specially since they have been banished from the Nevernever... But this doesn't change the way Ash loves Meghan. It's amazing how much he have changed from the beginning of the series, you know? Before he was cold and distant and "cool" and now he is completely devoted to Meghan but he still manages to be cool, hahaha. And yes, in the end Meghan chose Ash over Puck and although I knew this was going to happen I can't help but feel a little bit sad, I mean, Puck is so cute and funny and annoying he is just great! Sorry, I'm not Team Puck or Team Ash, I love them both (and totally happy with that, hahahaha).
Back to the story (sorry!). Meghan's plan to live a normal life now with Ash don't last very long, The False King sent spider-hags to kidnap Meghan and bring her to the Iron Kingdom.
I think that in this book I loved the way Meghan changes, too. She is more mature in so many ways now and she starts to believe in herself too. Of course she would love to go back to her normal life but she also knows that by doing so her human family would be in great danger and that her friends in the Nevernever were going to suffer if the False King wasn't stopped.
The end of this book had me crying and mopping in my bed and thinking and re-thinking about the whole book. I believe that's why I'm loving these books, I just don't finish them and pass to the next read, I think about them a lot.
"The Iron Knight"... here I come! Woohoo!
on 17 June 2011
I wasn't sure whether to give this book a 4 or a 5. I gave the first 2 books 5's and I soooo wanted to give this a 5 as well but in the end I opted for a 4 for one main reason - I wasn't happy about the ending.
Other than that The Iron Queen matched the first two in everything else. The adventures, the action and the characters were outstanding as usual and the storyline kept me on the edge of my seat. Also, the relationship between Megan and Ash heated up a lot more which I really enjoyed, along with Puck's comic timing, and general funniness - it really was a brilliant book. I coulnd't put it down.
I think the best way to describe the feel of this book is `epic'. There is so much at stake and evidently in the end, the story comes to such an epic climax, I felt like I was reading The Lord of the Rings or something along those lines. It was amazing.
I do feel that this story is a lot darker than the first two. There is more feeling of impending doom throughout the story and Megan is left with the responsibility of killing the False Iron King due to her being the only one who has a chance (as she has both summer and iron glamour at her disposal). So this ultimately makes her grow up a lot. She is the one who has to decide where to go and what to do and she really steps up and takes on the challenge. She sets out on a journey with Ash, Puck and Grim (yes Grim is back and as amusing as ever!) to find the false Iron King and destroy him before his armies destroy the summer and winter courts and therefore the nevernever as we know it, for good.
We are introduced to some new characters along the way which I enjoyed, whilst revisiting old characters like Oberon, Mab and the evil Rowan was also good too.
As I said at the beginning, this book had one flaw for me and that was the ending. It was just a bit too sad for me. I didn't want to cry at the end of this book. I wanted to feel the happy ever after I had been hoping for and although there is another book to come and so fingers crossed I get my happy ever after, I just thought it would have fit in sooo much better at the end of this book after everything that happened.
But, no matter, Ash gets to continue the story next in The Iron Knight and I for one am hoping he can stand up and bring me my happily ever after I've been waiting for!