The Iron Queen by Julie Kagawa

(Cover picture courtesy of Julie Kagawa’s website.)

My name is Meghan 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 stand by my side.  Drag me into the core of conflict so powerful, I’m not sure anyone can survive it.

As most of you are aware, I am a shameless Julie Kagawa fan.  I love the entire Iron Fey series, but The Iron Queen (the third book) is my absolute favourite.  Here’s why:

Meghan Chase has finally acquired a backbone.

Unlike in The Iron Daughter, she has finally learned how and when to hide her emotions and lie.  She’s also more sure of her love for Ash and has stopped doubting him so much.  Overall, she’s just a better character and she’s far less helpless as she learns how to fight and use her glamour.  By the climax, when she faces the new Iron King, she shows incredible bravery and makes an enormous sacrifice in order to save the Nevernever.  It’s satisfying and extremely touching at the same time because readers could see hints of Meghan’s inner strength before, but now it finally shows through.

Since the stakes are even higher than before, there is hardly a dull moment.  The plot speeds along at a tremendous pace as the battle for the fate of the Nevernever begins.  This is the kind of book that will keep you reading into the early morning; you won’t want to put it down.  And the ending will make you desperate to get your hands on the last book in the series, The Iron Knight.

I rarely read series in order, but Julie Kagawa’s Iron Fey series is an exception.  I was amazed at the world-building in the first book, captivated by the admittedly cliché love triangle in the second book, but what I loved in this book was the quality of the writing.  The wonderful thing about reading an author’s first series in order is that you get to see how much they improve in writing, characterization and world-building.  Julie Kagawa has improved greatly since her debut novel and I think we can expect great things from her in the future.

I give this book 4.5/5 stars.

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