Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Released: January 25th 2011
My Rating: 5 stars out of 5
My name is Meghan Chase.
I thought it was over. That my time with the fey, the impossible choices I had to make, the sacrifices of those I loved, was behind me. But a storm is approaching, an army of Iron fey that will drag me back, kicking and screaming. Drag me away from the banished prince who's sworn to stand by my side. Drag me into the core of conflict so powerful, I'm not sure anyone can survive it.
This time, there will be no turning back. (from Goodreads)
All I can say about The Iron Queen is that it was superb. I literally could not stop reading it; I finished it in one sitting. I can’t even remember how many hours it took me, but one minute I was on the first page and then the next I was on the last. And what a last page it was. The ending...it was just so...right. I can’t think of a better way it could have ended. But I tell you now, the wait for The Iron Knight is going to be absolutely torturous. I actually can’t believe how long I have to wait for it. Julie Kagawa must be some kind of evil mastermind to come up with a story like this and then to just leave us hanging.
Meghan changed a lot in this book. It’s no secret that I was never a fan of her whining, and she was still a bit drippy for me, but the amount her character developed was just unbelievable. Long gone was the clueless girl who needed to be rescued all the time. Now...well. She was just so strong, and so willing in this book. She knew what she wanted, and she knew what she needed, and she did what she had to do to get them both. She’s known the faery world for what, a year? And yet she’s already taken on such a huge responsibility – she’s literally sacrificed everything to protect the world she barely knows anything about. As much as it annoyed me at times, Meghan’s loyalty, and her determination for the wellbeing of others were some of the things that really showed she’d matured. I was very impressed by her in this book – especially with some of her battle plan ideas. She’d taken on her role as a leader and she did it well.
I also loved the way Meghan’s relationship with Ash (Team Ash forever!) developed. We got to see a more emotional side of Ash in this book, instead of the old “Ice Prince” cold facade we’re usually presented with. His background was explored a bit more, and I adored every Meghan/Ash moment – I think they worked well together because they were different – they sort of cancelled each other out, if you know what I mean. The way Ash cared about Meghan, and the way he opened up to her about his past made the fangirl side of me squeal. Though I must say, if he existed in real life, I’d probably hit on the head for being such a self-sacrificing lovesick fool. The poor guy, he hasn’t had it easy. Another thing I loved was all the Ash/Puck interactions – you could tell used to be friends because they just knew each other so well, and the way they treated each other was so funny (to me, anyway). I think Puck knew that he would always be second to Ash, but he handled it quite well in my opinion. The epilogue especially...despite being heartbreaking, it was probably my favourite scene of the whole book. Ash and Puck working together? Who’d have thought it? And this is why I’m so desperate for The Iron Knight! I need that book.
A further thing I loved about this book was getting to know more about Meghan’s human father, Paul. He was seen in The Iron Daughter too, but his character is explored a lot more in this one, and I really enjoyed getting to know more about him. And of course, there’s Grimalkin, my favourite character of them all. As unconcerned as ever, Grimalkin adds a touch of humour and fun into the book, and also an air of mystery, as seen in the epilogue (which I’m mentioning again because it was that amazing). The scene with Meghan’s family was another great one...there are just so many I can’t possibly mention them all. Though I will say that I the more we discovered about the Iron fey, the more I began to like and respect Machina. I think The Iron King gave us some clues about his character but I was too wrapped up in the story to notice them then. Now I see how clever a writer Julie Kagawa really is.
In conclusion, The Iron Queen was a brilliant book, and probably the best so far in the iron fey series. If you’ve read the previous two books, you havehavehave to read this one. But be warned, because as soon as you finish you will enter a trance like state in which you realise that November is oh so very far away and that the rest of yours days will be spent in agony waiting for The Iron Knight.