Monday, January 31, 2011

ARC Review: The Iron Queen

The Iron Queen
Julie Kagawa
Young Adult/Fantasy
Iron Fey/Book 3
Harlequin Teen/January 25, 2011

*Spoilers For The First 2 Books*

From the author's website ~

In less than twenty-four hours I'll be seventeen.

Although, technically, I won't actually be turning seventeen. I've been in the Nevernever too long. When you're in Faery, you don't age. So while a year has passed in the real world, agewise I'm probably only a few days older than when I went in.

In real life, I've changed so much I don't even recognize myself.



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.


If you've read my previous reviews of the first two books in this series then you know how much I love this world of the Fae Kagawa has created. This is a world of dark and light. Of hope and despair. For Meghan, it's a world she is still learning her way around and it is constantly changing. With the Summer and Winter Courts battling the Iron Fey, it's only a matter of time before Meghan, Ash, Puck and Grimalkin are back in the thick of the fight.

The story picks up where The Iron Daughter left off, with Meghan and Ash back in the real world, having been exiled from Faery. They are making their way to Meghan's home when destiny once again intercedes, threatening Meghan's family. It turns out there's no going home, so Meghan and Ash must find somewhere else to hind out from the Iron Fey until Meghan is strong enough to face the False King. They end up in a most obvious place for exiles. It's here that Meghan is able to reconnect with her human father and begins to learn to control and use her magic.

Kagawa continues to develop Meghan and Ash's relationship, showing them talking and learning about each other. I think it's important for them to have those quiet moments between the two of them otherwise, their sacrifices would not feel as genuine if they only knew what was on the surface. And I can't forget Puck aka Robin Goodfellow aka Meghan's best friend and long time enemy of Ash. Puck is still very much in Meghan's life although the have gone through some rough times. I do think the love triangle was put to rest in The Iron Daughter but if there was any doubt, it's gone. But Puck isn't going anywhere except into battle with Meghan and Ash. Puck not only provides his fighting abilities but also his gift of comic relief when the stress becomes too much.

The character development is strong in this installment with both Meghan and Ash facing difficult decisions that test their loyalty and love. Ash is said to be this very cold, soulless Winter Prince but he is so far beyond cold when it comes to his feelings for Meghan. We see time and again Ash showing his love for Meghan. Meghan continues to surprise me with her ability to whine less and take charge when confronted with situations that would send many adults running for cover. By the end of the book these two have become even more well rounded and well developed characters.

There are so many fascinating secondary characters, both new and old. Of course there is Ash's mother, Queen Mab of the Winter Court. She is still the cold ice bitch but does show a little warm when it comes to her son. And there is Oberon, King of the Summer Court and Meghan's father. He is still commanding and intimidating but does let his pride in his daughter show, if only a little. There are many Iron Fey, on both the rebel side and the False King's forces that come into play. Glitch and Razor are two characters that play major roles - one grudgingly aligning with Meghan and the other over joyed to help her. And Grimalkin continues to pop in and out, sharing his wisdom as he sees fit. He's like the Yoda of Faery - you may not always understand what he says but you know it's important.

The action is once again fierce with Summer and Winter court battling the Iron Fey. Kagawa choreographs the fighting to the point that it is easy to envision the knights with their gleaming swords slashing across the battlefield. Dragons and gryphons, sliding across the sky. Or the giant fortress of the False King, ready to take over all of Faery. And in the midst of it all are Meghan, Ash and Puck.

The grand finale - the battle against the False King, is filled with such strong, nearly overwhelming emotions. It is fate, twisting and turning until choosing what to do becomes so hard and yet so easy for Meghan. There really is no choice and she once again shows how much she has grown and how much she is willing to sacrifice to save those she loves.

Another amazing installment in what is one of my favorite fantasy series. The ending will leave you in such an emotional state - saddened for what had to be yet hopefully for what is to come. The Iron Knight ~ Ash's story, is next up in the series. Personally, I can't wait to find out what is in store for these amazing characters.

Rating: A

Books in this series ~

The Iron King
Winter's Passage (download free novella)
The Iron Daughter
The Iron Queen


  1. Ohh, you're on book 3! See, I want to read this series. It just looks so good. It's lovely to see an A on this review. :)

  2. I can't wait to read this! I only finished The Iron Daughter a few weeks ago. My first read of 2011 actually. :)

    Although I admit you have me a little worried about the ending based on your last paragraph. Please tell me it isn't as worrisome as the ending to Linger!

  3. Hils ~ I'm having such fun reading this series. I hope you get a chance to read it!

    Christine ~ I loved The Iron Daughter!

    Ummm... no comment on the ending. ;)