Published August 1, 2010.
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. (book back blurb)
THE IRON DAUGHTER is the second book in The Iron Fey series and showcases Meghan toughing it out in the Winter court, trying to maneuver around survival from a bitch queen and, well, freezing to death. I didn’t like this one as much as THE IRON KING but I did enjoy it. It’s got that Romeo and Juliet aspect without the moronic teenagers killing themselves after knowing each other for three days. That doesn’t mean Meghan and Ash don’t make some bonehead moves for the sake of their feelings for each other but I’ve seen a hell of a lot worse so I’ll take it.
Really the only aspect I’d want to complain about is the overuse of some facial expressions. Everyone, multiple times throughout the story each, slitted or narrowed their eyes. I would make a joke about a super awesome 80s song
steeped in sexual innuendo as a ploy into the whole slitted eyes thing but there’s going to be some douche nozzle thinking I’m being racist so I’ll refrain (although I’m pretty sure I just did it underhandedly . . .). Also, Meghan was constantly fighting back tears, more so
than she was fighting anything else. At least once a chapter there were tears at some level of cry in her eyes. It made her look like a bit of a crybaby. It got to the point where I just wanted to tell her to suck it up. There’s no crying in baseball. And Puck’s eyebrows made their way into his hairline a lot. I guess they liked to go on vacation.
But other than that, I was totally sucked into the story once again. Mab’s a psychopath and I kind of like her because of it. I don’t even want to smack her for being unreasonable, which she very obviously is. I like her just the way she is, delusional psychosis and all. Kagawa really keeps to the faery lore and I felt all of the characters she created. Nothing was watered down or sugared up so if a faery was supposed to be gross, she made it gross. Actually, none of them were anything close to being Disney clones. They were realistic and true to form. Loved it!
I also really liked how Meghan being the daughter of Oberon really doesn’t come into play except for the romance part. There aren’t any moments of spoiled brat syndrome. No running to Daddy or easy ways out. Meghan was really and truly on her own and despite all of her crying (literally), she stood up on her own. She fought on her own. Of course she had help. She couldn’t have done it on her own. Another part I liked. It wasn’t just “up to her” to handle. There were others involved, and other sacrifices, that helped her along. But Meghan walked on her own. She wasn’t leaning on anyone and wasn’t dependent on anyone. She knew what she had to do and she did it. That’s a rarity in YA heroines, sad to say.
The romance part is probably my least favorite but that’s going to be true for me for pretty much any book I read. I’m not in it for the romance. I’m not Team Ash or Team Puck. I’m Team Give Me A Good Fucking Story And I’ll Read It. Which is what I got. I do think Meghan let Ash off a little easily after everything in this book but it’s not suspension of disbelief shattering. I get the whys. I’d personally fester a little more about it but that’s just me. But the thing is they’re not doing insanely stupid things for the sake of their relationship and their relationship alone. They’re considering the greater repercussions of their actions, another rarity in YA. There’s thought there, not just pulsing hormones and OMFGBBQ luuuuuurve. Another awesome.
The ending could have nicely ended the series, but considering I have two more books and a novella to read, I’m guessing something else happens after this. Just my guess. I’m sure Meghan’s relationship with Puck is going to get more complicated and, as a result, so is hers with Ash. Her confusion about Puck is real and I really like that. Does she like Ash simply because of how dangerous and seemingly unattainable he is? Didn’t she admit that to herself? Isn’t Puck the more natural choice since he knows her and she’s already loved him in some aspect for a good chunk of time? Of course a YA novel can’t be without its love triangles but I’m not minding this one. It just feels better than a lot of the ones that I’ve seen around. It doesn’t make me want to punch a baby in the face. Always a good thing for everyone involved. It just seems to fit better.
I’m looking forward to seeing where the series takes me next. With the way THE IRON DAUGHTER ended, and with Meghan’s blooming powers, I’m really curious to see what happens. Again, an excellent addition to The Iron Fey series, and a must read for anyone that likes faeries as they really are, strong heroines and a captivating and mesmerizing story.
Ban Factor: High – Faeries are evil creatures that need to stop corrupting the youth. Ban it! But all religions have their own mythology . . . Ban it anyway!