Apr 26, 2012

Review: The Iron Daughter by Julie Kagawa

Title: The Iron Daughter [Amazon|GoodReads]
Author: Julie Kagawa [Website|Twitter|Facebook]
Standing: Book two in The Iron Fey series.
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Published: July 27th, 2010 by Harlequin Teen
Format: Kindle edition; 361 pages
Source: Borrowed from my local library.
Spoilers!: This review contains spoilers for the first book in the series, The Iron King (reviewed here), so go read that first!

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, iron-bound 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 alone 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.
So remember every nice thing I said about Meghan Chase when I reviewed The Iron King?  Well, I take it back.  Somehow that savvy girl with the potential to turn into someone brave and strong instead turned into a simpering, pining, annoyingly naive character I just couldn’t bring myself to care about this time around.  I really think this was a case of the straw that broke the camel’s back.  This was it; the book that made me realize that I really just cannot take one more of these YA romances.  I can’t do it!  It’s not just that it’s a love triangle (but yeah, that’s a big part of it), it’s also that it’s deep intense love with someone you barely know, have spent barely any time with, and yet are willing to give up everything for.  For eternity.  Yeah.  That kind of love.  I can’t do it anymore.  

Maybe I’ve matured a lot in my views of relationships over the past few years.  I’ve been living with the man I want to spend the rest of my life with now for over three years, and I’ve come to understand that love and relationships take work...and they have to be based on something more than some surface attraction and something in common.  I’m not saying that the types of relationships I’m getting sick of in YA couldn’t potentially end up as lasting, but honestly?  Most of them aren’t healthy, and it’s gotten to where it annoys me beyond belief that we’re supposed to swoon over this stuff and think ‘oh how sweet they’ll be together forever’ when they don’t even really know (or care about) what that entails.

I just wanted to slap Meghan so many times in this book.  At the beginning, Ash literally tells her that he’s going to have to treat her a certain way in the Unseelie court.  Then, when he proceeds to do exactly as he said he would, Meghan cries and moans about how he’s betrayed her and lied to her and how could he be so cruel.  She continually doubts his feelings for her, doubts her own feelings for him, and yet--it’s true love people!  Right.  At the end of The Iron King I had also come to believe that Meghan had grown and matured as a person.  That she was no longer worried about things like an embarrassing day in high school that had bothered her at the beginning of her journey.  But then in The Iron Daughter she freaks out about just those types of things proving that she hasn’t really grown at all.

Some other nitpicky things while I’m on a roll: for the love of all that is good stop talking about heartbeats.  I swear, if I had a dollar for everytime Meghan hears/feels Ash’s heartbeat, or Puck’s heartbeat, or her own freakin’ heartbeat, I could pay off a decent amount of my student loans.  Also, I hate hate recapping.  A little I get, it’s fine, it’s usually been a while between books, but excessive recapping is Kagawa’s thing.  I didn’t enjoy Winter’s Passage much because of it, and it had me wanting to put The Iron Daughter down after only 25 pages.  And get this?  She put a huge chuck of Winter’s Passage into The Iron Daughter.  Seriously?!  I get that not everyone had access to the short story, but that’s why you make it something you don’t need to put in the books.  Not something you just put in the book anyway.

If I had read The Iron Daughter two years ago when it came out, I most likely would have loved it.  I wish I did read it then, because Julie Kagawa’s built a really cool world creating an interplay between some classic mythology and her own creations that are unique and quite frankly pretty dang cool.  I do think that aside from my inability to stomach the relationships, The Iron Daughter suffered a bit from second-book syndrome.  It was an okay story, but really seemed a filler plot leading to where we all know the story is going.  Nothing about it was surprising to me as it was in The Iron King, and in the end I was just incredibly disappointed with the whole read.

In the words of Craig Ferguson, I look forward to your comments.

Likelihood that I'll be back for more:  I was really looking forward to this series, but after this I think I’m done.  I just don’t think I can care anymore about The Iron Fey.  I do still want to read The Immortal Rules, but I’m hesitant enough not to have requested the ARC.  I’ll wait to see more reviews, thank you.

Recommended for:  I would still recommend this series to fantasy readers, particularly younger ones, who don’t read so much as me and therefore haven’t become incredibly jaded.

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  1. Oh, I hate "I love him but don't trust him" relationships. I guess I understand, in a way, but it can get old.

    I was never really interested in this series, although I know a lot of people who love it, so I don't think I'll be reading it.

    I think I'm too jaded/cynical for it too.

    1. Haha, glad to know I'm not the only one! And yeah, I just don't understand how you can have love without trust. In my mind that isn't love, just infatuation.

  2. Oh, that blows, even after you already told me your reaction. BUT DID YOU READ THE IRON QUEEN ANYWAY? That is the question.

    1. NO, but I still might. For you. Because the thought of sad Asher makes me cry.

  3. Hmm, book 3 was actually my favorite of this series, but that's not saying much, I'm afraid. I had them all on audio and the narrator was pretty decent - I'm sure that helped.
    Kagawa has a tendency to make her characters inconsistent and it bothers me beyond belief.

    Also, yay for you reading Kate Daniels. :)

    1. I agree, the characters seem to flip flop more than certain politicians! Everyone has told me the third is the best, but I'm honestly not sure whether or not I'll give it a shot. Maybe someday after I've forgotten how much I disliked this one?

      Yay for Kate Daniels indeed! LOVE it.


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