by Julie Kagawa
Part of the Iron Fey series. Click here to read reviews of the other books in the series. This review may contain spoilers for other books in the series.
Return to the world of fairies and magic in The Iron Legends, a series of short stories set in the world of the Iron fey. Follow Meghan Chase and Ash as they are pursued by the Big Bad Wolf throughout the Nevernever, or accompany Puck as he sneaks Ash into the heart of the Summer Court on a retrieval mission for the Exile Queen Leanansidhe. In the final tale, Queen Meghan is given a prophecy warning that her firstborn child will bring endless grief, setting the stage for the Call of the Forgotten series. A glossary and “Guide to the Never Never” round out the book.
Originally released as e-book novellas, the stories contained in The Iron Legends acting as bridges connecting the novels of the series to each other. When placed in chronological order, the stories should be read thusly:
- The Iron King
- Winter’s Passage*
- The Iron Daughter
- The Iron Queen
- Summer’s Crossing*
- The Iron Knight
- Iron’s Prophecy*
- The Lost Prince
* = stories found in The Iron Legends
I think that my biggest criticism of this book is that the material is largely covered in the original novels. For example, if the “Guide to the Never Never” looks familiar, that’s because it was originally printed in The Iron Knight. This version has been updated and expanded, but it’s still largely the same text. About half of the first short story, “Winter’s Passage”, is C&P’d from the early chapters of The Iron Daughter.
The other two stories, thankfully, are more original, supplementing the novels instead of repeating them. I really enjoyed “Summer’s Crossing”, a tale told from the point of view of Puck. It’s a quest adventure, and much more light-hearted and playful than the rest of the series. It’s a refreshing change. “Iron Prophecy” may not be as fun, but it’s probably the most essential of the three novellas, because it helps explain Meghan’s actions in the years between The Iron Knight and The Lost Prince, which in turn completely changes her character.
I read this book alongside the novels, reading each story at the appropriate time. It isn’t essential reading – well, “Iron Prophecy” might be – but it was an entertaining way to get a fresh perspective on events as they unfold. I saw one reviewer describe this as “a gift to Iron Fey fans” from the author, and that’s pretty much what it is. It even has little drawings that Kagawa drew of the characters, which I thought was pretty funny since the characters looked pretty different from how I’d imagined them – or the models that the publisher picked for the cover.
3 out of 5 stars
To read more about The Iron Legends, buy it or add it to your wishlist click here.
Peeking into the archives...today in:
2012: Sailor Moon Vol. 5 by Naoko Takeuchi
2011: Finding Everett Ruess by David Roberts
2010: Giveaway #14: The King's Mistress by Emma Campion
2009: News: Amazon Pulls Orwell Books From Customers' Kindles
2008: Ghostly Encounters: True Stories of America's Haunted Inns and Hotels by Frances Kermeen