Saturday, 15 December 2012

The Iron Queen

Title : The Iron Queen (The Iron Fey #3)
Writer : Julie Kagawa
Number of Page : 358 
Publisher : Harlequin Teen 

After being banished from Nevernever, Meghan and Ash could be together now in the human world. Meghan thought they could stay in her old house. However, they met iron feys in their journey and she realized that she could not went home, she could not endanger her family. She had to kill all iron feys first.

Meghan still had one thing to do before hunting the iron feys, she wanted to free her (human) father from Leanansidhe. But, she had to collect her memory first so that she could remember all about her father. 

Puck--who was also banished from Nevernever due to following Meghan--joined them in Leanansidhe's house. Grimalkin too. At that same time, Meghan learned that it was Puck who ordered Leanansidhe to kidnap her father because Queen Titania wanted to kill him. 

Meghan was angry. She ignored Puck and focused herself in combat training with Ash. But, the problem was she could not use her magic without feeling nauseous because in her blood there were both iron and summer magic. Both magics were not compatible to each other. And it made her frustrated. How did she kill iron feys if she could not even control her magic? 

Wanting to be with Ash forever, Meghan ask him to be her knight. Ash made an oath, gave up his true name, and swore to protect Meghan in any conditions. If she died, he would die too.

Meanwhile, the Iron Kingdom was expanding. The iron feys attacked the summer and winter faeries. Hopeless, Queen Mab and King Oberon decided to forgive the exiles. Meghan, Ash, and Puck would be accepted again in the world of faeries if they helped them killing the Iron King. Such a fake. King Oberon was Meghan's father and he forgave her just because he needed her help. 

The three of them said yes. With Grimalkin as their guide, they traveled to Iron Kingdom once again. But, the time was limited. The amulet that protected Ash, Puck, and Grimalkin from the iron magic would not last forever. Moreover, the Iron King had powerful armies storming toward the centre of Nevernever. Could Meghan do it? She was nothing and her magic was useless, yet she had to succeed or else all people that she loved would die.

In my opinion:
I am a sucker for fantasy genres. There. I said it. Thanks to The Hunger Games series, now I am addicted to young adult fantasies. Few years back, I would have said that I hate fantasy because it always left me with bitter and empty feeling. Everything is not real and it was just nothing. I prefer stories which could happen in real life. 

But now I like the empty and bitter ending. Okay, it is annoying. Those feelings would haunt me over and over, and I could not think anything other than the book. However, those stories are the ones that I would remember for a long time. 

The Iron Fey series would probably be my most favorite fantasy series for now, especially after I read this third book. I was practically lost to the faery world, enjoying the adventures with all the characters. What I enjoy the most from a book are the descriptions and characters. I like vivid imaginations and I like creating the whole scenes in my head. And with her words, Julie Kagawa brought me to the magical world of faeries and I fell in love with it. Definitely epic.

About the characters... well, I could not wish for lovable characters every time I read. Even characters made mistakes and stupid decisions. I didn't really like Meghan, but I didn't hate her too. She was normal and nothing special. Well, at least she was not whiny and weak. She made initiative to learn protecting herself. Prince Ash was also an ordinary character, not super kind like Edward Cullen or super rich and powerful like typical heroes in romance novels. He had his own problems, he could be angry or jealous or cruel and vengeful. What I liked most from him was his faithfulness although sometimes it made him look unreasonable and stupid. For faery who had lived thousand years, Ash was also quite childish. But, these ordinary characters were much much much better than super perfect characters. I hate perfect characters.

I had said in the previous book that I like Grimalkin. The cat was a constant funny, geniously annoying, and proud character. It was very amusing. I loved the banter between it and Puck. They both produced smart and funny dialogs throughout the book. Oh, of course. I loooooved Puck. Best character ever. Not love in fangirling mode. I wasn't Team Puck. Let Meghan be with Ash because Puck was just too cool for her. I would like to have a friend as funny and carefree as him. He was exasperating and childish, but he was very shockingly mature sometimes, much more suitable for the age than Ash.

“Jealousy isn't something we deal with well, but some of us have been around long enough to know when to let go, and what is most important. The happiness of my two best friends should be more important than some ancient feud."

Learning to let go from Puck! Most secondary male characters in young adult fantasies that I read were stupidly hoping that they could get the girl. Even when the girl said 'no' and obviously loved the other guy, they just could not let go and they let themselves being used as 'crying shoulder' (like Jacob in Twilight =.=).

Some favorite scenes : 

“Looks like nobody’s home,” Puck said, turning in a slow circle. “Hellooooooooo? Anybody here?”

“Be quiet, Goodfellow,” Ash growled, peering into the shadows with narrowed eyes. “We’re not alone.”

“Yeah? How do you figure that, prince? I don’t see anyone.”

“The cait sith has disappeared.”

“ … Crap.” (the coward Grimalkin always disappeared if there was a danger)

When Meghan was asking why Puck stupidly let himself  to be banished by the king just to follow her into the human world...

“Puck’s eyes gleamed, feral and menacing. “Oh, I don’t know, princess. Maybe it was because I was stupid enough to care about you. Maybe I actually thought I had a chance. Silly me, thinking that one little kiss meant anything to you.”  (cool answer, not sappy)

"You," Puck said, locking eyes with me, "are extremely difficult to track down, princess. Good thing Grimalkin came and found me. As usual, it looks like I have to rescue you and ice-boy from something. Again. This is starting to become a habit."

Ash rolled his eyes, though his attention didn't leave the fey surrounding us. "Stop yapping and get down here, Goodfellow."

"Goodfellow?" Glitch stared at Puck nervously. "Robin Goodfellow?"

"Oh, look at that, he's heard of me. My fame grows." Puck snorted and leaped off the roof. In midair, he became a giant black raven, who swooped toward us with a raucous cry before dropping into the circle as Puck in an explosion of feathers. "Ta-daaaaaaaaa."   (I can't imagine his expression when he said the last word)

Last, about the ending. It was supposedly sad ending, but Julie Kagawa changed her mind and write the fourth book. Well, I prefer the sad ending. It would show how difficult the choice and sacrifice that Meghan had to make; Ash or her duty. And it was more heartbreaking. But, I couldn't stand seeing Ash tortured like that. And of course, I could have one more chance to see my Puck and Grimalkin. :)


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