WARNING: If you haven’t read the first two books of the Iron Fey series, then this review might contain some spoilers regarding them. I’ll try my best not to reveal too much, however.
Let me preface this review with a ‘Thank God’. If you follow my personal twitter account, you might remember what a hard time I had getting through The Iron Daughter, which is the second book in this series. It was difficult to find the willpower to finish it. But The Iron Queen completely redeems the series! So, yay! I’m so glad this is the case since I highly enjoyed The Iron King, the first book.
Now, on to The Iron Queen.
It starts where The Iron Daughter left off, which ended on a bit of a cliffhanger, btw. I’m so glad Julie doesn’t do those foreshadowing chapters before the actual story begins; she just jumps right into it, which is exactly what I needed. And instead of the relaxed leisure time I was envisioning for Meghan and Ash after leaving Nevernever – maybe they attend high school together and maybe they can have a normal relationship now – they’re shoved directly into action since the new Iron King wants Meghan captured and brought to him so that he can kill her. I should have known there wouldn’t be a reprieve for them (at least not right away).
I grew to like Meghan again because she actually matured somewhat. She began making a few reasonable decisions, based on more than her own outlook and feelings, which I applauded. It wasn’t all the time, but it was enough for me, after reading what seemed like endless whining thoughts about every little thing in the previous book.
I also grew to like the idea of Meghan and Ash together again, after writing Ash off as an arrogant jerk from the push-pull games he put Meghan through in The Iron Daughter. He needs to be away from the Winter Court always because the guy he becomes there isn’t worth knowing. It’s when he’s himself that we can see why Meghan likes him so much.
On the flip side, Puck made me roll my eyes a couple times from his snippy remarks regarding Meghan and Ash. It became a bit childish, but really, it’s Puck. He’s always been a bit childish, from the moment we met him in The Iron King. So it didn’t bug me that much and he kind of got over it somewhere toward the end, which was nice to see.
And the ending! Oh, boy. I sort of guessed at the outcome, as I’m sure everyone has done from the title alone, but the way it all worked out was a bit of a surprise. I honestly didn’t think Meghan had it in her. But it makes me VERY excited and anxious to read The Iron Knight, which will be Ash’s story, coming out in November.
Overall, the story still followed the traditional climatic plot sequence as the group of bandits move from one obstacle to another until the tension is built up and the final outcome is revealed, but it’s enjoyable and somewhat suspenseful. I might be the only one, but certain portions of the story made me think of Harry Potter, Labyrinth, Star Wars and Howl’s Moving Castle, which only made it better since I love all of them.
If you haven’t read this series and like the fantasy stories about faeries, sort of in the same category as the Wicked Lovely series by Melissa Marr, then I recommend you read them.
If you have read this series, let me know what you think of it in the comments section! And let’s all pray that November comes quickly because I really want to read Ash’s story!