Paranormal Young Adult
Received from publisher
Meghan Chase's life couldn't be more different from the way it was a year ago. Then she was just an almost sixteen year-old girl wanting desperately to escape the swamp she lived in with her family and have access to the little technological comforts like a cell phone. Now, she's the daughter of a faery king, the girlfriend of an exiled faery prince, and perhaps the only one that can save Faery from the toxic expansion of the iron kingdom and its false monarch.
Not only does she have the fate of an entire realm weighing her down, but she also is struggling with the aftermath of her romantic decision to leave Faery with Prince Ash, leaving best friend Puck behind with memories of a kiss that will never be repeated.
Never one to miss out on the action though, Puck returns in grand style to help Meghan and Ash formulate a plan to destroy the false king and those who follow him. New and old friends join the fight, but with every war there are casualties, and as her friends and allies begin to fall around her, Meghan realizes the power to stop the false king lies not in the battle, but with her alone.
The Iron Queen is a story rich with eye-widening and jaw-dropping creativity, one that invites us to participate in its world as it shows us how to not simply be a stationary observer to the action, but to stretch the limits of our imaginations and fall through the pages to encounter the events from all sides and from multiple dimensions. This book seems to alter in appearance while reading, the black and white words slipping away as vibrant pictures take their place, telling their story in unparalleled detail and with undeniable skill as we watch the story unfold with rapt fascination. The fey in Ms. Kagawa's world are not merely characters, they are our own personal actors, drawing us into the action as they seem to speak only to us individually, knowing just what will elicit the greatest emotional response from us and delivering it with a flawless efficiency. The reading of this tale is more than a mere illusory journey from which we get up and walk away upon conclusion, it is an epic voyage we experience with all the senses we possess.
Meghan has come a long way since stumbling into Faery in search of her little brother. No longer content to rely on Ash or Puck for protection, she takes up arms and fights her own battles, shedding the limitations of being a half blood, shattering the illusion that a woman must always be protected from harm, and finally embracing the reality that the home she was born into may not actually be the world for which she is destined. The barrage of uncertainty previously assaulting her–questions as to whether she is more Summer or Iron fae, confusion as to her feelings for both Ash and Puck, and a helplessness with regard to saving the Nevernever–is stripped away and the Meghan we've known has been there all along makes a memorable appearance.
Ash is truly something to behold in this story, the personal glamour–his air of frigid indifference and detached calm–fading to nothingness as a result of the strength of his feelings for Meghan. We get the opportunity to see not just the resplendent prince, but also the man beneath the title long since buried in layers of ice and consumed previously by the frigid chill of a soulless Winter royal. He bares himself to our waiting gaze, exposing the man who's given his heart away once and paid dearly for the gesture, and who fears the undefinable girl currently in possession of it might also slip from his grasp. Where we cared for him before despite the frostbite we repeatedly received for our efforts, we can't help but love, appreciate, and respect the man standing before us in this tale, emotionally bare, unerringly dedicated, and poignantly sincere.
Just when we think our passionate attachment to these spectacular figments of the author's imagination can get no stronger and our relationship no deeper, Ms. Kagawa deftly plays the strings of our hearts like the finest of harps in the final pages. She skillfully conducts an emotional symphony, culminating in a single harmonious note so powerful it sends all our feelings of sorrow, joy and hope rippling through us until our entire bodies hum with the force of the reverberation, and we read the last few pages utterly spent and shaking from the aftershocks of what we've experienced. Ms. Kagawa is a master storyteller, a true visionary, and a woman to whom I will always be grateful for creating a world I enjoy so immensely.
Thanks to the wonderful people at Big Honcho Media and Harlequin Teen,
I have a copy of The Iron Queen to give away along with a very cool coordinating t-shirt! This contest is open to US and Canadian residents only and will run through midnight EST on Tuesday, February 1st. To enter, just leave a comment on this review with a valid email address and one winner will be chosen by Random.org next week. Good luck everyone!
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