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The Iron Queen (Harlequin Teen) by Julie…
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The Iron Queen (Harlequin Teen) (edition 2011)

by Julie Kagawa

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9041319,757 (4.36)10
Member:LaneLiterati
Title:The Iron Queen (Harlequin Teen)
Authors:Julie Kagawa
Info:Harlequin Teen (2011), Edition: Original, Paperback, 368 pages
Collections:2013 Archive
Rating:*****
Tags:Linsey Milillo, 2013

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The Iron Queen by Julie Kagawa

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*Spoiler-free.

My reviews of Iron Fey books 1 and 2 were all over the place. This time around, I decided to take notes in the event that I forgot things when review time came around. I now have a list a mile long. Sigh. Here goes.

While this book was marginally better than its predecessors, there is still a whole lot of silly goings ons. I am unable to fully immerse myself into these stories and it's so unbelievably frustrating. I want to immerse myself. I want to believe. Is that not the purpose of reading fiction and fantasy? Alas, it eludes me with this series.

When I read other reviews, I'm astounded. There are a slew of 5 star reviews. How can so many people see this as a 5 star book? Is it that I'm special and I hold books to a higher standard? Nah. I conclude that people love to love books and often ignore glaring discrepancies. People also love to click that 5th star. Anywho, on to the gripe fest.. This is likely to be long.

- The "Sudden & Misplaced Rage Syndrome." Meghan does it again. That misplaced RAGE at slights that she takes not a moment to try and understand. Coupled with the displacement of supposedly adored people in her life. "You did what?! I instantly hate you and can't believe that everything we've ever shared has been a farce! I don't care if you die right now!" (NOT a direct quote in the slightest.) Dang, girl. Take it easy. I get that Puck asking Leanansidhe to take her dad away was hurtful and that him not telling her was also hurtful, but he didn't have a choice. She was a child and, as mentioned throughout this series, was never intended to know anything about fairies. How could he have told her? So, while it's normal to have anger for what she's lost, it is not normal to INSTANTLY feel rage and decide that Puck has only been pretending to be her best friend for practically HER ENTIRE LIFE. Really, Meghan? This negates YEARS of servitude and friendship in an instant? You can't, at the very least, be bothered to discuss the circumstances surrounding his actions before making a rash decision to instantly hate YOUR BEST FRIEND AND PROTECTOR? Then, you suck.

- "The Way Meghan Perceives Grim." Constantly. Constantly! We are bashed over the head with how selfish and cunning this cat is. How he'd take advantage of anyone and everyone to get ahead. Constantly. Even still in book 3. Wtf. Let's really look at Meghan's history with Grim. In the very beginning, Grim did coerce her into making a self-serving deal. He wanted a favor owed from the Summer King. True that. What has he done since? Nothing but help her and save her ass countless times without asking anything in return!!! He has even used favors owed to him by other fairies to help her!!! And still Meghan is constantly going on about how selfish and sneaky the cat is and how he'd sell anyone out. Shut the fuck up, Meghan! You ungrateful twit!

- Direct quote: "On the second day, we reached the edge of a vast desert, a sea of sand dunes, rising and falling with the wind. I’d never seen the ocean, but I imagined it must be something like this, only with water instead of sand..."
Wait. So, the desert is just like an ocean, but devoid of water? In other words, not like an ocean at all, but more like a DESERT. So, essentially, you're saying that the DESERT is like a DESERT. Sigh. Am I the only one bothered by nonsense like this? Yah. I nitpick.

- Ariella. How many times are you gonna bring this ghost up, Ash? I swear, if my boyfriend compared me to Ariella even 1/4 as many times as Ash does Meghan, I'd scratch his eyes out. Stfu, Ash! This is an A & B relationship, so Ariella, C ya!

- "Ash's prophecy." (Big frikkin eye roll.) How convenient. How contrived. How lame is this Winter Prince that the worst that he's done is make a human girl fall in love with him and then dumped her? What a fuckin cop-out. He's supposed to be a badass and this is the best Kagawa could come up with? He inadvertently killed a girl by way of broken heart... and he didn't even care. Wow. He's almost as scary and his useless mother. (I griped about her in my review of Iron Daughter. ) What the hell happened to Ash? Since when is he such a lame-o?

- The "Aura Twining"... (Even bigger eye roll.) I know this is kind of a moot point as this happens in countless PNR novels, but if Ash was a 48 yr old fairy instead of a centuries old fairy, would you still see it as a-ok for him to twine his 48 yr old aura with Meghan's 16 yr old aura? Would you still think their relationship was swoon-worthy? Me neither. Ick.

- I'm all for progression and shit, but Meghan being the 16 yr old equivalent of Braveheart after a few weeks of training? (Biggest eye roll yet.)

- "The Scooby Doo Villain Reveal" was especially stupid. How could she not have known? I read the whole book knowing who the villain would be, but her whole, "You?!" How could I not have realized it'd be YOU?!" bit was supremely Scooby Doo.

- The "I Suddenly Realized Syndrome". You mean, you've been fighting logic throughout this entire story and in the last few pages, you suddenly realize everything you need to know/remember/do and we are to revere you for your wisdom and growth? (Eyes roll out of face.)

- "2 Pucks 1 Tertius." While Ash fights Rowan and Meghan sacrifices her intestines for the benefit of the Nevernever, 2 Pucks hold 1 Tertius down and slay him. Why the fuck doesn't Puck ALWAYS do this? Seems like a no-brainer to me.

- "I'm Dying. Let's Talk About It." At length. Meghan is dying. She's DYING. Get a move on and quit discussing nonsense! If she says move, then move! And don't get me started on Puck's ridiculous farewell.. (eyes roll.. on floor.)

I know. It's a lot of griping, but I can't not see these things. That's why I don't understand the slew of 5 star ratings. Because I've torn this book a new asshole, allow me to touch upon a couple of positives, though I'm unsure of their significance in light of the next book being Ash's POV:

- Meghan is stronger than ever before. She's trying to come into her own and I'm glad for that. She's just not there yet for me and as this was the last book in her POV, I really needed to see that.

- The introduction of new memorable characters. I was happy to see new, interesting characters introduced, but I'm concerned they won't be prominent in Ash's book.

- I liked where Meghan's story ended and despite my gripes, I liked the direction she was heading. I thought she ended strongly.

- I give credit where it's due - Kagawa's world-building is, as always, strong. She definitely creates very interesting side characters. It's only her MC's that are lackluster to me.

- That's it.

I'm gonna go read Summer's Crossing now and keep my fingers crossed for The Iron Knight. I'm too far in now to give up. All I can do is hope for the best and brace for the worst, as it's obvious I cannot go by the reviews for this series.. =/ ( )
  JennyJen | Aug 14, 2014 |
Just another lovely book from Julie Kagawa. I only wish there had been just a FEW more chapters (or perhaps another book) about Ash and Puck's journey at the end. Otherwise, a solid 4-1/2 stars from this satisfied reader! ( )
  camibrite | May 25, 2014 |
Just when Meghan thought she was done with the fey, having been expelled from Nevernever for failing to renounce her love for Ash, the youngest Winter court prince, she's dragged back in.

While hoping to reconnect with her family in Louisiana, Meghan and Ash run into Iron fey mercenaries sent by the False Iron King to drag her back. Not wanting to harm her human family, she and Ash seek shelter from the Exile Queen, hoping to buy themselves some time while they come up with a strategy. Unfortunately, they don't get build a solid strategy as she's beckoned by her father, Oberon the Summer king to come back to nevernever to help them fight the Iron Fey.

Determined to overthrow the False King, Meghan agrees to help the Summer and Winter courts, but only if they give full pardons to Ash and Puck. Meghan knows neither of them could live very long in the iron lands and wants to make sure they have someplace safe to go. But being Ash and Puck, they vow to go with Meghan.

I think this was my favorite of the series. Meghan's not quite so wimpy and wondering "why her". She's maturing and starting thinking of what her choices mean to everyone, if they aren't the choices the others would make.

Can't wait to read the Iron Knight, because I have a feeling Ash is going to do something spectacular!

( )
  cocktailsandbooks | Apr 7, 2014 |
Note: This is Book Three in a series. There are spoilers for Books One and Two, but none for this book.

This is Book Three of the Iron Fey Series, which began with The Iron King and continued with The Iron Daughter .

This book starts shortly after the events at the end of Book Two. Half-Summer-fey Meghan Chase and the all-fey Winter Prince Ash have been exiled out of Nevernever back to the human world. In spite of helping to save Summer and Winter from the Iron Fey Court, they committed the more egregious crime of falling in love with one another.

Meg is now seventeen and Ash is no longer a prince, and the two are on their way to Meg’s old home in Louisiana to tell her parents she is back home and ready to resume a "normal" life. But just outside her house she encounters Iron Fey, sent by the new False King of the Iron Court. He wants to capture Meg in order to obtain the iron magic power she acquired when she killed Machina, the real Iron King. Meg realizes she can’t go home and endanger her family:

"The choice loomed clear before me. If I ever wanted this endless running and fighting to stop, I would have to deal with the Iron King. Again.”

And there you have the plot of this book.

In order to prepare for her potentially lethal encounter, Meg needs to learn how to fight, which Ash teaches her. Her friend Puck tries to train her to use her magic skills, but because she now has the magic from both the Summer Court and the Iron Court, they are in conflict. Trying to use one or the other makes her sick. However, Meg gets some unexpected insights at the house of Leanansidhe, Queen of the Exiles, in between the human and fairy worlds, where the friends return for help. Leanansidhe also points out to Meg that eventually, she will have to do more than just react to events:

"Like it or not, dove, you’ve become a major player in this war. You’re balanced on the edge of everything - faery and mortal, Summer and Iron, the old ways the march of progress. Which way will you fall? Which side will you choose?”

By the end of this book, Meg is forced to make that choice, and either decision will involve an unbearable sacrifice. ( )
  nbmars | Feb 28, 2014 |
The latest installment of the Iron Fey series kicks off right where we left off. Meghan and Ash have been banished from Nevernever and are headed for the mortal world. But the False King is still after Meghan and the war between the Summer, Winter, and Iron courts continues. The False King could destroy the entire faery world unless he is stopped. Meghan faces her biggest challenge yet in The Iron Queen.

I read all three addictive books in the Iron Fey series back to back and I think this is my favorite book of the series. It is a thrilling fantasy, with adventure and drama, colorful characters, and an epic romance all set in a magical world. Ms. Kagawa’s descriptive writing flows effortlessly and paints a vivid picture of the story. The humor that is sprinkled throughout the story makes it even more enjoyable.

The characters in this series are strong and compelling. The protagonist Meghan goes through many emotional trials and tribulations and comes out much stronger for it. She has grown quite a bit since The Iron King and has become a force to be reckoned with. It is satisfying to see her growth and to see her accept herself and face her challenges head on. Ash, the Winter prince, really shines in this book. I have been a fan of his character all along, but I was won over by his honesty and devotion to Meghan. Puck, the Summer prince, also shows some new sides to his character. He impresses me with his loyalty to Meghan and his humor. Grimalkin, the resourceful cat, is another favorite character. Ms. Kagawa does a great job of integrating new characters, and I found a few new favorites in this book.

Romance takes a little more of a focus in this book. Ash and Meghan have a little time between battles to get to know each other better, including playing board games! Ash has some swoon-worthy moments, and I root for them as a couple.

This book is fast paced and has several nail biting moments. The final scenes are emotionally charged, heart wrenching, and intense. I was satisfied with the ending, but am also relieved there will be another book in this series.

I highly recommend this engaging series to anyone who enjoys young adult fantasy books. You won’t be disappointed! The next book in the series will be Ash’s story: The Iron Knight.

Thank you NetGalley and Harlequin Teen for the opportunity to read the digital galley. ( )
  readingdate | Jan 7, 2014 |
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Summer Fades. Ice Melts. Here's What's Left.
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To Erica and Gail, Ash's biggest fans. And to Nick, always my inspiration.
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Eleven years ago, on my sixth birthday, my father disappeared
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Meghan Chase, who is half faery, half human, knows that the struggle against the Iron Fey is not yet over and that they will tear her away from the banished prince she loves and force her into battles she may not survive.

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