This is easily one of the best series I have had the pleasure to read. I read all of the books back to back and let me tell you! Noth I.Am.Speechless.
This is easily one of the best series I have had the pleasure to read. I read all of the books back to back and let me tell you! Nothing ever prepared me for this epic adventure let alone the ending!
I struggled to actually sit and write a review for the first two books, because I was so caught upon the adventure. I knew there was no way I could write a review until I read all three of the books. So instead of just reviewing The Iron Queen, this will be an Iron Fey review. Got it? Ok, off we go!
The Iron Fey series is about a girl named Meghan Chase. When we first meet her he day of her 16th birthday, she is a normal, quiet, teenage girl struggling to fit in at school. However, when her brother is kidnapped by the fey, she travels to the Nevernever to rescue him alongside her best friend, Robbie Goodfell, who is the legendary Puck or Robin Goodfellow (unbeknownst to her until then). Along the way, she meets a Cait Sith named Grimilkin and the Winter Prince, Ash. She also finds out she is a half fey and her father is non other than Lord Oberon, King of the Summer Court. Along the journey, they discover a new breed of fey called Iron Fey. They are growing in number and threaten to destroy the Nevernever as they know it.
However, she never planned on falling in love with Ash and he her. It is forbidden for summer and winter to fall in love. I loved watching Ash and Megan's love grow for each other in this series. It was beautiful. I did think that in the Iron daughter, Meghan got a bit obsessive, reminding me of Bella swan, but it can be over looked because this series is just that amazing.
The character growth is brilliantly written. By the end of the series Meghan is no longer a shy girl; she is tough and knows what she wants. And even though Ash vows to protect her, he realizes that she has changed and become strong.
The banter between Puck and Ash was classic. And I swear no one can insult and compliment someone in the same sentence the way Grimilkin did.
The battle/fight scenes were epic! Very descriptive. I felt like I too was fighting besides Ash, Puck and Meghan.
The best part of the series was the ending. The last book. Seriously. If you pick up The Iron King and The Iron Daughter and are wondering what the hell I'm hyping this up for, READ THE LAST BOOK. It's one of the best books I have ever read. It was perfect. I think I cried for the entire ending. I felt the hope, desire, and love. I keep thinking there could have been another way Julie! But that is what I love about this series, it's realistic fiction. We don't always get what we want, no matter how hard we want it to be so. Living a fairy tale doesn't change that. And for that, I believe there was no other way to end this series with changing the book cannon.
Hats off to you Julie Kagawa. That was truly remarkable.
In the words of Meghan Chase, "It was...quite a ride. Wasn't it?"
It sure was.
I desperately look forward to The Iron Knight and any future works from Julie Kagawa's imagination.
Ummm....WOW! That is how I felt after reading The Iron King. Simply amazing. I was lost in this book for a few days and I never wanted to leave the be Ummm....WOW! That is how I felt after reading The Iron King. Simply amazing. I was lost in this book for a few days and I never wanted to leave the beautiful world Julie Kagawa painted. This is the best "Fey" book I have ever read!
What I liked about this book: everything! There is not one thing I would change. I rarely give books 5 stars unless the story really calls to my soul. And boy was this book singing! The characters were totally believable and realistic. Puck is my favorite bc he is simply hilarious! The second book is on hold for me at the library and I'm going to pack my kids up and go get it right now! Lol.
Despite the fact that I feel Meghan obsessed a little too much over Ash (especially in the beginning), this book was amazing. The character developmen Despite the fact that I feel Meghan obsessed a little too much over Ash (especially in the beginning), this book was amazing. The character development, plot and storyline made up for most misgivings of Meghan's flaws. I'm really looking forward to reading the 3rd book! ...more
***Please note: It's been a while since finishing this book and I did not include many details in this review.
Initial thoughts after finishing the bo ***Please note: It's been a while since finishing this book and I did not include many details in this review.
Initial thoughts after finishing the book:
Somebody get Stephenie Meyer on the phone because this is how you add onto a trilogy without completely screwing your characters over. This is how you make a semi-insta-love relationship awesome. This is how you end a love triangle. And this is how you write a freakin' book!
4 stars seems too low and I think I love Iron Queen a little more (which I gave 5 stars). So actual rating is more like 4.5 stars. Full review to come!
Thoughts after some time had passed:
Wow, I can't believe I'm saying this, but this book didn't hold the same magic as books 1-3. Don't get me wrong, I still really enjoyed it, which is why I think it belongs with my 3.5 star books.
I am an Ash girl through and through. You cannot begin to imagine how excited I was to receive this as an ARC from Netgalley! I seriously did a major happy dance.
In this installment, we find Ash set out on his final adventure: to travel to the End of the World to find a soul. Without one, he will never be able to step foot in the Iron realm. Besides Puck, Ash finds himself accompanied by a few surprise companions and of course, the Cat. This book seemed to be slower paced that the others, focusing mainly on a lot of character development. I think it's fair to say by the end of the book you will know as much about tAsh as you did about Meghan. And that's saying something considering she had three books in her POV and Ash has only one.
I gobbled this book up, attempting to savor every moment. As usual, the banter between Puck and Ash was awesome. Julie never disappoints with her character dialog. In this book we really got a chance to have a deeper understanding of Ash *and* Puck, which was a really nice bonus. We learn more about Ariella's death and Ash's vowel. We also get a chance to see just how much Ash loves Meghan. And he truly does since he travels to the End of the World for her. The world building was once again awesome. You could easily picture the scenes described.
So, why was I not feeling the magic as much? I think a big part was because I really missed Meghan. I didn't realize how much she shaped Ash as a character in this series until she wasn't a major player. She does make some appearances in this book, but this is virtually *Ash's* book, told by his POV.
The ending was a happy one, but I think I prefer the ending in The Iron Queen instead because it was just a very emotional ending. The Iron Knight did have me tear up a bit, but The Iron Queen opened the flood gates.
So, if you loved the Iron Fey series definitely give The Iron Knight a go!
When I first found out Kagawa was journeying down the vampire path, I was nervous. I mean, vampires have been written about ovActual rating: 3.5 stars
When I first found out Kagawa was journeying down the vampire path, I was nervous. I mean, vampires have been written about over and over in the YA world and I wasn't sure what could be added. I had imaginary conversations, pleading with her, "Julie, are you sure you wanna do this?" And in all her awesomeness she pretty much told me, "Steph, chill. I got this." Do you know what I love about Julie Kagawa? I love how she can take a completely overused paranormal creature like fairies or vampires and create a whole new spin on them. Just when I was starting to lose faith in the Children of the Night, The Immortal Rules comes along and makes me rethink everything I thought I knew about vampires.
The Immortal Rules tells the story of Allison Sekemoto living in a future where most of the human population was killed by a disease called Red Lung. But that's not the only problem. Vampires now rule their world and have caused the human race to become their pets, scavengers, and monsters themselves. And let's not forget about the Rabids that stalk the earth just waiting to take a bite or two out of a human. Allison hate vampires, but when faced with the choice of death or becoming that which she has always loathed, she chooses the latter. When she flees from New Covington, Allie runs into a group of humans. She decides to travel with them, hiding her true nature from them as they travel searching for Eden (and yes, there are Christian themes in the book), a human city not ruled by vampires. She's always thought being a human was hard, but she quickly learns that being a vampire isn't exactly a walk in the park either, especially when you're wanted.
The best thing I loved about The Immortal Rules were the vampires. These aren't the cute sparkly vamps that try their hardest, fighting their nature, by feasting off animals instead of humans. Oh, no. These bad boys are vicious killers, just like unlike 'em! It is made very clear early in the novel that vampires have to drink from humans in order to survive and that one day Allison would kill a human no matter how hard she tried not to. Hell to the yeah. Real vampires! They're back!
That's what I'm talking about!
I also really enjoyed the creativity in this novel. Do you know what happens when Underworld and The Forest of Hands and Teeth have a baby? The result, if you didn't guess, is The Immortal Rules. It was a really cool mix of both flesh-eating, zombie-like creatures and bloodsucking vamps, surrounding poor, defenseless humans. Kagawa wasn't afraid to kill her characters off and show Allison some tough lovin'! I really hate when authors attempt to give every lovable character in the book a "hall pass" from death. The impact of the scene and story usually suffer, but not here. People died, viciously. Such is the way of the circle of life.
My biggest and only issue with the book was the extremely slow first half. It just felt like it dragged on and on. I just wanted to bang my head against a wall. And because of that, I can't give this book 4 stars. However, where the beginning was boring (to me at least), the second half makes up for lost time. Because this is another thing I love about Kagawa: Her action scenes and endings are kick-ass. I was getting major Underworld vibes from Allison and it was awesome. Every time she cut someone's head off, I got ridiculously giddy. I'm not lying when I say the second half saved this book.
Characters: In the beginning I really disliked Allie. She and I weren't getting along very well because she had an attitude and personality that gave Oscar the Grouch a run for his money. I get why she was like that, but that didn't mean I had to like it. Thankfully, by the end of the novel, I did end up connecting with her. It was very subtle and snuck up on me. Of course, it didn't hurt that she was a badass, katana wielder either. "Useless," she was not! Kick some ass, she did. Lol. Okay, I'll spare you with my Yoda talk, but seriously the second half was a lot of fun.
Zeke, the love interest, was just okay for me. He was very sweet, caring, loyal, all those things you love to see in a person. While I did like him, I feel like I need to see more of him it the next book before I make up my mind.
Kanin (P.S. was that derived from "The land of Canaan?"), Allie's mentor was my favorite character. We didn't see a lot of him and that made me a bit disappointed, but things are looking up for more page time in the next novel.
So overall I did enjoy the novel and I'm looking forward to book two. It looks like Kagawa is planning on kicking it up a notch, so she can count me in. ;D
*A note on the cover: DISLIKE! Allison is of Japanese descent. Thus, the girl on the cover disappoints me for obvious reasons. -_-
Puck is my favorite character in The Iron Fey series. So you could just imagine my delight when I first heard about this novella. Honestly, I could barely contain my happiness.
In this novella Prince "Ice-boy" Ash and Robin "Puck" Goodfellow embark on a new adventure. But first, they have to find a certain cat, Grimalkin. Unfortunately, the exiled Muse Queen comes to call in a favor from Prince Ash. She asks for them to sneak into the Summer Court and steal back her "Violin," which was apparently stolen from her by none other than the Summer Queen herself. In the midst of all this, Puck finds himself with the dilemma of betrayal. This little mini-quest comes complete with action and comic relief and will be sure to have you wanting more!
I can't wait for their complete adventure in the next installment The Iron Knight!
Show of hands. How many of you were worried about Kagawa returning to the Nevernever with a spin-off of an already successfu Actual rating: 4.5 stars.
Show of hands. How many of you were worried about Kagawa returning to the Nevernever with a spin-off of an already successful series? *raises hand* I mean, let's think about this for a minute. The Iron Knight concluded and it seemed everything was "happy happy, joy joy," right? But then there were whisperings in the wind of a spin-off and I found myself saying, "What?! NOOO! NO, Julie! I forbid it! Ya hear?!" At the time the saying "Don't beat a dead horse" was running through my head and I was so nervous about this new endeavor. If I'm being honest here, spin-offs usually suck big time. But just like in the case of The Immortal Rules, Julie Kagawa has put me in my place saying, "I got this, YO." And boy, did she ever! The Lost Prince is everything I could want and more. With fresh new characters, cameo appearances and a new evil threatening the Nevernever, how could anyone resist?
Before I begin, I need to get something out of my system.
PUCK!! I LOVE YOU!
What? Don't judge me!
Remember the little boy from The Iron King? Meghan's little brother? Did you ever wonder what happened to him and his family once Meghan had gone off for good with her Ice Prince to rule in the Nevernever as a Queen of Faery? That's just what The Lost Prince does. And let me tell you, Ethan Chase is not what I expected. The years of being tormented by the fey and losing his sister to their world has made him a very bitter and angry person. Honestly, I don't blame the guy. He has to constantly look over his shoulder, attempt to pretend They don't exist so as not to draw attention to himself, push people away so they don't catch the eyes of The Good Neighbors. It's a lot of responsibilities for anyone, let alone a teen boy (and yes, he actually sounds like a teen boy). But this is what he has had to endure all his life hopping from school to school due to "bad behavior." Unfortunately for Ethan, the fey just can't seem to stay away from him and he ends up on a quest to save the Nevernever.
The plot was brilliantly done. The characters were brilliant. This book was >insert any positive adjective here<!!!! But what did I expect from one of my favorite authors? Exiled fey and half-breeds from the mortal world are disappearing thanks to a new breed of fey. Something even worse then the iron fey?! *gasp* I suspect I know exactly who the Forgotten are if I remember a certain scene from The Iron Knight correctly. But even as someone who has followed this series very closely, I have to admit, I have no idea what direction it could possibly go.
The one thing I was worried about most with this spin-off would be comparing the old characters to the new characters. I LOVED the trio in the original series. Meghan, Ash and Puck were the perfect blend of romantic tension, banter and comic relief. And they all do make cameo appearances (Did I mention how much I love Puck?), but this isn't their story. It's Ethan, Kenzie and Kierran's. I really think fans will really enjoy the new trio and it seems like Kagawa has us in for a world of hurt with them too. I mean, I bawled by eyes out so hard with The Iron Queen. Whenever I go back to read that last scene I fall to pieces. But it feels like that could come a lot sooner with The Call of the Forgotten. MY EMOTIONS! Kagawa, stop being so awesome all. the. time! Wait...
And you know what? Even if you haven't read The Iron Fey - which you'd better go do if you haven't *gives dagger eyes* - you could still follow along easily to this story. For those who have been waiting for a certain Cait Sith (no relation to the cat pictured above, of course) to guide you back through the Nevernever, this will merely feel like a continuation from the original series. And you noobs? There are a few rules you must familiarize yourself with: Never make a contract with Them. Show no fear when dealing with the Fair Folk. Don't draw attention to yourself. And as Grim would say, "Do try and keep up." Welcome to Faery.
ARC was provided by the publisher via NetGalley. Thank you!
Want to win an ARC of The Lost Prince? Head on over to Cuddlebuggery Book Blog for a giveaway and other fantastical things.
EDIT: So the cover is up and I'm actually happy with it. I'm very please Harlequin dropped the model from The Immortal Rules who wasn't Asian and went EDIT: So the cover is up and I'm actually happy with it. I'm very please Harlequin dropped the model from The Immortal Rules who wasn't Asian and went in a different direction. It's not my favorite cover in the world, but it's not bad either.
I'm not giving this book a star rating because I only made it to about 10% in, but UGH. I'm so not impressed with what I did read. Cheesy lines, pervy I'm not giving this book a star rating because I only made it to about 10% in, but UGH. I'm so not impressed with what I did read. Cheesy lines, pervy guy, and the writing style wasn't for me. Premise sounded interesting, but it turned out to not be my thing. ...more
You know what? Julie Kagawa is an evil genius. If that wasn't evident with the ending in The Iron Queen or even with The Immortal Rules, she definitelYou know what? Julie Kagawa is an evil genius. If that wasn't evident with the ending in The Iron Queen or even with The Immortal Rules, she definitely drove the point home with The Iron Traitor's ending. I'm a little stunned this time around because I'm left wondering how she'll manage to end this thing in the next book. You'll have to excuse me if this review seems a little scattered, but the last few pages blew my little socks off into next Tuesday.
It's interesting that I'd have such a strong reaction to this installment because for the majority of the novel, I didn't feel it was as strong as Kagawa's previous works. The tone is more subdued, the witty banter is not as frequent and the overall novel just feels, for a lack of a better word, low. In hindsight, I guess that all makes sense because THAT ENDING. But it's also more than that, I realize. I knew this novel carried heavy implications for the characters. The title itself clearly gave that away as did the foreboding mannerisms of the original trio: Ash, Puck and Meghan. However, even going in knowing this, I'm still impressed that Kagawa went there. Brutally.
I realize that this review is not being very helpful, so allow me to backtrack and give you a little something about the book. But it's probably not a good idea to read the rest of this review if you haven't read The Lost Prince.
What I loved:
As usual, Kagawa writes fun, relatable characters. I always know when I pick up one of her books that I'm going to laugh and fall in love with her cast. It's unavoidable and lovely. Ethan just wants a normal life with his girlfriend, Kenzie, the girl who is dying. He'd like nothing more for the fey to leave him and, more importantly, Kenzie alone. But Kenzie wants to live the rest of her life free from restrictions and craves the adventures the Nevernever provides. After trying his hardest to keep her away from Their world, they set out to look for Keirran, who has not returned to the iron realm after their last adventure. As always, there is a prophecy involved that neither Ethan or Keirran is aware of, one that has the potential to bring an end to everything. Ominously awesome, right?
I loved Keirran especially. He's mysterious, broken, tortured and b-b-bad to the bone. Well, not really that last one, but I just wanted an excuse to say that. That is, unfortunately, the impression that he gives everyone, including Ethan, who internally struggles with his feelings of both resentment and family duty. The dynamic between Keirran and Ethan allowed for two deeper messages in the storyline, more so than I remember in Kagawa's other novels.
1. How far do you go to help out a family member? There's no doubt that Ethan has the most to lose and little to gain from helping Keirran. Ethan blames Keirran's existence for the reason why he lost his sister Meghan to the Nevernever. Interestingly, while he remains deeply bitter about the ordeal, he always comes through for Keirran when he needs the help, even against better judgement.
2. How do you let the one you love go? What I didn't expect to find in this spin-off was the underlying message of letting loved ones go. Ethan and Keirran aren't so different. They are both outsiders and in love with girls who are terminally ill. It's a terrible situation to see one character in, let alone two. (In case you missed it, please refer to my second sentence: Julie Kagawa is an evil genius.) The difference between the two guys is their readiness to let their love interests go. I'm not entirely convinced that Ethan is ready, but there are certain lines he has made clear he won't cross, even if that means prolonging Kenzie's life. The same can't be said for Keirran, who would destroy the world if that meant he could spend just an hour more with Annwyl.
There's no doubt in my mind that the next book will make me cry a river, but I'm left wondering: At whose loss? How can any of this possibly end well? At least with The Iron Fey series, you had an idea of how things could conclude, though, of course, Kagawa didn't go that route. But with The Call of the Forgotten, I'm mystified and worried because THAT ENDING. There's only one thing left I can do: Hold out until the next book and hope my heart can take whatever Kagawa decides to dish.
*ARC was received from YABC and the HarlequinTeen. Thank you! No monies or gifts were exchanged for this review. I am genuinely a Kagawa fangirl!