Wednesday, January 11, 2012

2. The Iron Queen

Book #2: The Iron Queen
Author: Julie Kagawa
Release Date: January 15, 2011
Pages: 358
4 Gold Stars

(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.

For as long as I can remember, I've been a fan of fairies. It might have been seeing Tinkerbell in Peter Pan as a child or maybe it was something completely different. Either way, I love them. The love grew in high school when I discovered the amazing artist Amy Brown and fell into her world of fey. The fascination just keeps growing. Now there are books about fairies and they are wonderful. I haven't read them all, but I have read the Wondrous Strange and now most of The Iron Fey series. In the third instalment, we finally get to see Meghan triumphiant. She has journeyed far through the land of Faery since she discovered she was the daughter of Oberon, the Summer King. With the help of some unlikely friends such as a talking cat, Puck from fey legend and a handsome prince, she discovers more about herself and how powerful she really is. The final chapter of her journey really brings it all together.

The plot is detailed and the adventure flows nicely throughout the novel. But after reading three of these books, the plots almost seem too much alike. There is the deed that needs to be done, which is different in each book, but the process of getting there is very much the same. In all, this could have been a shorter series and still had the same impact on me. I found myself pushing to get through the second book and was happy when the third seemed to draw in my attention more. The parts of these stories that kept me going were really just two characters: Ash, the Winter Prince, and Grimalkin, the talking cat. Ash was mysterious and sad and I know there is much more to find out about him. Thankfully he has his own book, The Iron Knight, which I plan to read shortly. And the cat, oh the cat! He was snarky and unpredictable and he always showed up exactly when they needed him. I especially like how he answered every question posed to him with "I am a cat." He was brilliant and stole the show for me.

Meghan Chase was a strong herione. She was brave and journeyed into an unknown world to save her family and would do anything for her friends. She lacked something though, I can't put my finger on it, but she didn't draw me in like most heroines do. That's an important part for me, especially when she is the narrator. I'm excited to read Ash's story so I can have closure with these characters. There are still many things left unanswered at the end of this book, and I hope they will be answered for me soon.

"I wished that, for once, faery tales – real faery tales, not Disney fairy tales – would have a happy ending."

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