Saturday, July 16, 2011
The Iron Daughter
The Iron Fey #2
There are actually NO spoilers!
I had bought the first book in this series The Iron King but was much less enchanted than many other readers, especially with broody, jerk Ash (seriously why would you want the guy who's a jerk to you when you could have the nice, funny guy who's known you basically all of your life and thinks you're awesome? I don't get it). Still I heard that the third book was loads better so I grabbed both when I saw them at my library.
I've also been thinking a lot about what makes a good sequel in my opinion. First there should be a new discrete story that still ties into the overarching story of the trilogy (although obviously there are now four official books in this particular series). This happens as Meghan successfully rescued her brother in the first book and this time she embarks on a quest to recover the Scepter of the Seasons; she is also still battling the dangerous Iron Fey and should continue that throughout all of the books.
Second new characters should be introduced and old characters should be expanded; in this case, Leanansidhe is the main new character. She was banished from the faerie realm but has carved out a new place for herself taking care of half-breeds and other exiles. She is awesome if sometimes callous and calculating. Two other old characters are Grimalkin, the amazing cat who I love even more this time, and a character who I totally fell for when he committed himself to helping Meghan. Third it should improve on the first book in writing, plot, characterization, etc. I think that mostly happened except for one part.
Can you guess what that part is? Hint: read the first paragraph! I still have no idea what Meghan and Ash see in each other that causes them to be *so* in love: she seems to remind him of his dead love and she thinks he's dreamy...is that it? How is that a foundation for a relationship? Also Ash is a jerk, consistently withholding information from Meghan because he unilaterally decided what was best for her. She's also super pathetic around him, with very little of the kick-butt attitude I like to read about in YA heroines. And he's super mean, never giving her the benefit of the doubt and he prizes his loyalty to his queen over his feelings to her. This is in sharp contrast to Puck, who besides being funny and surely equally attractive, disregards the edicts of his king if he can't square them with his feelings. Consequently I consider Meghan a moron in the romantic arena. Fortunately that's not the biggest part of this story but since my opinion differs from the majority in this area, I thought I'd share.
BUT that only covers about the first two parts of the book because things improve in the third part. The action gets awesome with a war between Summer and Winter and the romantic stakes are raised. Ash becomes almost desirable as he is thrown off-kilter and brought to his knees by an outside power. Although the methods used were despicable, the end was good, transforming Ash from jerk extraordinaire to almost a gentleman although I still hold his previous actions and words against him. Meghan still is not a heroine I love and I'm not completely supportive of their relationship but I'm actually excited about the third book.
Check back later for my review of The Iron Queen!