Hey Blogger Buds,
So today I'm going to review the Iron Queen by Julie Kagawa. I got this book on Saturday, and started it Saturday night (technically Sunday morning) . I finished it Sunday night (technically Monday morning). It was that good. (Remember: All linkage below)
The Iron Queen officially comes out in stores today!
ETA: HERE's my Iron Daughter MM/Review
ETA: If you've already finished IQ, I wrote a fanfic HERE.
ETA: I did a post on the Go Green message in the book HERE.
Contains spoilers from the Iron King and the Iron Daughter (a great series, not worth it to spoil it for yourself!)
In less than twenty-four hours I’ll be seventeen.
Although, technically, I won’t actually be turning seventeen. I’ve been in the Nevernever too long. When you’re in Faery, you don’t age. So while a year has passed in the real world, agewise I’m probably only a few days older than when I went in.
In real life, I’ve changed so much I don’t even recognize myself.
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.
The Iron Queen absolutely blew me away, with a perfect, bittersweet ending to the series. Personally, I felt a bit of a disconnect from what was happening, but that's just because something's wonky with me. A wonderful way to close the trilogy, and I feel a loss in the space in my heart these characters filled.
I have so many scattered thoughts right now, so I'm going to try to be nice and organized. You can skip over the parts you don't want to read, because this can get rambly.
On the Setup: This has no effect on my opinion of the book, because I don't blame the author for the publisher. I don't own a copy of the Iron King, but I do own the Iron Daughter, and one of the first things I noticed was the size. IQ was bigger than ID. I love Harlequin Teen books, because I like what they aim for: YA that's action-packed, but also has some romance. But I think HT could do better. (I'm gonna stick to initials; it's easier.)
I noticed several formatting mistakes, like lack of gaps sometimes. (You know, when there's a new thought in the same chapter, and they put a space?) Well, there wasn't always a space where space was due. And instead of starting page one on, ya know, page one, it started counting from the literal first page. So page one was called page ten. You follow? No? Oh well.
I also love the cover, all raised and bumpy and stuff, but it's so pink. I'm staring at the side of the book right now, where it says the author and title, and my eyes are hurting from how hot pink it is.
And what's up with the adverts? The last page, we have everything tied up nice and neat, I'm still squeeing and moaning, and then there's three stars and you're talking about the Iron Knight.
Once again: This in no way impacts my review and my rating of the book. I'm just mentioning this so HT gets an idea of what I think of their publishing. (I still love ya, HT!)
On the Plotting: It's brilliant. The way everything ties together in a neat little bow. The key. The gremlins. The packrats. The perfection.
On the Characters: I read a blog post a bit ago, where the blogger made an interesting point. She said (paraphrased): "I stay with a stand-alone for the plot. I stay with the series because of the characters." And I though, Soooo true. When I finished this book, there was a gaping whole in my heart where these characters used to be. I was trying to remember the last time I finished a trilogy and missed the characters (more on this in a minute.) So. Characters.
~Meghan has become such a strong characters. Repeatedly, she triple-checks her deals. In the Iron King, she kept on making stupid deals, saying things like "thank you". At this point, "thanks" isn't in her vocabulary anymore (in a good way, not an impolite way). You see her getting smarter in ID, when she gives "a name"--Fred Flinstone, I believe in was.
~Ash was awesome from the beginning, though some people have problems with his angst, which I totally get. I'm sick of angsty male characters too, but Ash no longer has to deal with the Winter Court, and he's finally acting decent, opening up to Meghan, mostly losing the Ice Prince facade that keeps him safe. Remember: the Unseelie prey on weak emotions.
~Puck is so awesome he gets his own topic, below :)
~Grimalkin: I've always hated to love Grim. Most people loved him, and I liked him, though I hated that I like him. Follow? No? Whatever. Grim gets on my nerves, usually, but now I love him, his awesomeness, and his obnoxious help.
On Meghan's Surroundings: I've always hated it when the MC has so much good stuff coming their way, and they're so sad, because they have to lead an army, and they're just forced to choose between two guys and they're the most powerful magic-user ever. I always want to smack them upside the head and tell them to get over it. But not Meghan. She's stuck, and everything she brings upon herself, totally plot-driven. Nothing to hate her for, only to feel bad for her for.
On Her Dreams: They confused me. They've been around since book two, even though I only vaguely remember them. I didn't get what was happening. Was he there? Was she hallucinating? I made a bit of sense out of it on the end.
On a Tastefully Done Part: I don't read every review I come across, but I do when I'm really excited for a book. So I read reviews on IQ, and I kept on reading compliments on a very tastefully done scene in the book. And I felt like because they wrote about it, it was spoiled for me. I kept on expecting it to happen, and that ruined it for me, just because everyone mentioned it in their reviews. It was tastefully done, but I didn't appreciate it like I expected to.
But Puck always had the best lines.
~"I learned long ago that you don't get in the middle of a lover's spat. Nothing ever goes as planned--people fall in love with the wrong person, someone ends up with a donkey head, and then it's a whole big mess." (267)
~"My mad crocheting skills finally came in handy for something." (301)
~"Goodfellow? Robin Goodfellow?"--"Oh, look at that, he's heard of me. My fame grows." (55)
~"Hey, princess." (about every third page)
I'll let you read the rest of his awesomeness yourself. <3 :)
On Special Scenes: There were a few scenes that absolutely blew me away. Of course, anything with Puck in it. And Ash finally says his full name. I think I memorized that whole scene, because of the amazingness. And then a bunch of scenes near the end. Some things were absolutely incredible.
On Howl's Moving Castle: You read that right. There's something in the book which completely reminds me of Howl's Moving Castle. Utterly. It's awesome.
On the Iron Knight: One word: WANT.
On Finishing the Book: I know many people cried while reading the ending, and it was incredible, but throughout a large portion of the book I felt a strange disconnect from the characters. I don't know why, but I didn't feel like I was there. Something personal, not Julie's fault at all. I didn't cry, but believe me, that was a tear-jerker. It was such an amazing, bittersweet, hopeful ending, and I'm tearing up now writing this. I think the ending ratcheted the rating up at least three stars.
On Finishing the Series: When I finished the book, I was sad to leave behind these lovelies. And I tried to remember the last time I felt like this, if ever. As a kid, I read those super-long series; like the Boxcar Children and the Phantom Stallion, but I never finished them. So I went looking at my goodreads for series I've recently finished. Hunger Games was the first I found, and I haven't been reading the books long enough to get attached, I suppose. I didn't feel any special connection to them. Incarceron was another, but I never expected Sapphique, so that was easier. After the first six Warriors (Erin Hunter) books, there was another arc. (Of course I'll be sad when Warriors finishes, though.) So I finished a series. And I'm sad. It's been a long road.
Trailer for trilogy:
Linkage: BookDepository Barnes&Noble Amazon Borders Goodreads AuthorSite AuthorBlog
I think that was my longest review ever. Phew.
Rating: 8 out of 5 stars. Incredible. Totally recommend.
Current Mood: Sad about saying goodbye to the Iron Fey, except for Iron Knight
Current Music: Official Summer Court playlist