The Iron Queen by Julie Kagawa (Spoiler Alert)

The Iron Queen (Harlequin Teen)TOP SHELF RATING

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.

Ok, I want to start out by saying-I’ve read a few other reviews of this book.  Some good, some not so good. The cons others state is that this book seems forced as if Julie was just writing it to make more money, not actually contributing to the series.  Well, I totally disagree with this take on the book.  The Iron Queen is an adventure that takes Meghan through intense challenges that she never believed could possibly happen to her.

At the end of The Iron Daughter, Ash declares his love for Meghan and causes them both to be banished from the Nevernever due to Summer and Winter cannot be in love with one another, making them traitor against their courts.  They are both positive minded about the banishment, planning their future, traveling to Louisiana to Meghan’s family.  That’s when they are attacked by the iron Fey.  They both thought the fight with the iron Fey was over but not as long as the False (Iron) king is still alive.

Mab and Oberon declare a temporary alliance between the Unseelie and Seelie courts, allowing Meghan and Ash back to fight the Iron fey.  Majority of the story, Meghan and her unusual friends spend their time in the Iron realm.  Meghan forms an alliance with Glitch, the leader of the Iron Fey who stayed true to the “real” Iron realm, fighting against the false King and his followers.

I enjoyed almost every bit of this story.  Puck was his usual quirky, mischievous self.  Grimalkin, the witty & (sometimes) annoying talking cat takes his part pretty serious.  The growth of both Meghan and Ash in this book is astounding.  At first, Meghan is weak and sickly due to the opposing powers within her-Iron & Summer.  But as the story progresses, she learns how to deal with it and becomes more powerful than even she could have dreamed.  Ash-what can I say, if only there were more Ash’s in the world.  Or should I say, if there were only real Ash’s in the world.  In this book, Ash becomes Meghans’ true knight-in-shining-armor.  I love the loyalty he bestows on her.  Everything about him in this book makes me fall more and more in love with him.

My only complaint-The ending was heart wrenching.  Of course, I’m sure that was the goal for Julie but really, why did it have to end on that note?  I’m not going to give away the ending, all I can say is grab a few tissues when you read it.

Definitely a must read.  Look for my next review on the final book in this series, The Iron Knight.