Review: The Iron Queen by Julie Kagawa

The Iron Queen by Julie KagawaHow did I get it: The library.

Why did I get it: This is the third book in the Iron Fey series. I came very close to not even bothering to read this third book because The Iron Daughter was so disappointing, but I am glad that I did.

How I would rate it: 4 out of 5 stars – Very good and much better than The Iron Daughter!

My Summary: From GoodReads:

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.

My Review (Note: Since this book only recently came out, this review only contains very mild spoilers.)

The world and writing were still as good as ever. The opening scenes were terrific as well as creepy. I loved the City of the Dead, the spider-hags, and the Grim showing up right away. The plot continued to build from there, and I think having more at stake really helped in some ways.

I liked the characters that got introduced. Grimalkin remained awesome too, but then he is a very special cat so that wasn’t too surprising. Even Meghan got better even if I still don’t care for her. Ash and Puck are by far the best characters this series has to offer and I fell even more in love with both of them. 

Puck consistently called Meghan out on her bad behavior, which I found very gratifying since it seemed to make Meghan actually think about the consequences of her decisions and actions. And Puck actually looked out for Ash several times, which I found to be touching and hopefully a sign of good things to come in The Iron Knight.

Ash consistently had priorities and remained troubled but in a very understandable way. He’s not the type to tell anyone what they’re doing wrong, but I like that he did occasionally make observations to Meghan and took the time to her that more was at stake than she seemed to realize. I especially loved the approach Ash took to training Meghan for what lay ahead. And while the guys clearly don’t want to like each other or renew their friendship, I won’t be surprised if they eventually do. They have more common ground with each other than they do with Meghan.

The plot here also really saved the day. I don’t want to give too much away but because much more was at stake, there was less time for teenage angst and whining on Meghan’s part. This time instead of her acting badly for pages on end without someone saying anything about it, Puck was there to confront her several times over in very necessary ways. He finally got Meghan to think things through, making this book was way less painful and frustrating for me as a reader.

I have to point out though that took the threat of breaking Ash’s heart and all but destroying him to get Meghan to grasp that her actions always had consequences and that fairies were actually different than normal people. Still, this was progress since if nothing else she became easier to tolerate and eventually did a little growing up towards the end of the book. Her decisions became less somewhat selfish, and slowly but surely she began fighting her own fights instead of relying on either one of the boys to bail her out.

I remain firmly disappointed in the romance and I still could not buy into it. I saw no actual motivation or reason as to why Ash loves Meghan, and Meghan is just not really a good pick for anyone. She’s sixteen and clearly has a lot of growing up to do when it comes to emotional maturity. And I for one definitely prefer my couples to be in a more equal partnership. Ash swore an oath and gave everything up for Meghan, but I did not feel like she did anything of the sort for him in return besides hurt him accidentally and even intentionally. The lack of conversation, communication, and understanding remained as troubling to me as ever.

The ending of this book was great and unexpected. While I wouldn’t have minded it being the actual end of the series, I cannot wait to read The Iron Knight because of how awesome Ash and Puck are. I really hope they can build up a friendship. As far as Meghan is concerned, I remain hopeful that she will eventually become a character I can like once again, but at this point I’m not going to count on her growing or maturing during the next part of the series.

In conclusion, this was a very good book over all.

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About April

I'm a librarian, reader, and writer whose main goal in life is to be able to swim in books the way Scrooge McDuck swims in money. Although my reading choices will always be wildly eclectic and I never plan on leaving any genre unexplored, my favorite reads tend to be Fantasy, Young Adult, Science Fiction, Gay Romance, or Historical Fiction. You can e-mail me at inspector[dot]librarian[at]gmail[dot]com.
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One Response to Review: The Iron Queen by Julie Kagawa

  1. Pingback: Reader’s Progress #7 | CSI: Librarian

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