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5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping Third Installment,
This review is from: The Iron Queen (Paperback)I just tore through this book - the exciting third installment of the Iron Fey series. Kagawa continues with her amazing world building, something I love so much. The Nevernever that she creates is so fun, strange and familiar at the same time. There is a great mix of the faery tales we all know and love and new additions. The back story from the other two books was presented really well, probably even better than in the second book. Again this book is full of action, adventure, romance, heartbreak, friendship and twists.
I love Meghan's growth, she becomes stronger and more capable, not needing to be saved all of the time (yeah!). She even recognizes this herself when she asks Ash to teach her to fight and takes an active part in the battles. This shows huge development on her part.
I have to say that Meghan's conviction that her dad, the one who brought her up, the one she thought of as dad her whole life, is her real father and not Oberon, her biological father who she never knew anything about, made me happy. As someone sensitive to adoption issues, I was pleased to see this, that your dad is the one who is there for you. I didn't want to see Meghan abandon her family just because a biological father came out of the woodwork.
I still enjoy the interaction between Puck and Ash - they are such great foils for each other. I like both of these characters, along with Grim the cat, and can't wait to read more about them. Puck particularly adds some great humour to the book.
This book still saw its fair share of typical teenaged misunderstandings and overreactions. As much as these things drive me crazy on one level because, as a reader I know more, I appreciate that Kagawa is being true to teenaged reactions. There are also times when Meghan is a bit slow to grasp the bigger picture or implications of things, but that is probably typical too.
As with the other books, there are great explorations of nature vs technology, happy endings vs not so happy endings, and summer vs winter. I find this fun to read and it adds an interesting dimension to the book.
I highly recommend this book, especially if you have read the other two.
5.0 out of 5 stars Best book of the series (yet)!,
This review is from: The Iron Queen (Paperback)4.5 Stars (rounded up to 5)
The Iron Queen is thoroughly enchanting in every way; Kagawa seems to be able to find every possible heartwrenching method of drawing you even further into her magical fae world.
Remember how I mentioned in my earlier reviews of The Iron King and The Iron Daughter that Meghan kind of bothered me? Yeah, not anymore. Meghan matures beautifully from a girl into a strong young woman. But the progress is natural, and completely justified after everything she's gone through in the previous novels.
And Ash is even more swoonworthy than he ever was before. He's still Ash, and doesn't lose any part of himself that made him so attractive in the beginning, but there's a slight warmth and lightheartedness that wasn't there before. The relationship between Meghan and Ash is still complicated, but plausibly so. Summer and Winter together? It's obviously not going to be easy, and was never expected to be simple.
My biggest pet peeve was that Meghan was so honest about leading Puck on... but continued to do so up until a point. Just... give the poor guy a break already.
I was utterly entrhalled with The Iron Fey world and can I just say how much I adored the faery traditions? Particularly the one between a knight and his lady... sigh. It sounds lovely and truly romantic.
The theme of relationships is evident throughout the series, but particularly at this point in the series. Family, friendship and love are all valued very highly by Kagawa's characters and it's beautiful to see how these various relationships play out as Meghan navigates the Nevernever world. Something I really appreciated was how grave the idea of sex was treated. It comes up as an issue between Ash and Meghan as the sexual tension is building, but it's something they both treat reverently and don't barge into quickly. It really pleased me to see it treated that way, as something of a commitment between two people in a YA book.
The last thing that broke my heart as I was reading it was the revelation of Meghan's father. The thought of losing one's memories is something that completely terrifies me, and I know this was one part that really tugged at my heart strings.
I'm just really glad I waited to read this series until I had a copy of The Iron Knight on hand, because I really don't think I could handle waiting for more after the ending.
4.0 out of 5 stars Queen of iron,
This review is from: The Iron Queen (Paperback)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.
5.0 out of 5 stars Best book in the series,
This review is from: The Iron Queen (Paperback)As you can see up on the top I gave this book a five, which I rarely do. I find giving out fives are only for books that I absolutely and utterly enjoyed, that I can pick up again and read without it feeling tedious.
I was absolutely blown away by The Iron Queen. Kagawa's world, the setting, continues to be my favorite aspect of this series. Meghan as a character develops a great deal, I find most books have a bland main character. It seems the only reason they are there is to be a camera, a 2-dimensional character that readers can insert themselves in. But Kagawa somehow makes Meghan a strong heroine, and still keeps in mind that before any of this happened she was a normal girl. The other characters develop as well, Ash opens up more and starts acting more like his true self and not the cold fey Prince of the winter court. Puck and Grimlakin remain as lovable as ever. Old characters return such as Leananside, Queen of the Exiles, who is flashy and always wishes to be in the spotlight. It's quite amusing how she almost always ends her sentences with "darling". New characters are introduced such as Glitch the resistance leader, Razor a mischievous gremlin, and numerous others.
An aspect that I also enjoyed in the Iron King series - besides the setting - is the action, the fighting. It's never all over the place and quite easy to follow, which I have found otherwise diffucult to follow in other books.
I loved the moments between Ash and Meghan, we see much more of that now after they were both exiled as the end of The Iron Daughter. Although I'm not a Team Puck, I still felt sad for him and wish he had found someone. The bickering between him and Ash is as always very amusing.
This is the second time I've read The Iron Queen, and I honestly couldn't put it down. I said I would read a bit for an hour, and that one hour became two hours, than three hours and so on.
I hate cliffhangers, not because they leave me hanging (pardon the bad pun) but because I find that only poor authors leave cliffhangers, that they rely too much on those cliffhangers at the end of the book so that readers will buy the next copy. Kagawa's series, has always left me satisfied at the end. Some people might view the end of The Iron Queen as a cliffhanger, but I thought it was a good way to end the book. Kagawa wasn't planning on making another book. The Iron Queen was supposed to be the last, but she decided to continue the story (thank you so much Julie Kagawa!) in The Iron Knight which is from Ash's perspective. It will be coming out sometime this October, so look forward to that. And if you haven't read the Iron Fey series yet I highly recommend that you give it a try.
5.0 out of 5 stars This series gets better with each book!,
This review is from: The Iron Queen (Paperback)***May contain spoilers***
Typically I love me a good selfless character- a character who is willing to sacrifice themselves for the greater good- but the end of this book? I wish that Meghan had been selfish and gotten the ending that she deserved after all of her hard work. My heart seriously broke while reading the last couple pages of this book...
I personally wasn't all that impressed with "The Iron King" (I rated it 3/5 stars)- I felt as if the characters were not as developed as they could have been and a good chunk of the story wasn't all that original- it followed almost to a tee every YA Fey already out there. The second book in the series, "The Iron Daughter", was exceptionally better (I rated it 4/5 stars)- we saw greater character development, a very unique plot line, and a plot filled with action and adventure. But this third book in the series? Infinitely better than either combined.
Sometimes you have to push through a few okay books in a series to get to the fantabulous books and this is very much the case for this series (finding the diamond in the rough so to speak). If you read the first book and thought that it was just "okay" and decided not to continue on with the series, well I think that you made a bad decision and a decision that you will really come to regret.
In this book Meghan shed her whimpery-dependent-upon-the-boys-in-her-life-attitude and embraced her inner kick-butt-ness. Though I didn't always agree with her decisions (ie. her decision at the end of the book regarding one of the boys), I can understand why she did them. As for Ash and Puck? Well both boys personalities grew tenfold (well more so Ash's- Puck was always a pretty funny character whereas ice-boy was a bit harder to relate to).
After finishing this book I thought to myself "Well, that is sad that it is over" and I became quite depressed (for some reason I thought that this series was only a trilogy), so when I learned that there is another book coming out in this series, "The Iron Knight", I literally squealed out loud. I CANNOT WAIT. I think that the reigning Fey Queens- Melissa Marr, Holly Black, Lesley Livingston, and Aprilynne Pike) had better keep an eye out for Julie Kagawa, she is a true trailblazer and I think that she may herself become a Queen of Fey soon.
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent!,
Amazon Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: The Iron Queen (Paperback)The third of three published books (the fourth is yet to be released). This is the continuation of the story from The Iron King and The Iron Daughter and sees Meghan fully accepting who she is and what she can do in order to help the dying Fae world. A GREAT follow up to The Iron Daughter with continued character development and unfolding of the story. An excellent read regardless of whether you're in the Y.A. age group or beyond (I'm well beyond...). I just can't WAIT for the fourth book (The Iron Knight) to be published. Well worth a look! It's another "keeper" for me.
5.0 out of 5 stars Courtesy of Teens Read Too,
This review is from: The Iron Queen (Paperback)Meghan Chase wants nothing more than to return home to her mother, step-dad, and little brother. She's gotten as far as her front yard when out of nowhere she is attacked by spidery-type iron fey creatures. Just when she thought that maybe she could return to a normal mortal life, Meghan is drawn back into the world of Never Never.
Ash, Puck, and Meghan are approached by representatives from the Summer and Winter Courts, and their banishments will be lifted if they agree to come back to Faery and aide in fighting the (new) Iron King. His army is encroaching on the magical lands, destroying everything in its path. Soon, there will be nothing left of the Summer and Winter Courts. The two sides have formed a reluctant alliance in their war. Of course, Meghan knows that the bargain means they want her to journey into the Iron realm and kill the Iron King.
Aided by the ever entertaining Grim, the three journey into the desolate land. Meghan is drawn by some unknown force, guiding her to where they need to go. They encounter a small band of resistant iron fey who soon become allies in the battle. With the aid of Glitch and an entertaining gremlin named Razor, Meghan does what she can to defeat the new Iron King.
THE IRON QUEEN, in my humble opinion, is the best tale of the series to date. From early on, the adrenaline rush starts, and doesn't let up until the back cover is closed. And even at that point, when I got to the final page, I wanted to scream, "No! Don't leave me hanging like this!"
Meghan is such a strong character and has many hard choices to make. Ultimately, she is faced with what she wants and what needs to be done. It's a hard decision for anyone to make, and hardly easy for a seventeen-year-old. But Meghan follows her destiny with heart, spirit, and the assistance of true friends.
But it's not Meghan that kept me entranced throughout the entire book. Can I say "Go team Ash?" The Winter Prince is truly the most captivating part of this novel. The tension between Ash and Puck is non-stop, but it's Ash's unfailing loyalty to Meghan that just melts the heart.
I'm eager to see how THE IRON KNIGHT plays out, knowing that Ash's story will next be told.
Reviewed by: Jaglvr
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The Iron Queen by Julie Kagawa (Paperback - Jan 25 2011)
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