Released: May 2011
Publisher: MIRA Ink
**This is the second book in the series and therefore the description and my review may contain spoilers for the first book**
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—ironbound 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 stuck 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.
I find this series so addicting; once you pick it up it's really hard to put back down. I flew through this book, desperate to find out what happens in the aftermath of The Iron King.
We start off with Meghan in the Winter Court, having been brought there after her contract with Ash. I found Meghan especially annoying during this time. She already knows that she and Ash cannot be together, that she really shouldn't reveal the extent of their feelings for each other, yet she pretty much goes and does it anyway! She also cried a lot in this book and that annoyed me too. I really wanted to tell her to pull herself together and get a grip.
Prince Ash was back to his frozen self, yet you get hints of his true feelings for Meghan throughout. I didn't really find this totally realistic, I think it was too obvious how he felt for Meghan all the way through. If I'm honest, I don't think Julie Kagawa is that strong a writer. Her stories are imaginative and engaging and full of adventure, but they're let down by the way they're told. I never felt the relationship between Ash and Meghan to be totally realistic, and whilst it definitely improves the longer it goes on, I was never fully convinced.
However, the plot really saves this book. Forced to flee the winter court into the mortal realm, needing to recover a stolen object to avoid all out war, I was totally riveted. I loved everything about the plot, it was action packed, with rest stops when we needed them, with a host of colourful characters both new and returning. I really loved Leannansidhe, she was a personal favourite of mine. Ironhorse too, excelled in this book.
The end blew me away; I don't think I expected that AT ALL and it made me very glad I already had The Iron Queen waiting for me ;)
This is the sort of series you fly through, desperate for the answers and I love that about it. Whilst I do take issue with the writing and some of the characters, the complex worldbuilding and well crafted storylines really save it for me. I'm glad I decided to give this series a shot.