Title: The Iron Daughter
Author: Julie Kagawa
No. of Pages: 304
First Released: August 1, 2010
Synopsis (Courtesy of Powell’s Books): “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.”
Comments and Critique: Walt Disney has done a disservice to faeries everywhere. Through his movies, he has made them out to be helpful, fun-loving creatures. Whenever I read a novel involving fae, I constantly have to remember that these are not the Disney fairies but are something completely different. The Iron Daughter does an excellent job of reminding me just how dangerous, how volatile they truly are.
The Iron Daughter picks up where The Iron King and Winter’s Passage end. However, as someone who has read neither of those, The Iron Daughter does a decent job of standing on its own merits. While there are obviously some relationships and story lines that I completely missed, I was able to pick up enough of the key points to help me stay engaged in the story. Billed as a young adult fantasy/romance, I get the distinct impression that it is a tad more adult than other similar fare. The danger is more viable, more realistic than other YA fantasy/romance novels. Not only are the Unseelie dangerous, but Meghan’s own Seelie are just as dangerous. This all combines to create tension and an undercurrent of danger that never dissipates. It is unsettling to the reader and yet very compelling.
The heart of the story revolves around Meghan, Ash, and Puck. Meghan is not your typical teen heroine. Rather, she is strong, confident, relatively fearless with a strong moral compass. She knows her own mind and is not afraid to make the tough decisions necessary for survival. Puck, to me, is the goofy best friend, a la Sixteen Candles, while Ash is dangerous but oh-so sexy. Puck is completely selfless and ready to do anything for Meghan, while Ash is definitely bound by his position. However, I do not get the same connection, the same magnetism between Puck and Meghan as I do between Ash and Meghan. To me, I do not doubt Ash’s love for Meghan. It is all-encompassing, all-consuming. I do not get the same love vibe from Puck. I suspect that I would feel otherwise had I read The Iron King.
The Iron fey are obviously not a problem that are going to go away in one or two books. Ms. Kagawa does a tremendous job of hinting at certain mysteries to be resolved, the promise of which heightens the anticipation of the third novel in the series. She also leaves the story with an amazing cliffhanger, making the time between this release date and the next one seem interminable.
Overall, I was highly impressed with The Iron Daughter and am now firmly in the Team Ash camp. Fans of The Iron King will obviously enjoy the tension between Ash, Puck and Meghan. Even those, like me, who failed to read the first book will enjoy the foray into Fae. The details, descriptions and unease generated by the tension makes for a fascinating place to visit!
Thank you to NetGalley for my free e-reader copy!