Saturday, June 4, 2011

Book Review: The Iron Queen by Julie Kagawa

The Iron Queen by Julie Kagawa
Release Date: January 25, 2011
Publisher: Harlequin Teen 

Pages: 358
Received: Library, Won an ARC from Miss Remmers’ Review
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars 
Goodreads Page

I tried NOT to give any major spoilers for the first two books


From Goodreads (highlight to read--SPOILERS for previous books!):

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.



Oh my freaking gosh. I had so much fun reading this book! Everything I loved about the first two books was here, but better. Everything I didn’t like about the previous two books was gone. Finally, finally Julie Kagawa gave me the story I was waiting for. All of my time spent on the first two books was totally worth it just to get to TIQ.

I love you people

All of the qualms I had about the characters just melted away in this book. I always felt like Julie was holding out on me and, as a character girl, I had to detract some stars from the previous books because I just never really felt the characters. Now I feel them. Now I love them. Major characters, minor characters, I am 100% sold. The characters have made the jump from people in a book to people in my heart that I will remember in years to come.

I was so not Team Ash for the first two books, but from page one of TIQ I was mentally printing up my Team Ash T-shirts. And not just any T-shirts, but really girly swoony T-shirts with hearts and sparkles and embarrassing phrases like “Meghan and Ash 4EVA!” You know, everything that would make Ash barf.
Apparently my shirt comes with gigantic shoulder pads

I totally get where Meghan is coming from now. TIQ-Ash struck that perfect balance of sensitive and caring, but never weak or weenie-boy. He was still sexy, capable, and masculine, but he wasn’t a cold fairy with a pole up his butt anymore. His banter with Puck was equally great, hitting that mark of “brothers in arms” that I so love to read about (and watch--Dean and Sam, anyone?)

My other hang up with the earlier books, especially The Iron Daughter, was Meghan’s suckage. She was ok in the first book, but by the second book I thought she became a total Too Stupid To Live character. She must have gotten some sense knocked into her somehow though, because by the third book she had made a complete 180 and became so incredibly kick ass. In the second book I so wouldn’t have let her sit at my lunch table, but I’d totally wear friendship bracelets with The Iron Queen Meghan. She was made of win!

Meghan just kept pulling out the awesome. You know how a book will set up a scene and you think about what the character should do, but you don’t really expect it to happen because, well, the character in question just isn’t that awesome? MEGHAN DID IT! Every time. Gone was the weak-will, wacky priorities, moping and pathetic Meghan of The Iron Daughter. This Meghan knew how to take charge, make tough choices, and do what needed to be done. Armed with a steel sword, Meghan spends most of the book wearing dragon skin armor, and she needs it because this Meghan doesn’t run from a fight.

Action! Battles! Questing!

Oh the fights! I was swooning like crazy over those battles. Um, maybe I should rephrase that. Remember the discussion post about book features that make me say YES PLEASE? Another feature that makes me automatically fall in love with a book is the prospect of battles. I loooove battles. The tension, the peril, the hot guys with swords! Ah, battles. Julie Kagawa combined battles and questing and I practically died from happiness.

Not only did Puck and Ash look completely sexy as they fought on the fairy frontlines, and then fought their way into the Iron kingdom, and then out again, and then back on the front lines again (look at all the battles and questing!!), but Meghan totally rocked, too. She didn't sit back and let the boys protect her. She was IN IT. I almost wish I read this book on some sort of e-reader because I think my white-knuckled death grip of OMGTHISISAWESOME!!! might have bent the book up a little.

Julie Kagawa keep me at the edge of my seat while also continuing to entertain me with her inventive take on fairies and the Iron fey. Her world building is so engrossing. I have such a crystal clear picture of what everything and everyone looks like (except, I'm sorry, but my Meghan has black hair. Why? I don't know). The more Meghan and crew journeyed into the Iron kingdom, the more unique creatures we met and the more enthralled I became. There are a bunch of new characters that, along with the old characters (Go Grimalkin!), made such a mind-blowingly awesome cast to read.

Tears of joy, sadness...and impatience

And then the end. Oh my gosh, the end! AAaah, I won’t spoil anything, but that ending was just, wow. I loved it. I wasn’t expecting it at all, but I am so totally happy with it! As soon as I finished reading I immediately signed into Goodreads to check when The Iron Knight will be coming out. If Goodreads was a person, I’d be gripping Goodreads by the collar and shaking them screaming, “WHAT DO YOU MEAN I HAVE TO WAIT UNTIL NOVEMBER!?!”

And, ok, in the world of sequels, November 2011 really isn’t that long to wait, but it feels like an eternity because I need that book in my life NOW. Prior to reading The Iron Queen my thoughts on TIK were pretty much, “Meh, Ash’s story?” But it’s going to be so much more than Ash’s story. It’s going to be awesome. And if Julie Kagawa keeps this up, it will be epic.

Explanation of rating system: Star Rating Key 

Series Info:

The Iron Queen (#3)


  1. Glad to hear you enjoyed it so much! I also loved the ending. I thought it was very creative!

    P.S. Love your drawing. It made me crack up!

  2. !!!!!!! Your review makes me want to start a re-read of this series ASAP. Meghan surprised me, too, with the growth she went through in the course of the three books. She was a serious badass in TIQ.

    Glad to have you on the Ash train! ;)

  3. So glad you liked the series! It get even better as you conintue!

  4. This series sounds so amazing. I wish I had time to get to it. The first three and the two free ebooks are all here waiting for me!
    Great review Small. I kinda really got the idea that this books is a little awesome :-P

  5. I do like the shoulderpads look on you :D

    I think I'm one of the few that haven't read this series. I'm not much into fairies.
    but I do love reading your reviews

  6. I'm getting read to start Winter's Passage, but I have The Iron Daughter too!

  7. Don't you love it when a book series improves with every book? Sure, it's also good when all the books are equally as good, but I love seeing them get better and better. Complete with better characterization and more action, just like you said.

    And I've never even read this series and I want to own a shirt just like that! Shoulder pads and all, please.

  8. Great review - you made me excited and wanting to go out and get these books. Thank you for sharing.

  9. I loved everything about this book except the ending. There were too many things in it that didn't make sense. I did not understand why Ash just couldn't get another necklace!!! Sorry but I so wanted them to be together.
    Book 2 is my favorite in this series.

  10. Oooo can you send me one of those T-shirts? Please.... :)
    Gosh, Ash sounds dreamy and I haven't even read the series! I am so happy to hear you loved the book, doesn't it just make your day when you add that certain book to your special shelf? Thanks for the awesome review and sharing the love of the book!

  11. Love the Too Stupid to Live idea...although I thought she was TSTL in Book 1, but okay in Book 2 and great in Book 3. Love your drawing!

  12. I didn't read the review just in case I do decide to read the series. I am addicted to series' though so I might get around to this one. LOL at your drawing!

  13. Ohh, l am so excited to be reading this series. Just started The Iron King today! =)

  14. Natalie, I loved the ending too. I didn’t see it coming at all and it was just so…perfect. Glad you liked my drawing :)

    Stephanie, She was totally badass in TIQ! I loved her turnaround. I was seriously ready to give up on her, and then she pulled out all the awesome! I’m so on the Ash train now. Never thought it would happen, but oh wow, I’m 100% now.

    Savannah, I agree! I have major high hopes for the fourth book now.

    The Slowest Bookworm, I wasn’t sure if I was being too subtle with my enthusiasm, so I’m glad to hear it came through clearly :P You so need to read it. I wasn’t thrilled with the first two, but this third one made it all worthwhile for me.

    Alex, Thank you :) I’ve been thinking about trying to bring back shoulder pads :P I don’t usually like fairies either.

    Bookish Brunette, Yay! I didn’t love The Iron Daughter, but it’s necessary to get to TIQ

    Aylee, Oh yes. I love watching them get better and better, though with this one I actually liked the first book, really didn’t like the second, and then loved the third. I’ll print you up a shirt :P The real life version has lots of glitter, too.

    Denise, Thanks! I hope you enjoy them. :)

    Tahlianewland, Aw, I did like the ending a lot. But I have to agree with you about the necklace. I kept wondering the same thing. I want them to be together too, but I just assume they’ll be reunited in the fourth book (they’d better be!)

    Lulu, Sure thing! One t-shirt on its way :) I loved Ash in this book. I totally didn’t get the Ash love in the first two books, but he’s awesome in the third book. I do love adding books to my Special Shelf.

    Alison, LOL, well it seems like either way Meghan goes from TSTL to AWESOME! It was a funny transformation, but I hope it holds through the fourth book. Glad you liked my artwork :P

    Lah, I tried to keep it spoiler-free, but little things like a character mentioned kinda tips you off that they don’t die :P Glad you like my drawing!

    Books for Company, I hope you like it! The third book is leaps and bounds better than the previous two, so just keep that in mind :)

  15. My goal is to get through this series over the summer. Now I know I have to get done at least by November!

  16. Logan, Yes! I hope you love it as much as I do. I'm also being a little selfish here because I want to read your reviews and see how your thoughts compare to mine. :)

  17. haha, it's official, the book is being read right after the one I'm in right now. You're review had me laughing out loud and now I am MAJORLY looking forward to this read. The 'if only megan was a stronger character' being gone and Ash being even better SO sells me on this! *does a happy dance*

    I'll let you know when I finish!


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