Saturday, March 26, 2011

Book Review: The Iron Daughter by Julie Kagawa

The Iron Daughter by Julie Kagawa
Release Date: July 27, 2010
Publisher: Harlequin Teen

Pages: 359
Received: Library 
Series: Book 2
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars


From Goodreads (highlight to read): 

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.


Here and back again

I actually did enjoy The Iron King, even though I don’t usually like fairy books. Julie Kagawa changed my world when it comes to fairies. Given that good experience, I was looking forward to really enjoying this one. I was even more excited because I’d heard most reviewers say that this one was even better than the first.

But I’m so not one of those reviewers. I didn’t love this book or even like it as much as the first. The first book was a steady, fast-paced action/adventure with a romance in the background. This book moves in fits and starts with a slow beginning, romance in the foreground, and some really great action in the background. The action parts are what I prefer, so I was disappointed that they took backseat to the (irritating) romance.

Meghan and Ash sitting in a tree K-I-S-S-I-N-G

I still love Grimalkin. Only this time I almost wished he would totally screw over Meghan because she was really starting to bother me. I gave her the benefit of the doubt in the first book. She’s new to this world, she’s young, and she’s learning how to cope with all this fairy stuff. Ok. But now? Now she’s run out of excuses.  

The first 100 pages Meghan is taken over by the spirit of Bella Swan during the time when Edward made it very clear he wanted nothing to do with her and she responded by stalking him, fawning, and crying. A lot. Ash is a jerk to Meghan and she just keeps crying over his jerky snubs and telling him she loves him. I was embarrassed for Meghan. I even cringed.

I found this whole part to be very boring and I had a hard time getting into the book. I can see why I like Ash. He’s hot, he’s a skilled fighter, he has a tragic history, and he looks hot when he fights. Sounds pretty good to me. Added bonus, he’s not a jerk to me. But why does Meghan love him so much? He hasn’t been particularly nice to her, he helped her under compulsion, and he made it pretty clear to her that he’s not on her side. On top of all that, he’s still carrying a flaming hot torch for his former woman. Oh baby, oh baby. What more could you want in a lover? Meghan lost major respect points from me.

Excuse me while I fangirl

In the first book I liked Puck, but this second book made me solidly Team Puck. I had mentioned in my review for the first book that I thought he was more of a sidekick character. He comes more into his own in this book, though still not as much as I’d like. I’m hoping book three gives him a little more depth and page time. He’s so close to being amazing, but he isn’t quite “alive” yet for me.

But still, compared to Ice Boy, Puck is a pretty sweet choice. He’s been Meghan’s best friend for years, so she actually, you know, knows him. He’s proved himself to be loyal, too. Where Ash refused to go against his queen, Puck pretty much told Oberon to shove it and helped Meghan even though he was risking punishment from the Big Bad Summer King. He’s funny, nice, and a pretty impressive fighter himself. Plus, he’s hot too. So Meghan gets a big “You’re an idiot” from this Team Puck girl.

Back to the review

You want to know about the book though, right? My crushes don’t do it for you? Fair enough. When Meghan isn’t swooning over Ash, the plot of The Iron Daughter is just as interesting as The Iron King. There are a number of action scenes that are a ton of fun. I was speeding through these parts. The story of the Iron kingdom became a lot more interesting and the impending war hanging over their heads was tense and exciting. The climax of this book was also a lot more hard-hitting than the climax of The Iron King.

Except, we go to prom. Uh huh, you read that right. Meghan finally stops moping and the action finally picks up and I’m all “I’m so into this!!” and then we break for prom. Yep.

Oh yeah, and right before this whole prom digression Meghan loses major cool points from me.


Her dearheart Ash is saved by Meghan’s awesomeness, but he’s gravely wounded. Instead of rushing to his side and whisking him off to a healer, she….checks out her bedroom? Apparently mom replacing her furniture is a bit more pressing than saving the life of her one and only. Puck’s all like, “Um, hello, Princess? The guy you’re ditching me for even though I love you and am so much better for you than him is bleeding out in your living room. Could you maybe check out your bedspread later?” And she’s all, “But I want to make sure mom didn’t mess with my anime posters.” What??

When prom ends, the action picks up again and everything is pretty much made of awesome for the rest of the book. I gave The Iron King a half star more than this book, but if I could have hacked out a bunch of scenes and dropped Meghan’s annoying stuff I would have given the book four stars. So much potential, though readers who don’t mind prominent romance (especially of the Ash hating on Meghan variety) shouldn’t have any problems with The Iron Daughter
Of endings and sequels
This is the second book in the series and you really have to read the first book (The Iron King) to make sense of this book. Like the first book, I thought The Iron Daughter ended really well and felt like a satisfying, complete ending. I still want to read more about the characters, but there are no big annoying cliffhangers or anything like that here.
The first book was good, but it did read like a debut in a lot of ways. This second book shows marked improvement in her writing and characterization. Her world building is still phenomenal. I will be reading The Iron Queen, book three in the Iron Fey series*
*I’ve since read the third book and OMGAAHH!!! *happy dance*


  1. I kind of skimmed this one and really don't remember much plot-wise from it, but I totally agree with you about Meghan and Ash...frankly I'm not too sure what she sees in him, he just seemed so cold and distancing to me (and kind of moody too). Puck is so much more fun! But I haven't read the 3rd one and given your reaction I am now kind of hopeful... :D

  2. I still have only read The Iron King and thought it was okay. I didn't get the Ash love as Puck seemed clearly superior-looks like this book won't change that but I'll keep an eye out for your review of the third, which maybe changes things.

  3. Thanks for the review. I have the first one as one of my TBR books, but I'll be interested to hear if the series picks up or not. I really liked the covers for this set and the first book was good from what I read of it so far, but I hate wasting my time on less-than-stellar books, so I am going to wait and hear more about the third before purchasing the second now.

    -Sandra from

  4. When I'm glad you enjoyed the last book LOL. It's a shame this one didn't really cut it for you. I'm more of an action than romance girl too so I wonder what I'll think of it?

  5. Hopping through. I see your point about the problems with this book. I think I liked it more because Meghan wasn't as annoying as she was in the first book. I'm definitely Team Ash. It seems to be de rigueur that the love interest is mean and distant in the middle book of a trilogy.

  6. Okay, so I just read this series a few weeks ago (and I totally wrote reviews for them but I have yet to post them, no idea why...?). Everyone seems to have really loved this series, but I just find it to be so-so (so I am glad to see that we both have similar thoughts on this book and I am not just being uber-critical). I will say that I thought I enjoyed this book more than the Iron King, but having read your review I can agree that there is some totally ridiculous stuff going on, like the whole prom thing... Can't wait to see what you think of The Iron Queen!

  7. Danya, I agree. I was completely confused as to why Meghan would even want to be friends with Ash let along pine away for him. The third book was a total game changer for me though.

    Bookworm1858, The third changed everything for me. Everything I liked about the first two books was there and everything I didn’t like was gone.

    Sakura Sandra, I hate wasting my time on less than stellar books too, but for me, the third book made all the annoying things of book 1 and 2 worth reading through just to get to the third.

    The Slowest Bookworm, Eh, you’ll probably be bored with the first part like I was then. It’s not even romance. It’s one sided moping about romance. The rest does have some good action scenes, but it also has some slower parts. In the third book though? Meghan wears body armor almost the whole book and she needs it! Lots of action!

    Alison, Haha, I thought Meghan was way more annoying in this book than she was in the first! She just seemed to have her priorities all out of whack, but then again, I wasn’t Team Ash. :)

    Avery, My first introduction to this series was a one star review, so you’re definitely not alone out there! You can see in the Review Comparison I did for The Iron King that you’re also not alone :) Yes! What was with the prom thing?? So random. I have to say I loved the third book.

  8. I have the first book on my e-reader but I haven't read it yet. I'm not a huge fan of fairy books, but you're not either and you liked the first book in this series, so I might just check it! :)

  9. Leanna, usually fairy books seem kind of stuffy to me with not much actually happening. These books have lots of action, more dynamic characters, and a unique twist with the Iron fey. Overall, I'm glad I read the series and I'll probably even buy it. They're not perfect, but between book three, Grimalkin, and the action I'm in love. :)

  10. I'm reading the first one now, and yeah, I am totally mystified by Meghan's attraction to Ash. He's straight-up creeptastic, esp. the way he nearly simultaneously threatens to kill her/has an almost-kiss moment -- totally Edward style, except even colder.

  11. Madigan, LOL! Yes! Ash was creepy weird. Hot for sure when reading about him, but what is Meghan's deal?? Just wait until you read the second book. It makes his actions in the first book seem downright cuddly.

  12. I totally thought Meghan was super "whiny" during book 2, but book 3 washed away any doubts of her I ever had :)

  13. The Lovely Getaway, Agree completely! She became so awesome in the third book!


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