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Radiant Shadows

The Iron Daughter (Iron Fey Series #2)

The Iron Daughter - Julie Kagawa I enjoyed The Iron King. Ash was unapproachable and thus intriguing, Puck was so over-the-top charming that he was endearing, Grimalkin's cool aloofness had me desperate to figure him out and the concept of the iron fey, a new type of fey bred out of our obsession with technology, was original and refreshing. I liked Megan well enough, but her qualities I disliked in The Iron King seemed to have progressively gotten worse with The Iron Daughter.Megan makea absolutely no sense to me - she speaks often about wanting to be strong, like iron, yet she is so emotionally charged that she is completely unable to make a rational decision. Add in her moments of teenage angst and she becomes completely self-absorbed. I understand that she is a teenager, but I'd like to think that if the person I "loved" were to explain to me that he cannot show me any kindness as it will make me appear weak and thus as something to be preyed upon, that when he later ignores me, I would understand it was done not to hurt me, but to protect me - even though I was only a teenager. Megan however, decides that Ash's behaviour must mean he has manipulated her emotions using glamour, thus playing with her heart, and then spends a significant amount of time crying in her bedroom over being used. Even after finding out that Ash has ordered several members of the Unseelie court to watch over her family while she's trapped in Tir Na Nog, Megan stills doubts the validity of her feelings for Ash, allowing her petty jealousy to guide her mind into questioning her heart, wondering again if Ash manipulated her affections using glamour.During all of this, we are constantly reminded of how much Megan loves Ash, how much his absence hurts her, and how worried she is for his safety now that he has betrayed Queen Mab. But due to the seemingly fickle emotions of teenagers, even though Megan is devastated over Ash's rejection - completely unable to fathom an existence without him - when Puck reveals his love for her, she considers giving in to his advances. Umm....what? What happened to the earth-shattering love she had for Ash? A love that she was willing to pursue even though fey from the Summer court are forbidden from having relations with fey from the Winter court? A love that means banishment from the NeverNever if the right people were to uncover it existed? I just don't understand how Megan can spend the first half of the book pining over Ash and then seriously consider trying anything with Puck. She even admits how she kissed Puck for all of the wrong reasons - doing it out of hurt and loneliness - but that even though she knew it was wrong to lead him on, there was a part of her that wanted to keep going. A big enough part that had they not been interrupted, who knows what would have happened.The thing I really don't understand though, it what Puck and Ash see in Megan. Granted, Puck has been by Megan's side for most of her life, a constant friend and companion, so maybe he has some insider information that we're not privy to. But what could Ash possible see in her? She's constantly in need of rescuing, especially now that her powers have beens sealed, and she never figures things out on her own - she's always pushed in the right direction by someone else (mostly by Grim). Other then her occasional odd display of power and unthinking willingness to make a deal to get what she needs (I'd hate to see how many favours she's promised in the short time she's been fey), there is nothing to set her apart from any other mortal.Speaking of Grimalkin, the entire plot would fall apart without his help. He always seems to show up when the heroes are most in need of help, showing them the nearest exit, or the way to a trod, or taking them to a new member of the NeverNever (or the In Between, in Lea's case) that will help them - without asking for anything in return. Grimalkin's reasons behind all of his free help are never explained, nor are his reasons for disappearing and allowing the group to get in to trouble before reappearing and saving the day. I love Grimalkin's character, and assume his interest in Megan is like the interest a passerby shows at a car crash - morbid fascination - but his timely appearances are too convenient. Rather then spinning a tale that allows for the characters to fight or ingenue their way out of tough situations, I have come to expect Grimalkin's entrance in time to save the day which makes for a predictable and repetitive read.Having said all that, I did find The Iron Daughter to be a mostly enjoyable read. Even though I was questioning Megan on every decision she made, her story is still one I'm interested in. I loved seeing Ash open up and show more of his feelings and his reasons behind his icy facade, and the continued presence of the Iron fey was so vividly written that it's very easily imagined. I'm interested to see what Megan's connection to iron glamour means (although I have a sneaking suspicion I already know the truth) and the ending had a big enough twist to leave my interest piqued for the next book, The Iron Queen.Originally published on my blog, Radiant Shadows