Margo Berendsen's Reviews > The Iron Daughter

The Iron Daughter by Julie Kagawa
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's review
Oct 04, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: 2011-my-reads, love-stories, young-adult, fantasy, ya-paranormal
Read in December, 2011

It has its flaws, but I can forgive everything to escape for a while into this fantasy world, dark though it may be.

The world of the fey is so beautiful, deadly, soulless and loveless, that it drives a powerful contrast with Meghan's unequivocal love for Ash. I think that is the fascination for me with this series: that she brings love into a world full of false, loveless beauty, and wins over the prince who should be her arch-enemy.

For some reason this scene reminds me of Aragorn, Arwen and Eowyn:

The room was bathed in hazy starlight. The flowers had opened completely and were glowing as if tiny moons nestled between the petals, throwing back the darkness. Ethereal moths and ghostly butterflies flitted over the carpet, delicate wings reflecting the light as they floated between the blooms. Careful not to wake Puck, I rose and wandered into the flowers, breathing in the heady scent, marveling as a feathery blue moth landed on my thumb, weighing nothing at all. I breathed out, and it fluttered off toward a dark figure in the center of the carpet.

Ash stood surrounded by glowing white flowers, eyes closed as tiny lights swirled around him. They shimmered and drew together, merging into a luminescent faery with long silver hair, her features so lovely and perfect that my throat ached. Ash opened his eyes as she reached for him, her hands just stopping shy of his face. Longing shone from his eyes, and I shivered as the spectral faery moved right through him, dissolving into tiny lights.

"Is that... Ariella?" I whispered, walking up behind him.

Ash whirled around, his eyes widening at the sudden interruption. Seeing me, several emotions crossed his face - shock, anger, shame - before he sighed in resignation and turned away.

"No," he murmured, as the ghostly faery appeared again, dancing among the flowers. "It isn't. Not in the way you think."

"Her ghost?"

He shook his head, his eyes never leaving the specter as she swayed and twirled over the glowing carpet, butterflies swirling around her. "Not even that. There is no afterlife for us. We have no souls with which to haunt the world. This is... just a memory." He sighed, and his voice went very soft. "She was always happy here. The flowers... remember."

As lovely and as deadly as the NeverNever is, it would still be hardly original enough to be memorable. But the addition of the iron fey, growing ever stronger as human-kind becomes more and more obsessed with technology, continues to make this series twisty and unusual. The wire-men were scarily awesome, and Ironhorse a lot more interesting in this book than in the first one.

Kagawa is wise to continue including bits of the real world mixed in with fantasy to keep the story relatable: from cubicle hell in Silicon Valley, to a high school winter formal dance.

"He's very sick, Miss Chase." She glared at me over the rim of her mug, steam writhing off her glasses [great detail. This book is full of them]. "I wasn't joking when I said he'll be weak. The iron was in his system too long."

"Isn't there anything else you can do?"

"Me? No. He needs the glamour of his own realm to heal, so his body can throw off the sickness. Barring that - " she took a sip of coffee - "if you could find a great influx of human emotion, in large quantities, that might help him. At the very least, he could begin to recover."

"Lots of glamour?" I thought a moment. Where would there be a lot of crazy, unrestrained human emotion? A concert or a club would be perfect, but we had no tickets, and I was underage for most clubs. But, as Grimalkin had taught me, that wasn't a problem when you could conjure money from leaves and a valid license from a Blockbuster card. "Puck - you think you can sneak us into a club tonight?"

He snorted. "I can sneak us into anything, Princess. Who do you think you're talking to?" He snapped his fingers, grinning. "We can pay a visit to Blue Chaos again, that'll be fun."

The nurse blinked. "The Blue Chaos is owned by a Winter sidhe [faery noble] who employs redcaps and is rumored to have an ogre in the basement." She sighed. "Wait. If you insist on doing this, I've a better idea... the Winter Formal is tonight at your old school, Miss Chase. If there is one place that is sure to have an overabundance of emotionally charged, hormonal teenagers, that would be it."


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