The Iron Daughter - Julie Kagawa
The Iron Daughter is the second book in the Iron Fey trilogy by Julie Kagawa, and follows from the events in the first book. This was a much darker book than The Iron King, with matters that are played at a much higher and lethal stake. It is also a book where Meghan discovers new aspects about herself, and becomes more assertive which I really liked – especially since it fleshed out her character growth.Although it’s not necessary, I would recommend that the novella, Winter’s Passage, should be read which bridges between The Iron King and The Iron Daughter. It helped to summarise the previous book as well having a few fun scenes just before Meghan faces her stay at the Winter’s court.The Iron Daughter opens up with Meghan who has agreed to live at the Winter’s Court due to her agreement with Ash in the last book. However, her stay in the Court is far from pleasurable with constant jibes and the threat of danger from the courtiers and from Queen Mab. Meghan is also feeling lonely and angry because Ash is not there to support or help her, and in fact has regressed back to the cold fae she first met in The Iron King. But soon enough trouble emerges as the Iron Fey have invaded the Winter Court to steal the Scepter of the Seasons to help boost the power of a new Iron Fey King.This book had a much faster pace than the previous book as Meghan and her friends, Grimalkin, the sarcastic and ambiguous cat, Puck, her best friend, and surprisingly the iron fey, Ironhorse, who allies himself against this new King. They are thrust straight into jeopardy as they try to regain back the scepter to ward off a war between the Summer and the Winter Courts, which would bring a great advantage to the Iron Fey’s plans to defeat the fey and take over Nevernever.I love this series; it’s full of vivid imagination and vibrant characters and I can’t get enough of the depictions and descriptions of the Nevernever, and the fey that live there. It’s really like a dream and a nightmare rolled all into one. I also loved the new characters that were introduced. Especially that of the diva-esque Leanansidhe, who was sublimely memorable and I loved her interactions with Meghan and her gang – as well as the fey that work for her little realm. I really look forward to the mysteries that will be unveiled in the next book about her and how it will affect Meghan.Although I did initially find Meghan and her thoughts about Ash a bit tiresome because this never really rang true for me and felt very much like forced angst in the beginning of the book. But I did like how she grew more confident and her new-found realisation about her powers. I really hope we get to see more of that in the next book.Yet at this heart of the book the romance becomes more of a core focus, and along with it with comes more complications because Puck has opened his feelings to Meghan – although this was heavily hinted in The Iron Daughter. This adds further tension and confusion for Meghan especially since she is feeling so conflicted about Ash due to his cold estrangement. However I do think the love triangle seems to be a tad weak in this regard because it’s so obvious to me that Meghan and Ash are in love together despite his cold treatment towards her.The Iron Daughter is a great followup to The Iron King although it was much darker than its predecessor. Julie Kagawa has a great sense of imagination that is influenced with steampunk and manga elements which makes this book stand out from other books with similar premises. I think this is a very solid and very enjoyable book, and I can’t wait for the entry of the series, The Iron Queen, to see how the repercussions and fallout plays out.