Iron Daughter is the second book in a young adult series from Julie Kagawa. This book is even better than the first, which says a lot since the first book was fantastic. The young adult series is based on the premise that Meghan is the daughter a faery king and a mortal mother, which she discovered at the age of sixteen. Now the technology of the modern world is changing the faery realm and the politics and treachery of the faery courts are only making things worse. Meghan has to deal with her changed notions of what is real, dangers that words can cause, and following her heart for love and to do what is right. I loved the first two books from this series and I am extremely glad that the third book is ready for me to read as soon as I finish writing this review.
When Iron Daughter starts, Meghan has been in the Winter Court for a long time, but since time moves differently in faery she has no idea just how long she has been there. To further complicate matters Meghan Cannot access the glamour that she had just started to understand and use, so all she has to defend herself are her wits. However, she still does not know all the rules and players. Iron Fey have returned with a vengeance and all of faery will be at war, or destroyed, if Meghan cannot reveal the treachery within the Winter Court and return the Scepter of the Seasons before the Iron Fey can fully form their army and plan. Ash has been telling her from the start that she should not trust him, but her heart is not listening despite his apparent betrayals and distain. The action and relationship trends continue to become more intense and race forward at breakneck speed. There is no slowing down in this second book about the Iron Fey.
I was greatly impressed with Iron Daughter. It is rare that the second book in any series has more action and conflict than the first. It is even rarer for a series to get better and better as it continues rather than having the shine of a new story start to fade away. While Meghan seems to be stumbling through every encounter, which seems to be annoying some readers, I find her to be a consistent character that focuses more of her heart and the welfare of others to really notice the important things that readers notice. The other characters, new and old, seem to be explored more in Iron Daughter and they become more three-dimensional.
I recommend Iron Daughter, but only after reading Iron King, to anyone that enjoys adult or young adult books with fantasy and some romance. The heart of the entire series seems to be a coming of age story, at least in my opinion. Readers see Meghan grow as a person, explore her identity, and try to understand what she wants and how to do the best for the world in general. The fantasy aspects are extremely well done explorations and re-workings of the characters some know from classic stories about faery. There are some general romantic scenes and kissing in the series, but no more than you might see on a tween television show or in the halls of your local high school. None of it is gratuitous, or described in great detail aside from the emotions involved.