18 February 2011

The Iron Queen; Julie Kagawa

The Iron Queen (Iron Fey, #3)The Iron Queen by Julie Kagawa
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Not having read the first two books, I found it relatively easy to pick up the narrative threads in the third Iron Fey book. The problem was that those threads were all too familiar.

A Seelie and Unseelie Court, a Winter Prince, a main character named Ash - sound familiar? Of course Oberon, Titania, Mab and Puck/Robin Goodfellow predate all the paranormal romance books, so I'll give that a pass. And then there was DobbyRazor...

Reading this, I felt sorry for Meghan. Her stomach and hands were continually clenching, her heart seemed to pound or stop, and her eyes narrowed far too often. In other words, the poor girl never had a calm or what felt like a real moment throughout the book: everything was heightened and suspense-filled. It seems to me that if the action doesn't convey that in and of itself, using those words regarding characters reactions to the action should be sparing, as otherwise it just becomes one nervous tic on their parts. Not every conversation needs to be Very Important.

Overall impression is that this series is great for those who absolutely must have yet another paranormal romance, but for people looking for something new in that vein it's not necessary.

ARC provided by publisher.

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  1. I've read all three. They're not great works of literature, they're flawed, and I probably wouldn't have recommended them to you. But I think that by reviewing this series after having only read the third book, you're doing this series a disservice.

    A lot of things happened in the first two books that add weight to the events in the third. Not every conversation needs to be Very Important, but a lot of them are probably more important than you're aware of. Assuming that you've read the first two books, it doesn't go into past events in-depth. There's often a significance to something mentioned in passing which might well be lost on the person reading this book as a stand-alone. The characters and their interactions are better understood and more enjoyable, even funny, when read as part of a series.

    I would call this series a guilty pleasure of mine; I really like it. You recently suggested that I read the Wicked Lovely series, and I'm eagerly waiting for the third book now. Because of the subject matter, these series are necessarily similar, and I like them both for different reasons. The Iron Fey series does a better job of showing the darkness of all of the fey than the Wicked Lovely series, and brings in a new and imaginative element with the inclusion of the Iron fey. The Wicked Lovely series is more sensual and has a more adult feel than the Iron Fey. By that I mean that it feels like it's geared towards an older, more mature Young Adult reader than the Iron Fey series is.

    I like Puck better than Keenan (his fey romantic equivalent), and Mab better than Beira. Beira reminded me a lot of Delores Umbridge, albeit more sinister. I give you the Dobby/Razor comparison; I thought something similar. Grimalkin reminds me of the Cheshire Cat. I like Ash (Iron Fey), Puck, Seth, and Niall better than Ash (WL), Meghan, or Keenan; both Meghan and Ash (WL) were equally dense and annoying at times. Leslie/Irial/Niall made for a more complicated love triangle than seen in the other books (either series). WL has more nuanced secondary characters than IF does, and everything is less black and white overall.

    Each has its merits and its flaws. Both of them are destined to go out of print more quickly than HP or Twilight. But in the meantime, I'll continue to like them both. :0)

  2. I've never been able to read a series out of order and I still need to read the second book. I think I remember the first book being a bit melodramatic but I still liked it.

  3. Well, I thought that The Iron Fey series was great, possibly not the best series i've read, but still good :-) I love Meghan and Ash and I think Puck is quite funny, overall a good series.