The Iron Queen

Huzzah! Finally, I feel like The Iron Queen is the fabulousness that I had been told to expect from Julie Kagawa. I'll admit, I had serious doubts about this series after the lovesick teenage focus of The Iron Daughter and I'm not entirely sure if Meghan got better or I simply broke through the wall to get zen about it and really ignore all that had bothered me... it might be a combination of the two. Whatever it was, it worked, and I thought The Iron Queen was a book worthy of the promise that Kagawa had shown in the simple creation of this interesting meld of faery lore and new twists.

The Iron Daughter ended with Meghan and Ash together -- granted, they were nearly killed in their ordeal to stop the war between Summer and Winter, and as recompense for their troubles, they were exiled from the Nevernever -- but still, they're together. Perhaps this helped get us pass the "squee! Ash and Meghan!" response that Iron Daughter seemed to want from me but I just couldn't muster. Not only was Ash always so silent, but Meghan was so very girly, I just didn't care. By the end, though, they made a sacrifice for each other and I felt like we could finally get them to have a real conversation or something so we could base their relationship on more than his cold hotness. They grew up. Or at least Meghan did and Ash learned to string more than a few words together. They hadn't necessarily achieved that by the end of the second installment, but by the beginning of this one, you could tell they were on their way.

So it's Meghan and Ash trying to find a way to bring down the fake Iron King... and, thank goodness once again, Puck is along for the ride -- not delighted with Meghan's decision but he's taking it rather well. Kagawa really owns this storyline and does some fabulous twists along the way. Even if you can see the ending coming, one doesn't necessarily mind it. It's the exact right ending for the book, as the series will continue on. Fans of the series will be delighted with everything. Those like me who needed a little more convincing will finally plant their flag in the pro-Iron Fey camp. But let's keep our fingers crossed that things continue on this excellent path as the Nevernever is taken in directions it has never ever gone before.

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