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At the end of The Iron King Meghan had definitely saved her brother, Ethan, seemingly saved Nevernever, and returned to her home to reunite with her mom and stepdad. Happily ever after?Synopsis:
Fortunately for us it doesn't quite end that way. Right before Meghan can launch into a meaningful heart-to-heart with her mom, Ash quietly sweeps in and comes to bring Meghan to the Winter Court - a faery always fulfills their vow. The gap in between that story and The Iron Daughter is provided in the novella Winter's Passage*. We do get a bit of a summary at the beginning of the book, but there's more nitty gritty in the whole thing so it's worth the read if you have the chance.
While at the Winter Court we find out that Ash is the youngest and that of his two older brothers, one is slightly nuts and the other is potentially nice. During a party to celebrate the return of the Scepter of the Seasons from Summer to Winter, the scepter is stolen semi-secretly by the Iron Fey. Meghan gets caught up in a fight to protect it, with Ash eventually coming to her aid to spirit her back to the Summer Court before a war can break out over the theft, with Summer erroneously being blamed.
Many a time in The Iron Daughter does Ash display distancing behavior. The novella, and the beginning of this book, both allude to reasons behind it. He had warned Meghan that he would not be able to be trusted in Tir Na Nog (Mean Mama's Realm) but also that he would protect her as long, of course, as he wasn't directly commanded to kill her. As a reader it was a smidgen difficult for me to suspend disbelief and that somehow Ash had given up on her and had become a heartless stranger, even though he did it so well. At times I wanted to yell at the book, "Hey, Meghan, your boyfriend's pretending to suck so his mean mama doesn't kill you any earlier." That said, I could empathize with her as regardless of logic, sometimes your heart wins out.
I have to say, though, that Meghan Chase is one strong female character, and I think that's a large part of why I really enjoy these books. She's not a simpering girl waiting for her prince to come, nor is she easily influenced. Even though she goes through a lot she never gives up. When Ash leaves her behind, she keeps on going for his - now hers, too - world. She speaks up to her father, Queen Mab, and above all she defends her family and loved ones something fierce. Meghan's grown a lot even from the previous book, and it's nice that there are some introspective moments where she too realizes it.
The fantastic world building continues here and one of the best things about it is that we always have Grimalkin to be the voice of narrative reason to supply the reader with deductions that the other characters would never have offered up. Okay, here's my favorite Grim quote:
"I am a cat."So finite and blasé in a feline way that it's just perfect. If he could shrug lazily while saying it I think that he would. We also have the return of Puck! I didn't realize how much I had missed his jovial commentary until we were left with Meghan alone in the Winter Court. (Hey, she had a right to be depressed!) They really do balance each other out well personality wise. There's a lot that happens with him and some other characters that is quite surprising. There are some mysteries that are offered up, some predictable, most not. Can I say we also have the return of Ironhorse? And I really enjoyed him? Think on that, folks!
Overall there's a lot of everything exciting and good from the previous book: a great landscape, action, lovely character building, tons of Iron Fey, and, oh maybe some romance. Maybe a lot more romance. Puck or Ash? I won't tell.
It's difficult to follow up a fantastic initial book of a series, but it was done here.
*Winter's Passage is available as a free download until April 31st.
This question comes on the heels of my starting Julie Kagawa's The Iron King last night. As I started it I knew about 40 or so pages in that it was something I would have to go out the next day and get the sequels to as I had again fallen into the book zone. The book zone, for me, is when I start a book series, decide while reading the first book that I love it, and have to have the subsequent books ready to go immediately after the first is finished.
I see this as a good and a bad thing. Good because there is no break in the story and I can immediately jump into what comes next without having to wait a year for it to be released. Bad in that I just can't stop reading and then when I'm done, I'm done.
Thank you again, library, for having all three available for my literary consumption. I'll try and take a break (gasp! horror!) in between so that I can review each book in their own right without mixing storylines.
Does anyone else fall into the book zone? When do you know in the first book that you just have to keep going?
Publication Date: 05/01/2011
Publisher: Abrams Books
Source: NetGalley ARC
I'd also like to give a shout-out to Yuta Onoda who illustrated the cover art. Definitely keep it in mind to take a look at the cover before and after you start. Just saying. You might be surprised.
I loved this book and although I wish I could tell you more about my favorite parts I don't want to give anything away. The first couple chapters lay the groundwork for the rest of the story, and once Yeats gets going everything else does, too.
This is a book everyone can enjoy.
I know this may be a little geeky, but this is a book blog, so I think I'm allowed a certain measure of geekiness.
I just finished reading my first galley and I have to tell you guys: I loved it!
An extremely clever book full of adventure and heart.
Curious? I hope so. The review is forthcoming as I want to spent some more time with it, but it's definitely a book I'll be adding to my shelf.
Have a good night, everyone!
I haven't read this yet for fear that I'd be upset when it ended, but I probably won't be able to hold off for long. For all of us that have been holding out for May: here's something to whet your appetite!
Veronica's also written a small bit in her blog as to why she's named the factions the way she did. Thought given to the smallest thing really speaks well overall for the story.
One of the things that I've been very much looking forward to is the HBO adaptation of Game of Thrones. This book had everything going for it the first time I read it: it was engaging, had developed and interesting interpersonal relationships, intrigue, and a tinge of sadness and regret. All in all it was a realistic portrayal of how people might act within the given circumstances. The story isn't for the faint of heart but if you give it a chance it will probably weasel its way into yours.
Game of Thrones is a book, above all else, about people. People are a many layered thing and so it's in this that I really take my hat off to GRRM.
Not to give so much away, but I'm currently reading A Storm of Swords and from the first book until here I was most taken by his ability to so fully develop the characters that in a blink of chapters someone you thought you knew could make you look again. It's because of this (and the size of the books!) that I thought it would be a difficult translation to the screen, but the first 15 minutes read perfectly: I'm in love with the Starks all over again.
If you'd like to get a glimpse at what the series will look like you can go here to watch. It's certainly worth it.
Winter is coming!