Target Audience: Teens/Young Adults
OMG! I know that is not the usual way to start a review but i don't know how else to start it, because this book was a truly amazing read. It was my day off work yesterday and i haunted two different coffee shops in Canterbury in order to stop and read this throughout the day. I then spent the evening in bed reading this non-stop, it was that good! Anyway, onto the actual story...
The Iron Queen begins where The Iron Daughter left off. Meghan and Ash are in exile following their banishment from King Oberon and Queen Mab and are about to visit Meghan's family when they are attacked by Iron Fey completely out of the blue, and they are forced to go into hiding in order to stay alive long enough to think of a way to stop the Iron Fey. As i knew from the last installment, there is a false king on the Iron throne and the Iron realm is spreading fast, and before long Meghan, Ash, Puck and Grim find themselves in a war that will have devastating affects for everyone.
The plot itself was complex, twisting and took me by surprise at every turn. There was honestly never a dull moment throughout and i found myself turning the pages at super speed in order to find out happens next. I'm going to be honest and say that unlike the previous two books i found myself in tears at two different points in this book and for two different reasons. It is most definitely the sign of a well written emotional book when i start crying and can't stop for a good while, and i most definitely needed the tissues.
I'm not going to post any spoilers because i don't want to spoil any of the plot for anyone so with regards to the content of the novel, all i am going to say is that there were multiple surprises throughout and i was left stunned on several occasions and ultimately shocked by the turn of events.
One particular thing i will share is that there is a lot more learned of Ash's past, the past of the faerie realm in general and of Meghan's 'father', but i am not going to go into detail, so i apologise for those looking for spoilers :-)
There is a lot of character development in this book and Meghan herself perhaps did the most developing which, by the end was needed as she had some very tough choices to make. Honestly, after going through some pretty rough times with Meghan throughout the books, i felt very proud of her by the end of this book. I doubt i could make the difficult choices she had to make, and make the right ones.
It was also interesting to see another side to Ash who surprisingly has a beautiful carefree and softer side when he allows it to show. His feelings for Meghan ultimately spurred him into most of his actions and i loved some of the things he did for her, and the things he was willing to sacrifice for her.
Puck is also another person to show another side of himself in this book, and it was interesting to sometimes see his non-jokey side for a change. His devotion to Meghan, despite the fact she choose Ash over him in the previous novel, is still very strong and incredibly selfless.
Grim also makes his usual timely appearances, and i love his dry wit, i can't help but laugh at Grim's opinions and plans. That Cait Sith is truly a genius and i love the part he plays. Not to mention, there are also moments when he is just a very very cute cat and i love the fact that one minute he's the wise smart-ass Fae and the next he's a fluffy cat looking for attention.
As well as all the older characters, some new ones make an appearance including Razor (who is just adorable and i love him to bits) and Glitch (who grew on me after the first encounter) both of which play pretty important parts when it comes to the ending.
I can't say much more without giving away the plot. I will say that you will be surprised when the false iron king is revealed, i was left stunned, it certainly wasn't something i suspected in any way, and i was even more surprised by what Meghan had to do to fight.
This book is scary, emotional, beautiful, romantic and the most powerful book about sacrifice and difficult choices that i have read in a long time. A truly wonderful read that will leave you longing to read the next in the series; The Iron Knight, just to find out how things unfold, and believe me you will really really want to know what happens next!