The Iron Queen by Julie Kagawa
Published January 25th 2011 by Harlequin Teen
From Goodreads: 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.
**HEY, this is the third book in the series. If you read this review before reading the other books you will quite possibly spoil it, thereby ruining any chance you had to dwell however briefly, on the plane of extreme awesome.**
Get ready for it, because I'm gonna act like a complete dork over this book. Here we go:
So I love this series, right? It's been very good so far. But this book? THIS BOOK?! I have found the font from which all awesome springs forth.
It's so awesome that I need a visual aid to help you really grasp the extent of its awesome. Count the number of times I use awesome in this post, and multiply it by cake and you have the sum total of the awesome that is this book.
Here is the everyday, normal level of awesome that exists in the world:
And here is the awesome that resides in Julie Kagawa's The Iron Queen:
The war between the Iron Fey and the Summer and Winter courts has just begun, and already the old fey are falling, helpless against this new breed of faery that has the ability to harness the power of iron. Iron is the one thing the old fey fear most; the one thing they are helpless against. Now the false Iron King and his army are sweeping a path of destruction across the Nevernever, killing the land and all faery life in its path. The powers of both courts, Summer and Winter, even when combined, are no match against this new enemy. Time is quickly running out and in desperation Oberon calls Meghan out of her exile in the human world. As a half faery princess, Meghan possess the glamour of the Summer court. But as the one who slayed the true Iron King, she also holds all the power of the Iron fey. She is the only one who can enter the Iron realm unscathed, and the only one who can save the Nevernever.
A swollen crimson moon hovered over the camp that night, rust-red and ominous, bathing everything in an eerie, bloody tint. Snow flecks drifted from a nearly clear sky, rusty flakes dancing on the wind, like the moon itself was tainted and corroding away.
Meghan is unstoppable in this book! She is so determined and in charge. I loved it. She has never been cowardly- how could she be with all she's been through, but in this book, she really comes into her own. Things learn to both fear, and respect Meghan Chase and it's awesome to watch her work.
Thus far, we've spent very little time in the Iron realm, most of the stories taking place in the human world or in the Summer and Winter courts. This book is so much darker than the previous two because the place our heroes are in borders on nightmarish. As technology and man's dependence on it have increased, the Iron Fey have grown. Their world is one of twisted metal, acid, mutation and the discarded cast-off gadgets of the human world. It's wonderfully creepy, and yet so very sad. This place is awful, but a type of Fey do live there and to them it is home. I absolutely loved Kagawa's worlds. She truly captures everything that is both beautiful and grotesque about the faery world, always reminding us that these beautiful, mythical creatures that we like to pretend lurk just beyond our perception- really just want to eat us.
This book, the third in the series, is by far the best, and by far one of the best adventures I've been on this year. I can't wait to see what the boys get into in The Iron Knight and I would be willing to make a binding bargain with the fey in order to get my hands on it NOW.
I haven't been Team Ash. Far from it. The whole "I will kill you, but wait I love you, but I'll still kill you, but stay away from me, come here, I will kill you but wait I love you" thing really made my ass twitch in the beginning. He had way too many red flags. But.....The Iron Queen, which we have already established, holds the bulk of the world's allotment of awesome, changed me. Ash is such a strong character in this book, so devoted to Meghan and all Daniel Day Lewis "STAY ALIVE! No matter what happens! I will find you!" that it's unbelievably hot (and it's ok for me to lust after the boy since he's countless centuries old). I can now proudly wave my giant foam finger with the rest of you: TEAM ASH.