Winter's Passage

Winter's Passage by Julie Kagawa is book 1.5 in the Iron Fey series -- a quick little story/novella that fills in some space between books 1 and 2. Available only as an ebook, it could very well be an interesting look at the series for those contemplating whether or not they want to commit, but I rather saw it as something only fans would appreciate.

At the very end of The Iron King, Ash came to take Meghan to the Winter court and his queen, which was part of the bargain he made with her to secure his assistance in defeating Machina, the Iron King. Of course, that was before they fell for each other, but a faery never goes back on a promise, and he had sworn to bring her to Queen Mab. So now they must navigate the Wyldwood (and the dangerous fey within) in order to read the Unseelie/Winter court, Tir Na Nog.

This little 52-page story a very quick bite, nothing so serious that it would actually feel satisfying without being accompanied by the other books. Ash and Meghan make the trip and there's all kinds of angst, of course, with regards to the Summer fey/Winter fey romance being totally forbidden. Meghan has one small detour request before they go straight to Tir Na Nog... she wants to visit Puck, her friend who took a bullet towards the end of The Iron King and is now in a kind of limbo, suspended in a tree in New Orleans (this makes more sense in the book than it does in summary). There's no telling when/if he'll wake up, and so really this just gives Meghan time to reflect/more time with Ash.

Still, I don't feel like they have a valid relationship. These just seem to be more pages spent wallowing in the "oh what do we do?" of their forbidden romance. And even if there was a bit where they get a little more comfortable with each other prior to arrival, there's a quick dissolve into the prince's steely exterior once they reach the Winter court. Meghan, meanwhile, proves that she's not very smart when she doesn't understand why Ash isn't all lovey-dovey. Sigh. Much of the content (though not all of it) is repeated in The Iron Daughter, so I wouldn't necessarily pay for this offering unless you're enjoying the series -- and if that's the case, then you definitely should get it, as otherwise the whole immediate arrival at the Winter court seems a bit odd as we kick off The Iron Daughter.

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