Half Summer faery princess, half human, Meghan has never fit in anywhere. Deserted by the Winter prince she thought loved her, she is prisoner to the Winter faery queen. As war looms between Summer and Winter, Meghan knows that the real danger comes from the Iron fey—ironbound faeries that only she and her absent prince have seen. But no one believes her.
Worse, Meghan's own fey powers have been cut off. She's stuck in Faery with only her wits for help. Trusting anyone would be foolish. Trusting a seeming traitor could be deadly. But even as she grows a backbone of iron, Meghan can't help but hear the whispers of longing in her all-too-human heart.
Paperback, 359 pages
Published August 1st 2010 by Harlequin Teen (first published July 27th 2010)
Three and a half stars: A wonderful follow up to The Iron King. Welcome back to the Nevernever.
Meghan finds herself suspended in the snowy, ice encrusted world of the Winter Court. An arctic tundra inhabited by the dark, cold, emotionless Unseelie Fey. She is an unwilling guest of the icy Queen Mab, a wickedly, beautiful, frost Fey with a chilly heart and frozen outlook. For Meghan dealing with the Winter Queen is like skating on thin ice under heavy icicles; since Mab adamantly refuses to accept the truth of Meghan and Prince Ash's encounter with the deadly Iron Fey. Meghan is destroyed when Ash treats her with frosty indifference. Lost and alone she tries to survive in this arctic land. Soon treason finds it's way into Winter with a betrayal, murder and theft of the Scepter of the Seasons and Meghan and Ash are unwillingly, caught in a deadly plot aimed at starting a vicious war between Summer and Winter. The conflict would weaken and distract the opposing Courts and ultimately allow the Iron Fey to sneak into Nevernever and destroy the Seelie and Unseelie Fey. Meghan, Ash, Puck and Grimalkin set out to stop the tides of War by recovering the scepter. Will they be able to once again defeat the deadly Iron Fey and somehow prevent the war?
What I Liked:
- The world building in this second book of The Iron Fey is just as fascinating and phenomenal as it was in The Iron King. In The Iron Daughter you explore the cruel, icy Winter Court with it's biting cold and sinister inhabitants. Then you encounter the treacherous, twisting world of the Briars filled with deathly, terrifying creatures. Finally, a stay in the disturbing mansion of the Queen of the Exiles. Ms. Kagawa brings her amazing world alive with intricate details and stunning imagery. I would recommend this series just for the ingenious creation of the World of the Fey but it has so much more to offer.
- All the favorite characters from the first novel return. Puck is ever mischievous, comical and has an ample supply of snarky nicknames. Grimalkin always manages to materialize at opportune moments just in time to save the day. I love his bored indifference and the way he constantly sleeps, yawns and grooms his paws and tail; spot on cat behavior. The intimidating Iron Horse is back but this time he has a few surprises in store. I grew to love this character. Cue William Tell Overture....Away IRONHORSE!
- I was drawn to the two villainesses, Leanansidhe, the Queen of the Exiles and Virus. Leanan is deliciously dark, dramatic and scheming. She is an exile from the Nevernever, who has built a mansion in the area of the Between. Her house is brimming with masterpieces of art and music, due to her penchant for collecting artists and musicians through diabolical bargains. She also shelters the exiles, but of course at a price. She is glamour, glitter and seductively dangerous. Tread very carefully around her, "darling". Virus is maniacal and bent on devastation. She is ready to release a swarm of mass destruction with her army of viral bugs. I was enthralled with the innovative conceptualization of the computer virus in this character.
And The Not So Much:
- I am not a fan of the love triangle theme that has flooded the Young Adult genre. Too much of this book is focused on Meghan's indecisiveness between Puck and Ash. I know fans get caught up in choosing between Team Ash and Team Puck. This series is so creative I think it should transcend beyond this trite romance. Of course Meghan has to fall for Ash, the boy with whom a relationship is impossible, instead of loving the good natured Puck, who has always loved and protected her. I personally prefer Grimalkin. There was too much time spent on this emotive tug of war for me, thus the lower rating.
- Meghan regressed in this installment. In the Iron King she bumbled her way through Faery but she was determined to save her brother, and she demonstrated strength and courage. In The Iron Daughter she is an emotional puddle. She is constantly crying, sobbing, blinking back tears,running to hide and cowering behind the boys. Then factor in her wavering feelings between Ash and Puck and you have an emotional wreck. She does redeem herself at the end; leaving me hopeful that she will evolve in the third novel.
- The beginning of the book is sluggish, it takes awhile before the action kicks in but once Puck and Grimalkin arrive there are few dull moments and the end is climatic and thrilling. You will certainly want to tear into the third book, The Iron Queen, after finishing The Iron Daughter.
The Iron Fey is an addictive series that is creative and imaginative. The world Julie Kagawa has built is astonishing and extraordinary. Her characters are unique and engaging. The Fey are never boring with their ulterior motives and tricky tactics. Always be careful when negotiating in The Nevernever. I love the adventure and action. This book is filled with plenty of heart fluttering scenes for the sentimentalists. If you are a hopeless romantic or a Fey enthusiast then The Iron Fey books are for you. I recommend you take a trip to the Nevernever as soon as possible.
"Yeah, but you don't need a machine gun to kill a fly."
"The cracks in the ceiling smirked at me, and I groaned."
"If you must make noise, at least try to be useful." ~Grimalkin
"I nodded, and he kissed the top of my head, making butterflies swarm through my stomach."
"I would kiss you cat," Puck said as we crowded through the doorway, "if we weren't in such a hurry. Also, the hairballs could be unpleasant."