The Iron Queen (Harlequin Teen), the third in the Iron Fae series, I was lucky enough to find via NetGalley.
We discover that our heroine has Grown a backbone, practices her magic, and wants to learn how to fight! YES YES YES! *punches the air*
This is a very different almost-17 year old Meghan than we have known in previous books. Her knowledge of the trials she has won help her face the unknown with skill instead of bravado.
The Story: Having escaped from Queen Mab, Meghan wants to fully understand her powers and learn to defend herself. Her family will be in danger if she goes back to them, so she must eliminate the threat of the courts. She also needs to find her father and rescue him first. To keep her family safe, Meghan agrees to kill the enemy Iron King, and end the war.
Plus: Great descriptions of the Fae worlds, the Nevernever, and the human world keep the narrative absorbing. Ms. Kagawa knows how to draw out the pace of a story well, and the action-filled chapters are interspersed with relatively quieter times of self-discovery and learning. There's plenty of other-worldly fae - redcaps, goblins, cat siths, trolls and court royalty in the books. It's a more-the-merrier attitude towards fae creatures that makes the book fun to read.
Minus: My usual crib about YA books is either that the character is incredibly whiny (why me, oh why me) or just able to be strong without any character development. Luckily, we didn''t see that here :). I was a little surprised that Meghan was able to battle without any advisors. Perhaps an older, wiser character/advisor would have added more verisimilitude to battle scenes and her strategy.
Overall: A very inspiring tale.
I would recommend it to: Not just readers who enjoyed Melissa Marr's books, but also those who read any Supernatural fantasy. This transcends the YA genre, and I would encourage adults to read it also.
Thanks to Harlequin and NetGalley for providing the review copy.