Review: The Iron Queen by Julie Kagawa

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, age wise 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 recognise 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 conflict so powerful, I’m not sure anyone can survive it.

This time, there will be no turning back.

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Spoiler Alert: The Iron Queen is the third novel in the Iron Fey series, following The Iron King, Winter’s Passage (a novella), and The Iron Daughter, which means spoilers may run rampant in this review.

Review

The Iron Queen makes me feel as though the iron fey series is finally coming into its own. I would say it’s one of the better instalments out of the whole series, and I say this with a hint of disdain. Not disdain towards the story or writing, but more of a disdain towards myself and the time it took to get here.

I knew I was somewhat bored with the series before beginning The Iron Queen. Unless I have love hearts pulsating in my eyes when I think of a story, reading a whole series of it can do my head in, but I really wanted to have previous events filled in before starting The Lost Prince. It was while reading this instalment, and contemplating NaNo taking up my time, I decided I would take a break from the rest of the series. Take a break by skipping the last novella and book, and diving into The Lost Prince. This is where the disdain comes in as I made the decision before being half way through The Iron Queen and I know I won’t go back on it. I’m a stubborn creature.

The story focuses more on the impending battle and Meghan Chase struggling with her warring abilities. I found that refreshing as the love story is still present, but with doom on the horizon, characters became occupied on something else. It’s how I prefer it. Meghan still has a tendency to whinge a bit about her inability to do something and there’s still mushiness, but Puck was getting over the betrayal, Grim seemed to have become less aloof and irritating, and Meghan was beginning to become more her self. She became stronger in The Iron Queen as well as learning to kick butt. I love it when female characters learn how to fight (with swords no less) and take charge. No wonder I find this part of the story the best thus far.

What helped it along and snagged my attention was the introduction of Razor. I love him. He reminds me of Gizmo from Gremlins. I loooove Gizmo. Having an iron similarity in Razor made me so happy. I want more gremlins. I want an iron gremlin all my own. Well, a very well trained one at least…

It was the ending that made it for me though. I think it was a fitting culmination of events and it was nice to discover how Meghan found her place in the scheme of things. It leaves something open for later, but I feel as though it could end there if you wanted it to. Perhaps going on with the series is more about following the love story and finding out what happens with Ash. Personally, and you may have guessed by now, I don’t care about the love story. What drives me to want to pick up the next in the series (at a much later date) is being able to still experience the world Kagawa has built, but with another perspective. The Iron Knight continues on with Ash telling the story and I’m quite grateful for the change. I really want to read the dynamics between Ash and Puck, as well as find out where Ash goes.

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