In the third book in the Iron Fey series, Meghan Chase, half-breed daughter of King Oberon of the Summer Fey, would like nothing better than to return to her old life in the human world after being banished from Faery. The fact that her boyfriend, Ash, son of the Winter Queen, is with her eases any secret longing she might have had to remain behind. But it's never quite that easy for Meghan; before she can reunite with her mortal mother and brother, it quickly becomes obvious that the Iron Fey and the false king are going to continue to pursue her, no matter where she might be. So begins the journey to discover how she can finally defeat the Iron King once and for all and save the Nevernever from being decimated by its poison. Along with Puck and Grimalkin, Meghan, having defeated Machina, knows that she alone has the power to overcome the evil that is invading her father's world, and the quartet set out to vanquish the false king.
There's lots of emotion pounded into this book: Meghan reunites with the only father she's ever known in quite tragic circumstances, her love for Ash is tested, and Puck's seeming betrayal threatens their friendship early on. But even more than that, it's the sense of dread and the overwhelming fatigue that make Meghan's quest so real. Kagawa fills the novel well with atmosphere and creatures, and the impending doom that surrounds all decisions permeates everything. You just know it can't end well when Ash is deathly allergic to iron and that's the one element Meghan must battle in order to save Faery.
This entry in the series is well written and riveting, particularly as time runs out and Meghan realizes precisely what is going to happen. There's a lot of character development; it's good to see a relationship growing and also to see Meghan come to understand her full value. I particularly loved the resolution Ms. Kagawa came up with, feeling it made perfect sense and was well executed. There were a few times I did feel the story dragged slightly, but generally this was a good, solid read that has left me waiting for the Iron Knight. The world of Faery is well developed and engrossing, and I thoroughly enjoy my time spent there!