Thursday, November 15, 2012

Review - Iron Daughter by Julie Kagawa

The Iron Daughter (The Iron Fey, #2)The Iron Daughter
by Julie Kagawa
Paperback, 359 pages
Published August 1st 2010 by Harlequin teen


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.

My Review:

You know when you reach the end of a book and you aren’t ready to close the cover?  I read the Acknowdedgements and the list of people to Kagawa thanks including,
“and all the wonderful YA book bloggers of the blogosphere, whose excitement and love of this genre makes me grateful and humbled at the same time.”
I wasn’t blogging in 2010 when this book was released, so I pass on the thanks to all the book bloggers from way back then and all the newbies just getting goin’.  I could kiss this book… let’s get more of these on the shelves!! Lol.

So, maybe the ending was perfect. BETTER than perfect!!  I can’t even say how perfect the ending was, how heart-wrenching, satisfying, dripping wet the ending was without tossing spoilers everywhere to catch unsuspecting readers.

*sigh* I won't. Read on confidently.

First let me back up and say this book was not always perfect for me. I was irritated often, feeling like I was reading a lengthy saga of drastically huge proportions that folded in on itself to produce layers faster than I could read through ‘em. Grimalkin, that fey cat, adds to this feeling as he pops in and out of the scene with cryptic comments that made me want to grab his fur and shake his brains for information. (He’s big and gray AND fey with spiky teeth, so it wouldn’t hurt him, if I could get my hands on him. If.)

In this second edition of the Iron Fey series, I fell in love with Iron Horse who couldn’t speak softly, but reverberated everyone to the bone with his volume and with his size & his strength. He has so much heart, so much depth. I can’t help hoping he shows up in the next books. Somehow.

Let’s talk about characters, ‘cause I wanted to throttle each of ‘em at least once.

Meghan Chase is too darn spontaneous all the time. There’s not enough reason behind why some of her choices work out. Some of ‘em should be complete disasters. If you’re a die-hard fan, I apologize, but read the book again and tell me she shouldn’t be buried in a pile of rubble! She gets away with the craziest things – missing swords, ice, fey glares, natural disasters, crushing debris – you name it, she dodges it. When she donned the formal attire that began to shred with all the near-misses, I had to laugh and forgive Kagawa. At least this uncanny knack is spotlighted with a corsage. That’s all I can say.

Ash is too flawed for me. I love his royal iciness to his frozen bones, but he leaps into danger as recklessly as Meghan and with even less success. I enjoyed him more in Book #1 when he was invincible and more powerful than any fey. I still clung to that perspective going into Book #2 and this belief warped my sense of all fey power. They are powerful, but not ALL powerful.  Maybe Kagawa intended this paradigm shift because I totally believed the final scene by the end of this book, whereas I couldn’t have when I began it.

Robin Goodfellow  – my feeling are still conflicted when it comes to him. I see why he likes Meghan, but then again, I don’t. He’s lived so LONG. There’s no way he doesn’t see Meghan’s flaws. In fact, his steady pursuit of her flattens out his character a little, when, really, he’s the most deliciously irritating character I’ve read EVER. (Maybe.)

Speaking of great side characters… let me just sing the praises of everyone who enters and exits in this story. I loved hating Virus. She’s wonderfully creepy with lots of great weapons.Charles is so mysterious and so perfectly confused. Leanansidhe has such a great personality, although she fed my declining fear of the most powerful fey, being both frightening, cold-hearted and yet more approachable. I thoroughly enjoyed Ash’s brothers – or rather, enjoyed Sage with his dog – I would have loved to have seen more of those two!!  And I thoroughly abhorred Rowan right from his first seductive scene. What a great bad guy!! He has so many layers to hate, it’s wonderfully horrible.

How about that Summer-Winter war?!  There’s such a psychotic edge to the fae that separate them from anything humane and that war was in incredible highlight on that difference. Puck’s glee of battle is mirrored a thousand times in a thousand directions with a thousand different weapons. It’s great in a freaky “I’m gonna die!” sort of way!

Cover Commentary: Love it!!  I love all these Iron Fey covers. They're so pretty! They don't give much of the story away, do they?

My Rating:  4-ish, so I gotta break it down. Meghan & Ash were 4's, the side characters, all 5's. The layers of story to push through? Honestly, I set the book aside a few times since I knew we'd be wandering around awhile, so I give that a 3. The romance is a pretty solid up-to-4. The world of fey? Just, wow... 5. Writing skill is a 5. The pace is a 3.75 - a steady jog. Overall... 4-ish.

About the Amazing Author:
Julie Kagawa was born in Sacramento, California. But nothing exciting really happened to her there. So, at the age of nine she and her family moved to Hawaii, which she soon discovered was inhabited by large carnivorous insects, colonies of house geckos, and frequent hurricanes. She spent much of her time in the ocean, when she wasn�t getting chased out of it by reef sharks, jellyfish, and the odd eel. 
When not swimming for her life, Julie immersed herself in books, often to the chagrin of her schoolteachers, who would find she hid novels behind her Math textbooks during class. Her love of reading led her to pen some very dark and gruesome stories, complete with colored illustrations, to shock her hapless teachers. The gory tales faded with time, but the passion for writing remained, long after she graduated and was supposed to get a real job. 
To pay the rent, Julie worked in different bookstores over the years, but discovered the managers frowned upon her reading the books she was supposed to be shelving. So she turned to her other passion: training animals. She worked as a professional dogtrainer for several years, dodging Chihuahua bites and overly enthusiastic Labradors, until her first book sold and she stopped training to write full-time. 
Julie now lives in Louisville, Kentucky, where the frequency of shark attacks are at an all time low. She lives with her husband, two obnoxious cats, one Australian Shepherd who is too smart for his own good, and the latest addition, a hyper-active Papillon puppy.

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Catch my other Reviews of Kagawa's books!!

Click on the cover or link below:

The Iron King (Iron Fey, #1)  The Immortal Rules (Blood of Eden, #1)  The Lost Prince (The Iron Fey: Call of the Forgotten, #1)