My name is Meghan Chase.
I thought it was over. That my time with the fey, the impossible choices I had to make, the sacrifices of those I loved, was behind me. But a storm is approaching, an army of Iron fey that will drag me back, kicking and screaming. Drag me away from the banished prince who's sworn to stand by my side. Drag me into the core of conflict so powerful, I'm not sure anyone can survive it. This time, there will be no turning back.
Whenever I really enjoy a book it's difficult for me to review it because I keep trying to shape my thoughts into something coherent and all my brain throws back at me is "It was Awesome!". Which is exactly what's been going on all day today. Julie Kagawa took the series to a new level with this book and fulfilled all kinds of promises in the process. The character development, the story arc, the very unexpected but logical and satisfying resolution of the love triangle that kept bugging me in the last book and the epic ending I did not see coming all hit the right notes and when I turned the last page the only thing I didn't like was that the book was over. You know how they say that when you're dreaming up a story don't be afraid to dream big? Ms. Kagawa isn't afraid, not even a little bit.
I enjoyed seeing the characters' growth in this book. Meghan's transformation from a teenage girl into an adult who understands what's important is complete and she is now strong enough to do what needs to be done, no matter how painful it is. Ash and Puck are not just boys with a centuries-old feud, they are finally acting their age, showing that they can do more than draw swords at the drop of a hat, that they can take a step back and do what's best for the girl they both love.
Speaking of love, I can't resist telling you that this book has an amazing scene that is my absolute favorite of all the romantic scenes so far. I can gripe about love triangles and immortal beings falling for a teenager all I want but when there's a scene like that all my gripes melt away and all I can do is sit there soaking up every word, rereading the paragraphs and grinning like a real hopeless romantic in the face of true love. You want a hint now, don't you? Well, the title of the next book is a huge spoiler as far as this particular scene is concerned.
Of course it's not all about mushy stuff (what kind of Iron Fey book would it be if it were, right?), there are excellent action sequences and great standoffs that keep you hoping things don't turn nasty. Pair that with terrific dialogue throughout and you've got yourself a thrilling adventure with plenty of chuckles along the way.
Fortunately for the series the more mature characters, themes and relationships didn't change the writing. It's just as light and effortless as it's always been, making this book an extremely easy and fun read and proving that it is possible to talk about serious things without being stiff and drowning in big words.
A lot of the conflicts that were established and developed in the first two books came to a resolution in this volume and while the story came to an end on one level there's still more to come before it can really be over. I look forward to finding out what kind of deal Ash made with the Queen of Exiles, how he will be able to overcome the challenges Meghan's new role in the Nevernever brought and how he'll get along with Puck now that they actually have a chance at friendship again. The faerie adventures continue and I could not be more pleased about it.