Thursday, July 22, 2010

Early Review: The Iron Daughter by Julie Kagawa (Iron Fey #2)

Coming August 1, 2010!

Things are not going well for Meghan Chase. After fulfilling her contract with the Winter prince Ash, Meghan finds herself a prisoner of the Unseelie court, freezing in the subarctic temperatures and harassed by not only the creepy creatures of Tir Na Nog but by the three mischievous, potentially sadistic, and heartbreakingly handsome Winter princes as well. Under normal circumstances, the Summer princess might be able to take matters into her own hands, but thanks to Queen Mab's sealing spell, Meghan is magic-free. Unfortunately, this also means that Meghan is utterly powerless when a small army of Iron fey somehow make their way into the Winter palace and steal the powerful Scepter of the Seasons, killing an important member of the Winter court in the process - and poor Meghan just happens to be the only other person in the room at the time. Mab, always eager to take her wrath out on the Summer fey, encases Meghan in a solid sheet of ice - unable to breathe, unable to die, suffocating for eternity - and declares vengeful war on the Seelie court. But just as all seems lost with this grim turn of events, Meghan's hopeless plight turns a Winter prince traitor and the two fight their way out of Tir Na Nog on an arduous and ultimately painful quest to find the scepter and return it to the Winter queen before the devastating war between Summer and Winter comes to a head and obliterates not only the Nevernever, but the human realm as well.

The Iron Daughter is a haunting tale of forbidden romance, unfathomable treachery and potentially catastrophic war. Julie Kagawa's follow-up to the stellar first installment The Iron King is a much darker and more heart-wrenching tale. The action takes a backseat to the romance and character development, but this is certainly not to the detriment of the novel. Meghan and Ash's tortured relationship is gripping, taking the reader on the emotional roller coaster ride alongside the heroine. My wish for more insight into Meghan has certainly been granted; the poor girl's trials and tribulations give a firsthand perspective on her inner life. Unfortunately, she spends a large portion of the novel in tears but, under the circumstances, it's not an unreasonable reaction. Even fans of Puck will feel for Meghan and Ash as their constantly strained relationship is pushed to the breaking point within the harsh and unfeeling confines of the Unseelie court, where emotions are an exploitable vulnerability.

The twisted creatures of Winter are a deliciously dreadful addition to Kagawa's faery world. Everyone in the Unseelie court has secrets, and the suspense builds as it's never clear who can be trusted and who should be avoided at all costs. Even the dashing hero, Ash, is an enigma -- which, of course, is part of his alluring mystique. Over the course of the novel, readers will gain immense insight into the depths of his character, as well as powerful respect for the unswervingly brave and surprisingly sensitive Ice Prince. Per the norm, Kagawa develops another paranormal love triangle between the totally confused Meghan and her loyal and loveable suitors - dark, deadly Ash and lighthearted but mischievous Puck. Fans of both heroes will find some satisfaction within the pages of this novel, though perhaps one side more than the other (sigh). The former friends and now sworn enemies have a hilarious dynamic -- bickering like brothers, but with a jealous and lethal edge.

Kagawa also introduces a whole host of new and fascinating characters. Rowan and Sage - the other Winter princes and Ash's brothers -- appear on the scene with a bang. The two are an intriguing mix, both utterly like Ash and absolutely opposite -- and, of course, completely mysterious. In spite of everything, Rowan is a character I hope to see more of in the final installment of the trilogy, The Iron Queen. His blend of irresistible charisma and devilish personality makes for some unexpected but captivating scenes - Rowan is a character you'll love to hate. Some familiar characters also feature into the story, but with some surprising and satisfying twists.

Even though romance is the focus of this second installment, the trio still prove their mettle time and time again, while Kagawa shows that she certainly knows how to write a battle scene. It's frustrating, however, that Meghan's powers are sealed for much of the novel and the boys are left to fight her battles. She is clearly a force to be reckoned with, and I would really like to see her live up to that potential rather than playing the damsel in distress. Still, the foreshadowing seems to promise that Meghan has big things in her future and readers will enjoy riddling out the heroine's destiny. This novel is full of twists and turns, keeping up a constant stream of adventure and never letting the pace become slack. Readers will be left wanting more, dying to know just how Meghan will rectify the startling predicament that concludes book two of the Iron Fey.


Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this novel for review from NetGalley. This did not affect my review in any way.

Click here to preorder The Iron Daughter by Julie Kagawa

Don't miss my interview with author Julie Kagawa!

You can also read my reviews of the first novel in the trilogy, The Iron King, and the Iron Fey novella, Winter's Passage!

Winter's Passage is FREE to download until July 31, 2010 and Julie Kagawa is running a Winter's Passage fan trailer contest on her blog from July 1 - August 1! Check it out and enter to win!


Jenny said...

Really nice review! I just finished this one and loved it as well, I can't wait for book 3 to see how she wraps everything up.

Emma Michaels said...

Great review! I finished this a while back and absolutely loved it! I saw that you had posted this on Goodreads and just had to check out and see what you thought! I am looking forward to the next book so much!!!!

Emma Michaels

Faye said...

<3 this series! Can't wait to finish TID!

Savannah said...

I have this book.I can't wait to read. It is such awesome series. Great review :)

Alyssa Kirk @ Teens Read and Write said...

I enjoyed this book immensely! Great job on the review!

Teens Read & Write

Lily Child said...

Eep! I can not wait to read this one! :)

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