The Iron Daughter (The Iron Fey #2) by Julie Kagawa
Young Adult, Paranormal Romance, Fantasy, Fae
Trade Paperback (Harlequin Teen, 304 pages, $9.99)
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.
Author Site: juliekagawa.com
The Romance vs. The Storyline (5 stars)
Meghan Chase has returned her little brother, Ethan, home to Louisiana but her adventures in the world of faery have just begun. Having promised to return with Prince Ash to the Winter land of his mother, Queen Mab, she finds herself at the mercy of the Unseelie Court. But none believe their tales of the Iron Fey and the monstrous King Machina.
As the half-human, half-Summer princess her father, King Oberon, would offer a trade for her return until he discovers she bargained herself into Winter's hands. Turning over the Scepter of Seasons to Winter upon his visit a chain of unfortunate events begins in which Meghan, Ash and Robin Goodfellow must once again face the Iron Fey. Finding new allies, facing enemies old and new the trio will venture into the mortal world to save the world of the fey kingdoms. Through it all Meghan may face the hardest challenge yet... knowing where her heart belongs.
Let me open my commentary here by saying that I find myself struggling to be as objective as I prefer to be with this series. I am madly in love with Kagawa's world of the fey. It's like taking tidbits from some of my favorite tales as a child and using them to pepper a creation that manages to be both original and derivative in ways that for me really work. There are deep hints of Labrynth and Alice in Wonderland in particular that I find delicious. Keeping that in mind I do understand some complaints I have heard from other readers, for some this series may feel too fanfictionesque.
As the second novel in this series there is a slight change in tone and feel. Less time is spent describing everything in lengthy detail, there isn't as much character development. Instead we're given a lot more of the relationship between Ash and Meghan to read and later her conflicted feelings regarding Robin. I wouldn't really say I felt like it was truly a love triangle, I don't see chemistry between Meghan and Robin enough to feel like he ever had a chance despite his obvious feelings for her. Instead it seems like she does spend a lot of time whining and pining over Ash. Some readers have commented that they found this really annoying and I can't say I totally disagree. His pushing her away is as transparent to a reader as it can get so I don't understand why Meghan cannot see it for what it is. The romantic threads of this one are what they are and some readers will hate it while others may find it relatable. I didn't really mind it but after a while it did feel a bit like it was time to move on and get to the action.
As far as the actual storyline regarding the Iron Fey goes, I really enjoyed it. It was a little predictable but enjoyable in its execution. I very much liked the new allies Kagawa brought in for Meghan. Leanansidhe, an exiled fae, is a fabulously interesting and fun character. Her minions and half-breeds gave an interesting twist to the world we'd already thought we knew. Meanwhile the plot is left thicker than ever with the Iron Fey themselves by the conclusion of this book.
Overall it isn't as great as its predecessor but The Iron Daughter manages to be entertaining none the less. There are certainly valid complaints I have seen voiced by other reviewers but I still loved this one and found most of the things that bothered others were easy for me to overlook or that I didn't find them as unlikable. This one is definitely thick on the Ash/Meghan romance but the story isn't completely lost in the thick of it.
Krystal Yanagihara of Need Tea Reviews
Dark Faerie Tales
Books With Bite
All Things urban Fantasy
Tori on Smexy Reviews
Notes: I received this review copy via Amazon's Vine Program.