Michelle's Reviews > The Iron Queen

The Iron Queen by Julie Kagawa
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Feb 12, 11

Read in December, 2010

It’s damn near impossible to write a review for The Iron Queen that doesn’t (a) make me sound like a fangirly stalker because of my overwhelming love for the series and (b) isn’t entirely repetitive of the reviews I’ve written of the previous books. I think it’s fair to say you all know how much I love this series. I’ve been pretty effusive in my praise in reviews as well as on social media. My thoughts and feelings on The Iron Queen are certainly no different than you’ve heard before. But, alas, you’ll have to suffer through my expression of them anyway!

Once again Julie Kagawa has crafted a fast-paced and action-packed story filled with romance and intrigue. Meghan and Ash, recently banished back to the land where she’d grown up, are resigned to living a “normal” life of school and work. That is until they encounter a variety of beings with questionable intentions. These intentions relate directly to further discoveries that make Meghan realize that she may never be able to remain with the parents that raised her. Further, she may actually not have any place to call home in any world at all.

As a result of the discoveries made Meghan and Ash suddenly find themselves at the center of a fierce battle. One that, surprisingly, requires their presence back in the Nevernever. Let the games begin y’all! Because once they land back in the Summer and Winter Courts it’s all politics, betrayal and war. I’m talking about big ugly family-crushing wars over dying lands and reigning supreme over them. It’s truly epic.

I must say that Kagawa has outdone herself once again by continuing to show the evolution in the intricate plot she’s created as well as in the development of all the main characters. Meghan not only shows greater depth of emotion but now finds herself in possession of a newly increased military focus and political savvy. Further, she has become quite the decision-maker. Not just for herself but for everyone she loves and the people that rely upon them.

Handling the pressure with grace and finesse I feel comfortable saying she is most certainly a great role model for teen girls. She’s brimming with female empowerment yet still maintains a femininity through the strength. She’s couragous and at times shows a vulnerability that a reader might mistake for fear. She is, in no uncertain terms, one of the most complex girls in fiction that I’ve read thus far.

Have no fear dear readers, there is also a fair amount of focus on Meghan’s relationships — romantic and platonic. Still madly in love with Ash, freshly filled with disdain for those who have betrayed her and continually loyal to all members of her family (even those who aren’t inclined to show her the same courtesy) she walks a steady path down a very rocky road. There is no shortage of push and pull in these relationships. Having to rely on those she doesn’t trust tests her resolve but in the end she comes out the other end having won and lost but still a stronger person for it.

The characters I’ve loved throughout the series weren’t the only thing making this book a great read. I quite enjoyed the plot as well. It was filled with all of the conflict, intrigue and action of the previous two ten fold. But, what grabbed me most of all was the ending. Kagawa made some daring choices in how she completed Meghan’s quest. She left the door open to allow for quite a few scenarios, not the least of which was more interaction between Meghan and her families, involvement in the politics of the various faery courts, and most of all her relationships with Ash and various other confidants. I have to say I’m excited to know that there will be another book focusing on these characters and I’m anxious to see at what level the focus will remain on Meghan.

As I’ve said time and again this series is a fantastic gateway into the fantasy genre. I am not one who has read and enjoyed a great deal that’s out there in the market but I feel strongly that this series is appealing to those that may not be as comfortable within it’s realms. I encourage you take the leap of faith I did and grab the first book so you can get to this amazing conclusion as quickly as possible.
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