Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Review- The Iron Daughter by Julie Kagawa

The Iron Daughter (The Iron Fey, #2)

Half Summer faery princess, half human, Meghan has never fit in anywhere. Deserted by the Winter prince she thought loved her, she is prisoner to the Winter faery queen. As war looms between Summer and Winter, Meghan knows that the real danger comes from the Iron fey—ironbound faeries that only she and her absent prince have seen. But no one believes her.
Worse, Meghan's own fey powers have been cut off. She's stuck in Faery with only her wits for help. Trusting anyone would be foolish. Trusting a seeming traitor could be deadly. But even as she grows a backbone of iron, Meghan can't help but hear the whispers of longing in her all-too-human heart.

(Cover and description taken from Goodreads)

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Meghan may have defeated the Iron King, rescuing her younger brother, but her time in Faeryland is far from over. As part of her bargain with Prince Ash, she now finds herself a prisoner in the Winter Court. Tir Na Nog is a deadly place for a half-human Summer fey, but without her Faery powers, and with Ash gone, Meghan has no hope of escape. But then, during the Exchange ceremony when summer becomes winter, a group of Iron Fey break into the palace and steal the Sceptre of Seasons, leading Queen Mab to blame Oberon and to declare war on the Summer Court. Refusing to believe the Iron Fey exist, the Unseelie prepare themselves for all-out war on Arcadia. Meghan can only rely on Prince Ash, the fey prince she came to love during their journey into the Iron Kingdom, and the two set off on a journey to defeat the new Iron King and prevent the Kingdoms from destroying one another. But can she trust the son of Queen Mab?

Even after the defeat of the first Iron King, the deadly new faery kingdom continues to grow, fuelled by mankind’s dreams of progress and technology, whilst the old faery world gradually fades out of existence. Meanwhile, Meghan struggles to deal with the fact that she and Ash, coming from enemy courts, can never be together; and her lifelong friend Robbie – actually Robin Goodfellow-‘s confession of his feelings for her. More than anything, she wants to return to the human world, to her normal life, but now she has glimpsed the world of Faery, there is no going back to normality. Instead, she finds herself teaming up with both friends and enemies in an attempt to overthrow the false Iron King, and prevent an all-out war between Summer and Winter.

Once again, Julie Kagawa tells an enthralling tale of magic, romance and danger. Old characters including Puck, Grimalkin and Ironhorse make a comeback and new faces appear, such as the deceptive queen of exiles, Leanansidhe. Meghan once again faces up to the perils of Faeryland, which is depicted in such vivid detail that you feel like you’re right there: from the ice palaces of the winter court to the terrifying labyrinth of the Briars. As the Iron fey grow in strength under a false king, Meghan finds herself having to make impossible choices to save those she loves – and all of Faeryland. 

I am now a confirmed fan of this series. For a trilogy to work, each book has to be better than the last, and The Iron Daughter had me turning the pages, desperate to know how events were going to play out. Julie Kagawa has a real gift for writing emotions intensely, and creating characters you can't help but root for. I was initially worried that Meghan was going to turn into another Bella Swan-incarnate, helpless and dependent on the men in her life, but thankfully, the novel moves away from that, with Meghan developing some interesting powers of her own, and I get the feeling that in the final book she'll be more than capable of holding her own against the Fey - not least because, as human, she isn't affected by the magic of the Iron Fey. I can't wait for Book 3!


Rating: *****

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