The Iron Queen is one of the best fantasy books I’ve had the pleasure to read. Julie Kagawa took me on a journey that I can only describe as fantastical. The characters are incredibly realistic; vivid and rich with depth and passion. The world she creates is described so minutely that you can visualize yourself there right down to the actual smell. The emotions the story evokes run the gamut. This is one powerful story that deserves the highest praise.
Ash and Meghan have been exiled from NeverNever and all portals leading to Faery have been sealed off to them. Meghan and Ash are travelling to Louisiana, back to her family when they are attacked by iron fey intent on delivering her to the false King. It’s then that Meghan realizes she can’t use her glamour without getting extremely weak and dizzy. Meghan and Ash are soon joined by some old friends and set out on a quest to defeat the false iron king. Thus their journey begins.
There’s a great amount of character development in this book, most notably seen in Ash. The ice cold Prince is warming up and some of his gestures throughout the book are downright swoon-worthy and heart breaking. Puck is, as always, unforgettable and loyal to the end; Grimalkin, my favorite kitty is wise and fickle but even he has changed in this story, revealing a little more of himself then he ever has before.
Meghan’s character has progressed perfectly with each story’s challenges and she becomes courageous in the face of danger while remaining altruistic and compassionate. Her love for Ash and Puck is a constant struggle amongst the three of them though she loves them both very much, she loves them differently. She is a heroine that is worthy of respect and someone who can be looked up to for her character and sense of spirit.
I was pleased with the introduction of all the new characters and in order to keep this as spoiler free as possible I’ll not mention any names. I’ll just say that within the iron fey, there are many Machina loyalists that recognize the false king for what he is, false, cruel and power-hungry. They know if the false king were to capture Meghan his strength will only grow allowing his tyranny to continue. For the Fey, Meghan’s capture could put NeverNever at risk of becoming NeverAgain as the iron destroys more and more of Faery.
I will say that the ending left me with soggy tissue and red-rimmed eyes but also with the hope that things will continue on.