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Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Iron Queen by Julie Kagawa

The Iron Queen by Julie Kagawa
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Genre: Action/Adventure, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Young Adult
Length: Full Length (362 pages)
Heat Level: Sweet
Rating: Best Book
Reviewed by Jasmine

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.

You know those rare, beautiful books that you find where you start reading and you don't come up for air until you've turned the last page? Then, for days you are still thinking about the characters, wondering what happened to them? This is one of them. From the first paragraph I was hooked. The Iron Queen immediately draws you in and has you caring about the characters, even if you've never read the other books in the series.

Meghan Chase is a half-human/half-faery teenager. Her father is the Summer King of the Faery Realm, her best friend is Puck, her mentor – a faery cat named Grim and her boyfriend, Ash, is the Winter Prince. Meghan and Ash have been exiled from the Nevernever for refusing to renounce their love for one another. Unfortunately, there is another part of the Faery Realm...the Iron Realm. Meghan has already defeated one Iron King but there is another False King that has taken his place and he has sent his Iron Fey in search of Meghan. With the Iron Fey after them there can be no peace in the human world and with the Iron Realm taking over the Faery Realm, Meghan must return to fight yet another Iron King. But will defeating him be enough?

Ms. Kagawa paints a vivid picture of the Nevernever, the Iron Realm and the creatures that inhabit it. You find yourself drawn into her world and living the story. The magic in the book is a lot of fun and fits each character perfectly. The lead characters are very compelling and well developed as individuals. There are elements of the story that touch on other well-known myths or stories, such as Titania, Oberon and Puck, the trickster which makes it a lot of fun if you are familiar with these. She also adds her own fun things, like (without saying too much) the gliders. We get to see all the range of emotions that each of these characters go through and you find yourself feeling them in turn and rooting for them.

I love the underlying messages of these books. The Faery Realm exists because of magic and imagination, people's beliefs in things they can't see. The Iron Realm exists because of progress and technology. But the Iron Realm is taking over the Faery Realm and if something isn't done, it may disappear. We need more magic and imagination!

This book is the third in a series and is a stand alone book. Without having ever read either of the first two, you will be able to follow the plot easily and by the end you will be heading to your bookstore to find the first two. I know I did! Now I need to find out when the next book, The Iron Knight, is coming out. I'll be counting the days. Give yourself a treat and go buy this book. I guarantee you won't regret it and it will end up on your keeper shelf.

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