The Iron Daughter (Iron Fey #2) by Julie Kagawa

2010 - Young Adult Reading Challenge #9

The Iron King was a book that came way out of left field and took me off guard. I'm a recent fan of Young Adult books, especially of the speculative variety, and being a fan of practically anything fae related I was quick to jump on the book. Julie Kagawa's intro into the world of the Iron Fey was addictive and after finishing the first, I couldn't wait to dive back into the world to see what the cast of characters was up to in their next adventure. 

Full review after the cut...

Just like I hoped, The Iron Daughter turned out to be another wonderful visit with a couple of old friends. While reading this, I would always promise myself just to read a chapter or so before bedtime. I never kept up that promise because I would always get sucked into an obstacle that seemed like all hope was lost or a threat of losing one of the characters. Ms. Kagawa has a way of keeping the pace going while putting her characters through the hardest of times and making them suffer. My hats off to authors who can do this because it adds a real sense of danger and keeps me flipping pages.

Although the first book didn't lead itself to a love triangle, quickly becoming a new go-to trope in YA fantasy these days, this book fully explores it. Although I'm biased and already have a favorite of the two, I wish the story would have focused on said character and Meghan's developing relationship as they work through trying to be together despite coming from different worlds. In the end, there was enough to satisfy this wish and even the ending was more than I could every hope for. (Thank you, Ms. Kagawa for that ending.) Looking back, I can definitely see shades of A Midsummer Night's Dream in how the setup between the three is presented.

This story picks up right were The Iron King left off and there are some awesome revelations that come to a head in continuation of the groundwork that was set in the first book. We get to know more about the fae courts and how they work, there are characters who are introduced and there's an interesting twist in the revelation of what memory Meghan lost to the Oracle in the previous book. I was hoping we'd find out eventually and I was excited to see how it ties into the story here. There's also an interesting twist to the mean girls situation that Meghan faced in the first book which is paralleled in the Fae world. I'm hoping we see another visitation of that situation with a stronger and wiser Meghan the second time around especially after the school events in this book.

I was sad to some characters go after I had grown attached to them and I commend Ms. Kagawa for creating great characters to incite such feeling from this reader; all the while putting them in mortal danger at each turn. The story lulls a bit in the middle during a making up sequence but quickly picks up toward the end to bring another obstacle in the fray. There's also a new array of awesome characters including a zombie corporate clone army in an office space setting, a viral fae and a cheery fae with a royal disposition and a fondness for pet names. I love the voices that come from these characters and being a big fan of audio books (which is how I fell in love with the first book in the series) and I can't wait to hear the narrator bring her and the other characters to life.

Fans of Fae political intrigue, adventure and fantasy YA works will love this series. You can tell Ms. Kagawa is inspired by a lot of different classic fantasy literature from Shakespeare and Lewis Carroll but she clearly makes these characters and situations her own within this world. What I love about each of these books is that they have clear endings. Each book has it's own set of problems and a main conflict which is solved by the end but is left open enough for more stories within the world. The Iron Daughter is no different in that we end on a wonderful note with Meghan completing her missions and also leaving it open enough for another story to see what happens due to the consequences of their decisions. I loved it. I highly recommend this series and this book which is also going on my fave 2010 best reads list. 

FTC Advisory: This review is based on a galley received by NetGalley courtesy of the publisher.


Glamorous Newlywed said...

Can't wait to read it, thanks for the review!

Rae Lori said...

My pleasure! :-)

Pixie said...

Personally, I LOVED both the Iron King and the Iron Daughter - but the end of the Iron Daughter depressed me to no end. *teensy spoiler so please don't read further if not read yet* I mean yes they end up together but at what cost? She can act as though she didn't give two squats about faery but she had to for some extent. Not to mention that she and Puck had been BEST friends for so long and she basically walked out on him. I love love love Ash but I really thought that somehow she would have stepped in and told him he couldn't be banished just for her, then in book 3 it would somehow end up okay for them. Or something to that nature... I'm hoping in the last book it's a little more sunshine and roses or I'm seriously going to be even more depressive! I'm hoping they are accepted back into fae in some way shape or form! Geez! - Please don't think I'm complaining about the story I do absolutely love it and am dying for book 3 - just being generally whiney I guess that the ending left me with a gaping hole.

Rae Lori said...

Hey Pixie!

Thanks for stopping by AWD. :-)

I agree, both books were awesome and Iron Daughter was pretty dark. I'm pretty sure the rival between Ash and Puck and how Meghan feels about them both will have a nice conclusion. A lot was left up in the air even though some things were completed in ID. The last looks like it will be an epic battle for faerie and I'm pretty sure things will come to a head. I'm looking forward to it and the prequel which will look to be Ash's story before The Iron King began.