If you ask me why, I probably wouldn't even be able to tell you. Maybe it's that second books syndrome fear that kept me from returning to the world of the fey too quickly. Maybe it's the fact that I had other good books I wanted to read. Maybe it's because of the quick scan of reviews I did on Goodreads or statuses I read. Whatever the case, I can't believe it took me so long to read the damn book.
Because I loved it!
Rating: 4 stars!
The Iron Daughter picks up just a few short weeks after the first book ended. Maybe it was months. Eh, who knows? Meghan's stuck in a frozen tundra, awaiting the Ice Queen's verdict. She hasn't seen her prince since he brought her there, and she doesn't even know how long it's been because the outside world's time moves faster than the Nevernever's. She's stuck with the thought that she's missing everything. Her family. Puck. Her life outside of the fey world. With no allies in the palace of the Winter fey, and no powers, Meghan feels helpless. And she's dreading the day when Mab finally calls for her.
Who knows how long that icy queen made her wait? Once Meghan stands before her, she realizes that her attempts at explaining what happened will be futile. Mab is not going to listen to her. And she won't believe Ash either. With no proof that the Iron fey exist, no one will believe the cries of the Summer princess. After all, to the inhabitants of Tir Na Nog, she's the enemy. And that's all she'll ever be.
And when the Scepter of Seasons is stolen and Prince Sage is killed, Mab hastily declares war on King Oberon and the Summer fey for revenge, still not wanting to admit that there really are Iron fey. Ash helps Meghan escape the Winter palace but not before finding out who was helping the new Iron King all along. A shocking revelation that makes it all the more dire for them to find the scepter and return, or the balance of nature will shift and the whole of the Nevernever will be wiped out.
A few times, I had to literally stop reading. I couldn't seem to figure out why I didn't want to move on. Why did I not want to finish the story? And then it hit me. All this heartache and pain that the two lovebirds were going through killed me. I just wanted Meghan and Ash together and happy! It was so hard to read through their struggles, the indecision and hesitancy, the fear. The fact that they are enemies and that the consequences of being together would be catastrophic pushes Ash to pull away for good. Not to mention, I wasn't sure if he'd able to let go of Ariella. It leaves poor Meghan in such a vulnerable state, and in her emotional distress, her strength slowly melts away as sure as the winter did when she left Tir Na Nog to go home. It was hard to see that kickass heroine fade away from the pain of a broken heart. And it was hard to see the stoic Ice Prince put that cold exterior back up.
And, the more I think about it, the more I realize that I also wanted to quit reading because of Meghan's attitude. Her heartbroken and emotional turmoil left her weak and vulnerable. And it left her feeling more alone than ever. I understand a broken heart, I do. But it was the fact that her whole life seemed to be centered around Ash in this book that really killed the mood for me. Pining is one thing. Obsessing is different.
Anyway.... Puck shows back up. Meghan is called by Grimalkin for a favor she owes him. And the three of them set off with an old enemy to find the scepter. Along the way they discover a palace between the Nevernever and the human world. A place inhabited by a queen who was shunned and thrown out of the fey world a few years ago.
When they met Leanansidhe, I was nervous. The Queen of the Exiles has her own style to everything she does, much different from the fiery temper of Titania, and the cool frostiness of Mab. I was always waiting for the other shoe to drop. After having met the other two Queens, I was waiting for Leanansidhe to screw Meghan over, to screw them all over. But she never did. I liked her a lot more than the Winter and Summer queens. I don't know why. She's just as mean, but underneath that impenetrable armor, she's different from them. Somehow, less evil. (I just hope it sticks!).
With her help and a great deal of courage, the misfit group goes after the scepter. But what they find is far more sinister and deadly. Meghan finds that Ash has been taken prisoner and forced to become a cold, ruthless killer. But her love for him is strong, and she will do everything in her power to bring him back. And THAT is why I'm totally a shipper of Ash and Meghan. That true love aspect of the story. :) Sure, he's tried to kill her in the past. He's been oh, so cold toward her. They haven't known each other long, and they are enemies. But something about this bad boy just makes me love him. The more I read about him, the more I love him. <3
Sorry, Puck! You're awesome, funny, and a lovable guy. But I think you'd be better off with someone else. Not to mention, I just see him as the best friend of Meghan. Even when they kissed, I didn't feel the sparks. Yeah, this isn't really my favorite love triangle. But I find that it doesn't make me so annoyed that I want to stop reading. I really do love this series!
You're probably thinking Ash is my favorite character, right? Wrong. Grimalkin is. That cat is fucking awesome.
...I totally got off track. So, in any case, fights ensue and love conquers all. And that ending was crazy! Holy shit, I can't believe that actually happened. I have no clue what it means for the two lovebirds, but at least they're together!
So, originally I was going to give The Iron Daughter five stars. But then I actually thought about my rating while I was writing this review. No matter how much I loved it, I'm pretty sure I loved the first book more. And this took me longer than it should have to read it. Because of Meghan's attitude in this one, and the love triangle, this ended up 4 stars. Although there were just a few aspects of the book that made it less than perfect for me, I still loved it. :)
I can't wait to read The Iron Queen!