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    « Friday's Fiendish Reads: Hell Breaks Loose, Werewolves, and a Bones Weekend! | Main | A Grand Romance Infused with Steamy Sensuality and Courtly Intrigues and yes...Vampires: "The Blood of the Rose" by Kate Pearce »
    Thursday
    Feb242011

    Thorny Crown...Sharp Entanglements and a Storm Queen in the Making...Reading "Iron Crowned" by Richelle Mead

    Book:                   Iron Crowned

    Author:                Richelle Mead

    Publisher:           Zebra

    ISBN/ASIN:         9781420111798

    Rating:                  4.5 Stars

    Release Date:    Out Now!!!

    Read an Excerpt

    Never before has foreshadowing played such an integral role in the Dark Swan series. At the beginning of Storm Born, the first in the Dark Swan series, Mead alluded that shaman Eugenie Markham’s destiny would be turbulent, on rocky footing, and perhaps a solitary journey. With a prophecy to contend with that could end the reign of humans in their realm and put the gentry in their place, Storm Born cultivated a tall order for the series. Would the destiny of Eugenie’s offspring ever fulfill the prophecy? Would she be able to channel fair play into her hereditary powers? Or would she be seduced by them?

    Even Eugenie’s quirky penchant for goddesses who have walked solitary paths was another insight into her potential entanglements. And Queen Maiwenn’s ominous warning to Eugenie to tread cautiously with King Dorian was not made in vain. Enemies and alliances are being formed into an all too familiar pattern reminiscent of the Storm King’s reign. For now Storm Born, Thorn Queen and Iron Crowned appear to be mere set-ups to the conflicts that will prevail in Mead’ next book, as yet untitled #4. Maybe then, we might see Eugenie’s prophetic dream emerge into a reality…Otherworld armies amassed and marching…towards the boundary of the Otherworld and ultimately to the realm of humankind.  

    All of these vital clues and warnings come into play with Mead’s third installment into the series with Iron Crowned. Eugenie further cements her position in the Otherworld, and her skirmishes against Queen Katrice. Finally realizing her responsibilities as a monarch, and seeking a way to end the rift to bring peace to the Otherworld, Eugenie is lured by Dorian into seeking out the fabled Iron Crown. The crown also sought after by her father, is reputed to dissolve the primal connection between noble and the land. With this dark instrument, Eugenie could wrest away the sovereignty of individual lands and make them her own. In a word, she could get Katrice to back down.

    Relationships also take center stage in Iron Crowned, especially that of Eugenie, Kiyo, Dorian and Maiwenn. Mead couldn’t have wielded a hammer better than she did regarding the tangled love triangle that has lingered over the course of two books. What Mead does in Iron Crowned is distill such an acute case of uncertainty with all the players that even I have trouble guessing what the eventual outcome will be. When Thorn Queen ended, romantic aftershocks shook the pages and with the events that occur in IC, they continue still, including a jaw dropping scene with Dorian where his wrath is fully felt and deserved…it’s anything goes…a total free-for-all. Words that come to mind...thwarted. Discomfited. Can Eugenie fix it and survive?

    Mead has really whetted my appetite for resolution with Dorian and Eugenie. But the overarching question throughout this series is will she ever find happiness? Will it be with him, or some other? As a character Dorian is incredibly fascinating, has an inordinate amount of patience and discipline over his sexual desires, his dominance, his kingdom and yes…Eugenie. Can Mead craft a solution now that Eugenie has thrown herself at his mercy and begged for “hospitality”?  We shall see.   

    A Fiendishly Bookish Review (and one grumpy cat)

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