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Book Review: The Iron Queen by Julie Kagawa

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Meghan Chase should be turning seventeen in twenty-four hours time, but things are a little complicated. One year ago, on her birthday, her brother Ethan disappeared and an evil, violent changeling was left in his place. Meghan learned that he had been snatched by faeries and she ventured into Nevernever, the land of the Fey, in order to save him.

What she discovered was the stuff of nightmares, a dark and sinister place full of malevolent and calculating Fey. She also discovered that she was the daughter of Oberon, king of the Summer Court.

In the space of twelve months, Meghan has fought and defeated the Iron King Machina; rescued her brother; become indebted to the Winter prince Ash and then fallen in love with him; discovered and then forgotten her long-last human father; reclaimed the stolen Spectre of Seasons, thus preventing war between the Summer and Winter Courts; and angered the Summer King sufficiently for him to ban her from Nevernever.

Of course, it doesn’t take much to anger Fey royalty, and Ash too has been banned from Nevernever by his queen and mother, Mab of the Winter Court.

The iron Queen by Julie KagawaSo technically, Meghan won’t be turning seventeen because time moves differently in the Nevernever and Fey don’t age. The Iron Queen begins with the promise of peace and normality for Meghan and Ash as, banished from Nevernever, they have no option but to return to Meghan’s home and pursue life in the normal realm.

I have to admit, I was quite looking forward to seeing how faery prince Ash adjusted to high school and teenagers, but it was not to be because no sooner had they arrived at Meghan’s home, were they attacked by spider hags sent by the false king of the Iron Realm. Realizing that she will never see peace until the Iron King is defeated, Meghan decides to fight him once and for all.

The Iron Queen sees Meghan return to Nevernever to engage in the ultimate battle for Faery. The creeping iron and resulting death of Faery, the impending battle, and the sense of doom were beautifully captured as was the fear, bravery and grim determination of the faery soldiers. As Meghan, Ash and Puck enter the Iron Realm, we meet The Clockmaker and the introduction of time into the timeless realm. One of the most interesting aspects of the Iron Fey series has always been the steam punk appeal and The Iron Queen certainly didn’t disappoint. 

The Iron Queen consumed me and the total battle at the end of the book was on par with the battles of Hogwarts and Narnia. I simply could not put the book down and am happy to say that I was completely taken surprise by the ending. Thank goodness the next and final book in the series, The Iron Knight, is already available as I would not want to wait to continue the story!

I would recommend The Iron Queen and the whole Iron Fey series to all fans of young adult fantasy fiction, especially fans of Richelle Mead’s Vampire Academy or Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight series. The Iron Queen is published in the UK by Mira Ink

I give The Iron Queen four-and-a-half stars out of five.

The Iron Queen is the third book in Julie Kagawa’s Iron Fey series.  You can buy The Iron King, The Iron Daughter and The Iron Queen from Amazon.com.

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About Mandy Southgate

Mandy Southgate is a blogger, serial expat and eternal tourist living and working in London. Aside from writing at Blogcritics, she blogs about travel and London at Emm in London, entertainment and media at Addicted to Media and war crimes, genocide and social justice over at A Passion to Understand.