Monday, August 16, 2010

The Iron Daughter - Julie Kagawa

Title: The Iron Daughter (Book 2 in The Iron Fey series)
Author: Julie Kagawa
Publisher: Harlequin Teen, 2010 (Paperback)
Length: 359 pages
Genre: Young Adult; Fantasy
Started: August 15, 2010
Finished: August 16, 2010

From the author's website:
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.

I liked The Iron King when I read it back in April, I had some issues with the pacing, but I did like it. In early summer, the author also released the free novella, Winter's Passage, that chronicles Meghan and Ash's return to the Winter Court. If you didn't get your hands on Winter's Passage, don't worry, The Iron Daughter recaps a few main ideas in the beginning, so you're not missing anything critical by not reading it. Apparently everyone who's read this second installment loved it more compared to the first...well, I must be weird or something because though it was better in some areas compared to the first, I certainly wasn't overflowing with love for The Iron Daughter.

I'll start with what I liked. Whereas the plot dragged in some areas in The Iron King, The Iron Daughter didn't suffer from that. The plot was constantly changing and evolving, so I had no qualms with that. Plus, the addition of the "in-between" land where they meet Leanansidhe and the musicians and half-breeds was really entertaining. Meghan figuring out how to work the iron glamour was quite clever, and it makes sense that she's not affected by iron the same way the other fey are since she's half human. The secondary characters really make this book: Grim, Puck, Leanansidhe, Ironhorse, etc. steal the show and really make up for what the main characters lack, mainly Meghan and Ash.

I honestly don't get what Meghan sees in Ash. I understand why he's broody and everything, he has a good reason, but he's just soooo emo and compared to Puck, he falls flat half the time. Puck is funny, charming, determined, protective; Meghan is ten kinds of dumb for wanting his royal iciness when Puck is practically throwing himself at her. Also, Meghan turned from a relatively decent heroine into a whiny love-starved moron at some points. She gets so depressed when Ash ignores her at the Winter Court even when he TOLD HER exactly why he had to do it, I wanted to smack her upside the head. Later on Meghan gets better in terms of being less smack worthy, but she still goes on about Ash even though he essentially told her that he has to kill her and can't be with her (regular Romeo and Juliet situation etc.). I don't know if the author just didn't do enough romantic development for Meghan and Ash, but I went through the whole book thinking she went with the wrong guy, which is probably why I didn't feel the love for this installment like all the Ash fangirls out there probably did.

If you liked The Iron King and are on "Team Ash", then you'll probably have all kinds of squeeful love for The Iron Daughter. I still enjoyed it as much as the first one despite my issues with the romance. The final book, The Iron Queen, is out in February 2011, and I will be checking it out to see how things end.

Thoughts on the cover:
I like it, very ethereal and floaty and such. I think zooming out a bit on Meghan's face here would've been nice, but altogether very well done (I like the purple colour scheme).

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