Title: The Iron Daughter
Author: Julie Kagawa
Page Count: 368 pages
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Genre: paranormal romance, young adult, fantasy
Copy for review accessed via netgalley.com in anticipation of an honest review
50 words or less: Meghan Chase is in Faerie, trying to survive daily life in the Unseelie Court, battle the continuing threat from the Iron Fey, deal with trauma and issues in the human world, and try to convince Ash that a relationship is possible. Poor girl.
Before I get down to business with this review, I solemnly swear that I am trying my best to remember that some people out there have not read The Iron King yet and might want to before this book drops in August. I've tried to keep spoilerific activity to a minimum but a few may have stuck in here. Ye be warned.
I've said before in other reviews that it's tough to be the first book in a series because the first book has to set the stage of the whole shebang and introduce all the characters and conflicts, and it's hard to be the middle book in a trilogy because enough good stuff has to be held back to make the finale exciting and awesome, so the middle book gets stuck with a lot of angst and traipsing all over the place. While I definitely did enjoy The Iron Daughter and am certainly looking forward to the final book in the trilogy, there were a lot of parts in this book that made me want to say ACK.
First of all, you all know how I feel about love triangles, right? Do not want. There's a big one present here, and it's the worst kind- where one possible love interest is patently so much more appropriate than the other. The first couple of chapters of the book are basically a laundry list of why Meghan's relationship with Ash is doomed. I HATED Ash in the first few chapters of this book. Hated. Him. I totally get his motivations for doing what he did, and I understand that treachery and verbal acrobatics are part and parcel of dealing with or actually being Fae, but all it did was prove to me, in a way that never really occurred to Meghan throughout the course of this story, that she was heading down the road to heartbreak by thinking that this would ever turn out even remotely in her favor.
Does this make me Team Puck? Absolutely not! At the end of the day, Puck is Oberon's errand boy, and will do what he's told. Oh yeah, he manages to be disobedient in the short term, but at the end of the day, he has to worry about Meghan's dad turning him into a newt or a scrambled egg or whatever the punishment of the day happens to be. He's only lucky that he hasn't been told to do anything that would hurt Meghan yet, that's the only reason that he isn't quite as far down on the naughty list as Ash is.
Does it sound like I'm rehashing the plot of New Moon? Trust me, if the bad romance between these three was all there was to this story, I wouldn't have enjoyed it nearly as much as I did. No, the elements that are going to turn the whole situation on its head revolve around the Iron Fey and what sinister schemes are going on while the rest of faerie is trying to figure out what to do with Meghan. Here there are plots, schemes, betrayals, double crossings upon double crossings, and very interesting developments regarding the disappearance of Meghan's biological father all those years ago and what he might have been up to all these years. It also helps that by resolving these tangles, Meghan might stumble on some options for living between the world of faerie and the world of humans, and might create a situation for herself that will allow her to choose her own path instead of having it chosen for her and maybe, just maybe, maaaaayyyyyybeeeeee, live happily ever after. It looks like we'll have to wait for the third book to find out about that though.
The Iron Daughter is one of those books that's best read in the context of the other books in the series. You definitely should read The Iron King first and then this book; I'll probably revisit it right before the third book comes out so I can sit back and watch everything wrap up for the grand finale.
Overall Grade: B+
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