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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.
Statistics have officially proven that if you ignore the 80% of book blogger friends (I'm lying, it was more like 98%, but I'm trying to hold onto a shred of dignity) who scream at you to read a book series, you will feel like a complete fool once you eventually do read them. And realise how amazing they are. So many people have gushed to me about the Iron Fey books. I had read The Iron King and always said I'd continue on, yet stupidly I never rushed out to grab a copy of The Iron Daughter. Until recently... and oh boy, did I fall in love! And now again, The Iron Queen did not fail to draw me in straight away as Julie envelopes the reader in the sweet embrace of Ash and Meaghan together.... and then wastes no time in kick-starting the epic journey they must embark on, one that will set the stage for a war like no other.
I think one of the best things about this installment is Meghan's growth. She's never really been able to jump into the heart of a battle (doesn't mean she hasn't find herself in some seriously messy situations, though). Others have fought, risking their lives for her. Some even dying. But she can't allow herself to stand by anymore, especially given the fact that she may be the only one who can stop the destruction of the Nevernever. And so she trains, she learns how to wield a sword and tries to find a way to gain control over the two conflicting forces of Summer and Iron that fight her from within. She really grows into a warrior, a leader. She may be half-fey, but Meghan can hold her own against some of the most fearsome fey. A stubborn streak certainly helps with that to!
Back when I read The Iron King, I admit, I was chanting to the tune of "Team Puck!". While I still adore my favourite trickster, I have completely fallen under the spell of the Winter Prince. Watching as Ash and Meghan fall in love has just been sigh-worthy. I'm happy to say that the romance between them grows even stronger and more entwined in The Iron Queen. I love that Julie kept the overall plot at the forefront, but still has the romance simmering away. It took me so long to read each scene the pair shared together, because I kept pausing to go back and reread it, to burn each beautiful moment in my heart. And there are some truly touching encounters this time around. Every time they were interrupted, I cursed the wretched fey who spoiled the happy-high I was riding!
Julie blew me away with the ending. WOW. What an incredibly perfect, emotionally wrenching finale that will tear at the heart of every reader who has grown to care for these characters. I did have a theory about how something would turn out (which eventually came to fruition), but Julie honestly had me scared. I was gripping the book, mouth-gaping, hands furiously fighting to sneak a peek at the last page. The last quarter of this book was nothing short of breathtaking. Julie is equally amazing at writing scenes that erupt in war; suspense and action bounding off the page and those quietly powerful moments that spring tears to eyes and tug at your soul.
The Iron Queen is without a doubt the best in the series so far. Julie never fails to bring a thrilling adventure to the pages, brimming with pulse-pounding action, fueled by love and loyalty. The world she has crafted is so awe-inspiring. There is always a new, dangerous foe lurking around a bend in the path, another obstacle, a potential ally, or a shocking twist of events that will find your heart in your mouth. I don't want to end this series so soon after diving back in, but the need to know what happens is too great to resist. The moment I set this down, I already had The Iron Knight open and ready to consume me!
5/5 Golden Apples!