The Iron Daughter by Julie Kagawa
Released: August 1, 2010
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.
Reading the Iron Daughter was like riding an emotional rollercoaster in a fascinating, dark faerie world created by Kagawa.
I was happy to see that quite a few of the aspects that bothered me about The Iron King began to grow on me in The Iron Daughter; most important of those was Meghan herself.
I have to admit though, that the complexity of Meghan and Ash's relationship is probably as frustrating for the reader as it is for Meghan. Probably because we're forced to listen to her angsty, lovesickness moping around without really doing anything useful or interesting. But at the same time, you can see positive changes begin to take root in her.
Something else I really appreciate is how honest everyone is about Meghan's flaws; particularly where Ash is concerned. Even he points out to her again and again exactly whawt her flaws are, and she's never set up on a pedastal as the perfect girl or perfect character. And the determination and fierce attitude after her heart is broken is admirable, and I'm glad ot see that she does show some sort of strength in the midst of that (even though it seemed to take a while for to get to that point).
I also really enjoyed the bantering and bickering between Puck and Ash- you can easily see that they used to be such good friends at one point in time. They're equally delectable characters, and Meghan's relationship with each of them amounts to one of the best love triangles I've ever seen. It never feels overly drawn out or overplayed to me, and parts of it seem natural (although there is one issue I take with it feeling somewhat forced on Meghan's part in regards to her possible interest in Puck).
Most importantly though, I like how they always maintain perspective of what's really vital and needs to be done, rather than sulking around and fighting like teenagers (even though the Unseelie Court reminded me of highschool). The plot manages to stay central at all times, and the character development continues to be strong proving it to be an enjoyable sequel building up to an even greater interest in the fates of these mesmerizing faeries.