It is a truth of Fantasy novels that one can just add an apostrophe and a character’s name becomes infinitely more exotic. In The Iron Queen, we learn our broody, icy hero Ash’s full name — Ashallyn’darkmyr Tallyn — and well, good thing the apostrophe is there, or that would have been one boring and pedestrian moniker to saddle on a fae prince.
(I have to admit, I am a sucker for an exoticized Fantasy — or, it must be said, Science Fiction — name, and apostrophes are my favourite way to do it. So when I read this name, Ash got forty percent hotter. I have no excuse.)
The Iron Queen itself, meanwhile, is at least forty percent better than its lacklustre preceding title, and even a step up from the first book in the series, which I really quite enjoyed. It gives us depth and breadth to the fantastical fae world in which we dwell, and also — crucially — makes of our heroine Meghan Chase a far, far less want-to-slap-her-across-the-face first person heroine than previous adventures suggested she could ever become. Sure, she still spends a lot of time sighing wistfully over her man, the aforementioned — and in the book, constantly mentioned — Ash, and she still isn’t very nice to her WAY BETTER THAN HER best friend Robbie aka Robin Goodfellow aka Puck, but she makes sense, some solid decisions, and a major sacrifice in here, which makes me like her.
Like, astonishingly a lot.
Still, she remains far from my favourite character — the series does not need her. I would read a whole spin-off adventure about Grimalkin, the talking fae cat who is disdainful and uppity, selfish and mercurial, vicious and sly, but also honourable and lovable. (So, a cat.)
I’d like him even more if he was named G’rimalkin. Grim’alkin, maybe? But again, that is my issue.
TBR DAY 19: The Iron Queen (Iron Fey #3) by Julie Kagawa
GENRE: YA Fantasy
TIME ON THE TBR: 2 years.
PURCHASED FROM: Op shop.