All The Books I Can Read

1 girl….2 many books!

The Iron Daughter – Julie Kagawa

on November 27, 2010

I am officially hooked on these books! Picked this up at the local Library last night after requesting it and finished it today. After the conclusion of The Iron King, Meaghan was honouring her contract with the Winter Prince Ash and accompanying him back to the Neverneverland and the winter kingdom to be the prisoner of the Mab, the Winter Queen.

When this book opens, Meaghan has been a prisoner in Mab’s world for some time now. Mab, occupied with other things, shows little interest in her at present and Meaghan is free to wander around and do as she likes, so long as she doesn’t try to escape – it’s not like she could in these unforgiving frozen lands anyway. Abandoned by Ash, who she hasn’t seen since they arrived, Meaghan has no idea why she’s here or what’s happening. As the Winter Court prepares for the Echange, the handing over of a powerful sceptre from the Summer Court to the Winter, Meaghan is once again thrown straight into the midst of a deadly struggle for power.

***Warning: Spoilers for The Iron King***

After slaying the Iron King at the end of the previous novel, Meaghan thought that the threat from that corner was over but she is soon proved wrong. The minions follow a new King now and he has hatched a plan to get his hands on the sceptre and increase his power. By pulling off such a move, the new ruler knows that Winter and Summer will go to war and slaughter each other – and then the Iron Fey can sweep in and destroy whatever is left, thus securing themselves as the true rulers of the Neverneverland. Aided by some Winter Fey who have aligned with the new Iron King, a returning Ash and Meaghan are forced to flee the Winter Court and go on a deadly journey to retrieve the sceptre and clear their names.

It’s like the first novel, but not. There’s another journey and they need to recover something to save not just one life this time, but many lives. There are some similarities in that we are joined once again by Puck/Robin Goodfellow, the haughty cat Grimalkin and a former foe from The Iron King in the Ironhorse. There are new characters this time, some that aid and some that hinder and the action and pace is faster, more frantic and increasingly more violent.

The characters suck me in, all of them – Ash is icier, harsher and more tortured than ever and still I love him *insert some sort of teenage-girl like sigh here* and the internal struggle of loyalty to his court and Queen versus his ever-strengthening love for Meaghan is delicious to read. There were several scenes, so beautifully written where Kagawa excels at showing this struggle, laying bare all of Ash’s emotions even as he battles desperately against them, to play his hand as one of the Winter Court could. Meaghan’s refusal to take Ash’s rejection of her and her inability to forget him is heartbreaking at times and although I sometimes shuddered at how she could continue to pine after him even after the cruelty he deals her way, I had to admire the girl to keep trying! Puck throws his hat into the ring in this novel and our heroine wavers slightly but I’m hoping that the choice she made at the end of the book is the one that sticks for good.

I also loved Ironhorse. I didn’t pay him too much attention in The Iron King because he was sort of a baddie and also, he speaks in all caps, which kind of annoys me because it means when I read what he’s saying, I shout it in my head. And no matter how much I try not to, I just do. But in this novel he was definitely made of win and even though I kept shouting his words, it somehow became endearing, along with the quaint way in which he speaks. And oh god, I’ll be damned if I didn’t actually shed a tear in this book. I know, I know, what the heck, right? But I couldn’t help it.

Second books in a series can be tricky, especially if the first book was so highly praised. Sometimes they read as too much of a repeat of the first book, or the conflicts are a little too much and end up making you frustrated with the novel. And while the conflicts in this book are definitely a step up from the first in the series, I definitely didn’t find it too much. While Meaghan, Ash, Puck, Grimalkin and Ironhorse went on their journey to get the sceptre back, there were obstacles and challenges but it wasn’t like everything that cropped up was a negative and they also had some assistance along the way too. Meaghan and Ash’s personal conflicts helped emphasise just how unaccepted it is for a Winter fey and a Summer fey to fall in love and having been raised as a Winter prince, I could well understand Ash’s torn loyalties.

This book loses nothing and if anything I enjoyed this one more than I enjoyed the first. I’m very grateful that I have Book #3, The Iron Queen, sitting on my Kindle waiting for me, thanks to NetGalley. I can’t wait to dive into it – I thought it was to be the last book in the series, but I’ve just noticed that there looks to be a fourth novel – The Iron Knight coming sometime in probably late-2011.

9/10

Book #97 of my 100 Book Challenge


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