Thursday, December 9, 2010

ARC Review: The Iron Queen by Julie Kagawa

Genre: YA fantasy 
Page Count: 384 (Paperback) 
Published: January 25th, 2011
Recommended for: everyone who loved the first two books in the Iron Fey series                                                                                                

(from Goodreads):   My name is Meaghan 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 stay by my side. Drag me into the core of a conflict so powerful, I'm not sure anyone can survive it.

This time, there will be no turning back.

The Iron King is a great series debut and The Iron Daughter is one of those sequels that manages to be better than the first book.  But The Iron Queen is a new kind of fantastic altogether!  I'm truly convinced that this is by far the best book in the series so far.  This series is epic, reminiscent even of the The Lord of the Rings-- and that's very high praise, coming from a life-long Tolkienite.

I love the way Julie Kagawa takes faerie myths like the Summer and Winter Courts and Robin Goodfellow (aka Puck) and makes them her own.  And I love the characters she has invented, too, like The Iron King's lieutenants and the clockwork hounds and the gliders (no spoilers, but that was one amazingly cool scene!) and all the Iron Fey.  I especially love the battle scenes between the 'Oldblood' and Iron courts.  (Not a lot of people know this about me, but I'm a sucker for movies with lots of sword-fighting, explosions, car chases and shoot-outs.)

Meghan has grown so much from the beginning of The Iron King, when I thought she was somewhat annoying and definitely not deserving of being the Iron Princess.  It was great to see her become a force to be reckoned with and learning to wield her potential.  We get a lot more insight into the backstories of many of the characters, including Ash.  Here I'm going to say something heretical: I am not Team Ash.  I see Team Ash buttons all over the blogosphere, but there seem to be so few of us on Team Puck.  I like Ash a lot-- he's sacrificed a lot for Meghan, being banished from her own court for her, and they definitely have great chemistry, yada yada.  But, I still like Puck better.  He never fails to make me snicker with his smirking remarks, mischief, and sarcasm.  Plus, he can duplicate himself.  I mean, like literally, there could be ten of him at once running around thwarting faerie baddies and breaking hearts.  Too awesome.

Anyway, all ranting aside, The Iron Queen is the gem of the Iron Fey series.  I loved getting to learn more about all the characters, I loved the battle scenes, and I especially loved that caith sith, Grimalkin.  He is strongly reminiscent of the Cheshire Cat from Lewis Carroll's Alice books.  The ending is a good one, but I felt like too much doors were left unclosed.  Luckily, Julie Kagawa has recently announced a fourth book in her Iron Fey series: The Iron Knight, which will be Ash's story.  I absolutely cannot wait!

Overall Rating: 5/5

*Thanks to Harlequin Teen for providing me with an ARC copy.*          

Just a quick warning: Over the next two days I'm going to be doing a lot of design work on my blog, particularly on the header and pages.  So if you see a widget extending over the entire page or a blank header, then that's just me screwing around. lol                                                                                                                                                     

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