Posts tagged ‘theironking’

January 25th, 2011

The Iron Queen by Julie Kagawa; Review

by Madeleine Rex

Title: The Iron Queen

Author: Julie Kagawa

Published: January 25th, 2011 by Harlequin

Number of Pages: 368

Rating: 4/5

Synopsis:

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. [From Goodreads

Official Review Sent to Harlequin*:

The Iron Queen is a tantalizing sequel to the increasingly intriguing Iron Fey series. From page one, I was re-wrapped in the web of the Nevernever and welcomed the embrace of the characters I had already learned to love, although I found some of them significantly changed. Everything in this book is accelerated. We dive deeper into the romances, friendships, and rivalries of the Fey. The Iron Queen is constantly moving, everyone running somewhere toward something at all times. The third book in the Iron Fey series gave me whiplash.

Review:

The Iron Queen is certainly extraordinary and enjoyable, but there were a few problems I had with it. Most of those problems were caused by one thing – my abounding love for the first book in the series. The Iron King (Review) blew me away with its phenomenal descriptions and fascinating world, but the second book, and now the third, have failed to wow me in equally significant ways.

On the other hand, The Iron Queen can certainly hold its own. The second book left things in ashes, and the phoenix that is reborn from them is glorious and fresh. This installment in the Iron Fey series has taken things in a new direction, while simultaneously tying up some loose ends left by the first two books.

The book picks up right where the second leaves off, but makes a sudden detour and lands us in the middle of a new, fresh pile of mess. In that pile of mess is rooted the fast-paced story of war, love, pride, sacrifice, friendship, and evolvement that is The Iron Queen.

You really don’t stop moving until the very, very end, and even then you’re left with the feeling that the next book will consist of relentless sprinting. I can vow to you that you will open The Iron Queen with absolutely no idea what this book holds in store. I was bounced from one place to another, from one goal to another, from one prediction to another. It wasn’t until the last quarter or so that things seemed to be laid out in a particular order and I had a decent idea of what was going to happen.

Those of you who are reading this review for the sole purpose of hearing about the romance: Suffer no longer.

Although anyone who has read The Iron Daughter (Review) has a fairly clear idea of who Meghan will choose, this book serves as a confirmation. Finally, finally, I felt that things were “set in stone,” as horribly unromantic as that sounds. However, with every decision comes consequence(s), and Meghan’s is no exception. The character dynamics throughout the entire book were hugely affected by her choice, from her relationships with Puck and Ash to Puck and Ash’s friendship/rivalry.

The most intriguing aspect of the book to me was the detail and evolution of the Iron Kingdom and the ways of glamour. This book, more so than either of the others, struck me as Meghan’s story. Not the Fey’s, although their story definitely depends on the outcome of hers. Meghan’s adventures, both internal and external, have set the tone for the remainder of the series and created the foundation for what will undoubtedly be more incredible storylines. You will be wowed by the turns the story takes.

Here’s the deal, though: I found myself, uh… bored with Meghan. There was something about her throughout the entire book that felt forced and unnatural, and consequently, I had trouble relating to her and crawling inside her consciousness, if you will. This was my main fault with the book, and it soured the entire experience a bit. However, I was please by her strength, her resilience, and her nearly incomprehensible bravery.

Overall, The Iron Queen is both a conclusion and a catalyst. While it serves as a beautiful end to what could be called a very short but undoubtedly epic era, the end brought with it an incredibly deep desire for more! I have a feeling that the next book(s) in this series will astound me, and I cannot wait!

*Thanks so much for the ARC!

Also: Don’t forget to help me with my problem!

September 3rd, 2010

The Iron King by Julie Kagawa; Review

by Madeleine Rex

Title: The Iron King

Author: Julie Kagawa

Published: February, 2010

Number of Pages: 368

Rating: 4/5

Quote:

“…What do you want, Ash?”

“Your head,” Ash answered softly. “On a pike. But what I want doesn’t matter this time.” He pointed his sword at me. “I’ve come for her.”

I gasped as my heart and stomach began careening around my chest. He’s here for me, to kill me, like he promised at Elysium.

“Over my dead body.” Puck smiled, as if this was a friendly  conversation on the street, but I felt the muscles coiling under his skin.

“That was part of the plan.”…

“Stay back, princess,” Puck warned, pushing me out of the way. He reached into his boot and pulled out a dagger, the curved blade clear as glass. “This might get a little rough.”

“Puck, no.” I clutched at his sleeve. “Don’t fight him. Someone could die.”

“Duels to the death tend to end that way.” Puck grinned…

Synopsis:

Meghan Chase has never fit in at her small-town high school, and now, on the eve of her 16th birthday, she discovers why. When her half brother is kidnapped, Meghan is drawn into a fantastical world she never imagined–the world of Faery, where anything you see may try to eat you, and Meghan is the daughter of the summer faery king. Now she will journey into the depths of Faery to face an unknown enemy . . . and beg the help of a winter prince who might as soon kill her as let her touch his icy heart. The Iron King is the first book in the Iron Fey series. [From Goodreads]

Review:

I was on the way up to my family’s land, Pine Hollow (we named it. Yes, we did.) and found myself in a dilemma. I had five or six different books that I could read next, and only one set of eyes. I turned to my Twitter pals and asked them which of the books I should read. The Iron King won out, and I’m so grateful that it did! From the minute we dove into the Faery world, I couldn’t believe my mind. The vivid images in my head, the harsh, fascinating realities of Julie Kagawa’s world… they astounded me.

What an insanely interesting book! I haven’t read many books about faeries, and most of the information I’ve read about them I found in Paranormalcy by Kiersten White (Review), which also has a fantastic faery storyline. The Iron King, however, turns faeries into a main focus. Their mystic and often cruel nature was intriguing. I cannot wait to read the sequel, The Iron Daughter, if only to be back in Nevernever (Aka, Faeryland).

The characters in the novel will grip you and hold you tight, wrenching you apart when they move in opposite directions or toward conflicting goals. Meghan is a character I can easily like and respect, although I thought she could be a little ridiculous at times. At one point, she was upset over something (sorry for the vagueness, but I’m trying to avoid spoilers.) and it struck me as totally silly. So, although she seemed a little ridiculous at times, it didn’t shadow the fact that she’s ultimately a good and cute little person. Which makes me glad.

As most YA books seem to, there was certainly a love triangle in this book. It’s actually in a state of germination, if you ask me. I’m sure the sequel holds a lot more in this area as the relationships develop further. Let me tell you – I have never been this torn (well, except in the case of Clockwork AngelReview). Usually, I know right from the start who I’m rooting for, or who I prefer in general, even if I don’t necessarily need them to end up with the girl (I’ll take him!). Originally, I was wholeheartedly Team Puck. Weird “P” names for the win! His goofiness and lightheartedness are endearing, and the skinny boy with bright-orange hair idea of him that I have in my head is cute. However, as Ash became more of a focal point, I couldn’t escape the feeling that he’s great in his own icy way. Overall, I’m remaining open to options, but I’m going to hold tight to my Team Puck for however long I can.

I think the thing about this book that wowed me the most, that has gripped me so tightly that there is no possible way I could go a month before reading The Iron Daughter, is Nevernever. How enchanting and visually delicious. Julie Kagawa gave me the seeds from which to grow some of the most fascinating places I have ever dreamed of. The moment we entered this fantasy world, I was addicted. The culture, social structure – everything about this world pulls me in. This was perfect because the survival of Nevernever comes into play, and I felt as though everything really was being put on the line. The pixies, the goblins, the weird-river-horse-creatures, the elves – all came together to create a world I wanted to be enveloped in. And the addition of Robin Goodfellow (also known as Puck) didn’t dampen the experience a bit.

The descriptions in the novel were strict and detailed enough to give me a clear idea of what the author’s views were – perfectly concise – but also gave me the freedom to do whatever I fancied. As a reader, I had the ideal amount of creative freedom to add to the world the aspects that made it fantastical and hauntingly beautiful to me.

The Faery realities are horrifying at times and most definitely disturbing. I loved this. It gave the book some awe-inspiring quality. I was fascinated by the magical bonds that promises and swearing trapped a person in and the manipulative tendencies of the faeries. The entire world is a riddle, everything has an underlying meaning that you have to be clever enough to perceive, and it’s inarguably just as easy to misinterpret. Nearly everyone has an ulterior motive. This book will require you to keep your ears perked and your senses sharp.

The plot holds together nicely, and I felt I had just the right amount of time to familiarize with Nevernever before I was flung into more action-packed sequences. However, there was, and I believe still is, enough yet to be discovered to add a hint of confusion and occasionally panic that spices things up a bit. The climax passed in a heartbeat, but that was probably because I was sucking the words in like I do blackberry milkshakes. The hint of apprehension that smacked me in the face (and excitement, did I mention excitement?) at the very closing of this novel had the desired effect – I want more and very, very soon.

The fact I wish you to glean from this review: I now have an unhealthy addiction to Faeryland. I encourage you to jump on this Faery bandwagon with me and become addicts yourselves. You will never hear similar words emitted from my mouth, I promise.

Julie Kagawa, thank you. Do I owe you a life debt or my first born child or something for this book?

September 2nd, 2010

CLOSED! – A Megalodon of a Giveaway! (Wordbird's One!)

by Madeleine Rex

Yes. Yes, it is that big. And I have no idea what “Taucher” and whatever that other thing is mean either.

THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED. WINNERS WILL BE ANNOUNCED AS SOON AS POSSIBLE (WHICH MIGHT BE AWHILE. SORRY!).

Oh my gosh!!! Wordbird turned one year old yesterday! Madeleine Rex has been blogging for a year. And I haven’t been that irritating or destroyed the World Wide Web accidentally with some wacky Rex Virus. Mission accomplished.

I hope you guys have enjoyed the past year as much as I have. I’ve met so many wonderful people over that time period. I can honestly say that joining this online community is the best thing I’ve ever done for my writing and bookish life . I have so many incredible friends here, all because my dear mother encouraged me to start a blog. I don’t think either of us really thought this would go anywhere… but, surprisingly, it has (and that might just be because you guys have boring day jobs, but I’d like to think there’s more to it than that – and that you guys love your jobs). I’m grateful for you support and friendship.

So, I’m giving you books! Lots of them.

(Links are to my reviews.)

 

  • Amazon Books 10$ Gift Card
  • The Devouring by Simon Holt (old ARC – new condition – Thanks, LB!)
  • Soulstice by Simon Holt (old ARC – new condition – Thanks, LB!)
  • Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins (HB – new)
  • Sorta Like a Rock Star by Matthew Quick (old ARC – new condition – Thanks, LB!)
  • Happyface by Stephen Emond (old ARC – new condition – Thanks, LB!)
  • Graceling by Kristin Cashore (PB)
  • Fire by Kristin Cashore (PB)
  • The Iron King by Julie Kagawa (PB)
  • The Iron Daughter by Julie Kagawa (PB)
  • Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick (old ARC – used – signed)
  • Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare (HB)

This giveaway is not international. I sincerely apologize. I simply can’t afford the shipping costs.

The “Grand Prize” winner will receive five books and the Amazon $1o gift card. The second winner will pick three of the remaining books, and the third winner will win the last three.

To enter the giveaway, use the form linked below.

No, not the one over there! Here.

This giveaway ends on Monday, October 4th. Extended to October 20th! We’ve had 151 entrants so far! (Edited October 4th)

So exciting!

Thanks again to Little Brown for the wonderful package of four books! I never cease to be amazed.