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.
Paperback, 358 pages
Published January 25th 2011 by Harlequin Teen
Five stars: The Iron Queen is the best book yet!
Meghan and Ash stumble out of the Nevernever; anxiously they look to find their way in the mortal world. Meghan stands on the threshold of her home, eagerly anticipating a family reunion and reemergence into her former life. Before she can knock on the door, the Iron Fey attack and Meghan and Ash are once again thrust into the conflict. They should have known they could not escape so easily. Reality slaps Meghan in the face, a moment of pause, and then reluctantly she turns away from her old life. She knows that no matter where she goes the Iron Fey will follow. Her only choice is to meet the new, false Iron King head on and destroy him. With every passing day the deathly fingers of the Iron Fey scrape further and further into the realm of Faery; corroding and poisoning everything they touch. In Meghan lies the final gasp of hope for the salvation of the Nevernever. She alone wields the power to destroy the Iron King. Accompanied, as always, by her two, trusty, noble companions Ash and Puck and the wise, furball Grimalkin she heads into the twisted, dark, ravaged land of the Iron Fey. Will she somehow find the strength and courage to once again defeat the Iron King? If so, at what price?
Normally, I would tell you all the things I like about this book, such as the characters and the setting etc. I think in my two prior reviews of this series I established my feelings on the awesome characters and the extraordinary worlds so I will forgo that part, except I will impart a couple of quick thoughts on the characters. Meghan at last (big standing ovation) she evolves into the brave, formidable girl I knew she was capable of becoming. Ash, he is noble and tender and I can finally see why he is the perfect fit for Meghan. Puck, I still love him the most and I am glad he is able to reconcile his feelings and remain a steadfast friend. The beloved Grimalkin is ever my favorite. This sage, apathetic cat stays staunchly at Meghan’s side, where he is quick to shed light into the dark and point out the obvious things that she so often misses (especially when I feel like smacking her with a board and saying “Hello there are the gremlins don’t you get it?”). This time we see the other side of the Iron Fey and understand that they might not be as evil as once thought. Ironhorse paves the way for this enlightenment and Glitch and the others finish his task by assisting Meghan in bridging over the sea of misunderstanding that stands between them and the Old Fey.
This book has it all, high octane action,war,surprises and of course heartfelt, tear jerking scenes that will melt the hearts of even the stoic. If you liked the first two books, you will love this one, it far surpasses it’s predecessors. I admit I struggled with book two, The Iron Daughter, especially with the emotional, love drama between the three characters. Looking back I can see that all the upheaval was necessary to establish a solid foundation to aid in Meghan’s growth and help the reader understand why she chooses Ash over Puck. After reading the three books I now have a deeper insight into the Ice Prince’s heart and I see that it is right for Meghan and Ash to be together. Ash because of his past and his frozen emotions is the type that cannot allow himself to fall in love frivolously. When he gives his heart away it will be forever, for he can only love wholeheartedly and deeply. Puck, who is ever merry and finicky, I don’t think has it in his nature to commit to one girl and remain content until the end of his days. I believe he will love often and without restraint; he is a free spirit after all.
Finally, my thoughts on the Iron Fey and the war waged in Nevernever. It is a fight between the old ways and the new technological wave. Just like in our world today, you have the staunch, steadfast movement planted against the electronic wave of the future. Those who prefer the simpler things, a paper book, records, newspapers, radio, etc. versus the youth of today, who have every technological gadget at the fingertips, smartphones, ipods and ipads, e readers and the internet. It is the same in the world of Faery, you have Mab and Oberon and the two courts, rooted in the ways of the old, opposing the Iron Fey. Each side entrenched in their beliefs. At first you hate the Iron Fey but then you see that they are the product of societal advancement. In fact, most of us are guilty in aiding the rise of the Iron Fey and to the decline of the Nevernever (myself included as I type this review on my ipad after I finished reading the book on my Kindle). In reality there is no turning back, the technological generation is here to stay. In the Faery world there is a visionary moment and the three groups forge together to fight a common enemy. It is only appropriate that Meghan, a girl of both worlds, is destined to be the champion. She must somehow ultimately, cohesively bring these two worlds together. I wish that the title of the book was different because it is a giveaway to Meghan’s final fate after some heart wrenching sacrifices.
The ending will cause you to wipe away a few tears. Ash’s last gift to Meghan absolutely melted my heart and it was a nice tie off of a remaining loose thread from book one that caused me anxiety. I expect Ash, Puck and Grimalkin to all be back in book four, The Iron Knight, for another mind blowing adventure and an epic ending.
In the meantime, here in reality, I know we can’t staunch the electronic flow in our world but we can take time to appreciate the small things. So, keep Nevernever alive and well by wishing on a star, finding hidden magic, looking for fairies in the flowers, gazing at the butterflies and dragonflies and peering into the shadows for the trickster Puck. Take time to hold a book, rub the glossy cover, finger the pages, and inhale the scent. Listen to old records, revel in the pop and scratching of the needle across the vinyl. Read to children and teach them to wonder and most importantly, how to dream. Share the books of the Iron Fey with others. In these little acts, we can assure our friends in the Nevernever long lives for many days to come.
“I learned that love can transcend race and time, and that it can be beautiful and perfect and worth fighting for but also fragile and heartbreaking, and sometimes sacrifice is necessary.”
“So nice to see you as well human.” Grimalkin blinked at me, sarcastic, unruffled, and completely infuriating.”
“I don’t see how you mortals do it, these feelings you must endure. They will ruin you, in the end.”
“An artist whose paintings almost sang with a life of their own, and a musician whose soul was intertwined in his music, their love only heightened their talents.”
“You could actually be doing something that doesn’t make me want to gouge my eyes out with a spork.”
“He sighed, framing my face with his hands. “My life...everything I am...belongs to you.”
“Remember, it ends at the beginning.”
“Nothing ever goes as planned-people fall in love with the wrong person, someone ends up with a donkey head, and then it’s a whole big mess.”
“Oh, look, demon fey, lake of liquid hot magma---does this remind you of anything?” He grimaced, giving me a weak grin. “When I said I’d follow you to hell and back, I wasn’t trying to be literal princess.”
“I have brought you as far as I can. It is time for you to step forward on your own and claim your destiny.”
“You are my heart, my life, my entire existence.”