Author: Kaitlin Bevis
Summary: Life is hell for Persephone. Zeus will stop at nothing to gain access to the living realm and the Underworld, and as the only living god with a right to both, Persephone’s in trouble. Captured and tortured beyond the limits of her resolve, Persephone must find the power to stand against Zeus. But will she be strong enough?
Meanwhile, Hades contemplates desperate measures to rescue his queen. Persephone never thought of herself as dangerous, but there’s a reason gods never marry for love. A being with the power to destroy all of creation shouldn’t place more value in one individual than the rest of the planet. But Hades…Hades would break the world for her.
To save the world and stop both Hades and Zeus, Persephone must make a difficult choice. One that may cost her everything.
Genre/Pages: Mythology/Sweet Romance/228
Rating: ★★★★★ (5 of 5)
WARNING: Brace yourself! My
inner fangirl side may come through overwhelmingly heavy, potentially rambling, and undoubtebly long. You have been warned. It may also be grammatically incorrect at times.
My Review: I was given a copy of this book from the author, in exchange for an honest review.
First Paragraph: “Watching my wife chase after a human boy was hell. The heavy rain drenched the thin fabric of her clothes in seconds, plastering them to her body in a way that would be appealing…if he wasn’t going to see her, too. I clenched my jaw. She just doesn’t want him to get hurt. It wasn’t as though I wanted any mortals caught in the crossfire when we faced Zeus either. Persephone was just going to charm the boy into leaving the park.”
So, if you remember, a LONG time ago, Kaitlin Bevis contacted me and sent me a copy of her first book, Persephone, which I promptly, read, fell in love with, and REVIEWED. A few weeks ago, I read Daughter of the Earth and Sky, fell in love with it, REVIEWED it, and promptly started The Iron Queen. I read both books in under 24 hours. I don’t know what I would have done if I had had to wait more than 2 minutes to start the final book. That was one KILLER cliffhanger!
Hero/Heroine: This book is narrated by 3 people, with your typical multiple POV approach to keeping track of three different subplots and courses of action promoting the overall story plot. It is narrated by the following:
Persephone: Well, this was kinda obvious, I suppose. Persephone’s character (as in the personality trait) grew tremendously over the course of this novel, not to mention her actual character. Being in her head was hard – and even empathically physically and emotionally painfully – at times, but it was incredible to see her character growth. In the last book she was only just starting her “coming of age,” her transition from teenage girl to goddess, but it wasn’t until The Iron Queen that that transformation is fully completed and Persephone becomes the QUEEN she was always destined to be. And what a queen she is! I was afraid, what with all the torture she is going through (both mental AND physical) that one of two things would happen. Either A) she would pull a Katniss, go completely crazy with PTSD and be completely useless for the rest of forever… or, B) She would have NO PTSD, and thus make the whole thing a completely unrealistic story. I know, I know, Catch 22. I’m impossible to please.
…But I was pleased. Quite pleased, in fact, with how this wonderful character reacts to her situations and circumstances. She is the PERFECT representation of a strong female lead. She has strength, integrity, resourcefulleness, yet she’s not afraid to lean on others for support – men and women alike. She has a strong and healthy relationship, and despite all her circumstances, retains the grace and compassion that make her such a wonderful woman and queen.
Hades: I was absolutely overjoyed at the news that Hades would be narrating a third of this story! Getting to be IN his head, getting to know his character on that level…! Let’s just say, I was psyched. About Hades. Let me put it this way: People say that
… Well, you know what else is a myth? HADES! Therefore, HADES IS PERFECTION! (Teenager fangirl logic. Don’t you just love it?)
I love him. So much. He is the perfect fictional boyfriend. He’s a little bit of everything. He’s got a dark side (Hello! Lord of the Underworld here!), but he never lets the dark overtake the light. In fact, he’s been known to spout psycho-babble to anyone who’ll listen about the 7 stages of grief, and how to help souls transition to their new life as deadmen. (Sorry, uneccessary fangirl fact. Where was I? Oh, yeah)… He doesn’t hide anything from her, and he doesn’t try to push her away “for her safety” (yawn! That plot gets old fast!). And, honestly, I could go on for HOURS about how he is the best boyfriend EVER, but…
Get this! He’s also a STUNNING (and gorgeous) character OUTSIDE OF HIS RELATIONSHIP. Go figure! He’s an excellent example of a strong male character. He’s flawed, but almost endearingly so. He can be a little headstrong, stubborn, and he likes to be in charge, tends to think he’s right (well, he is, generally), but he has a sweet side, too. A soft side. It may be hard to enter his inner circle, but once you do, he will do ANYTHING and EVERYTHING to protect his loved ones. He is a perfect gentleman, with a great sense of humor, and a terrific personality.
Aphrodite: When I saw HER name at the top of the chapter heading. I was shocked. I couldn’t quite understand why Aphrodite had been chosen as our third narrator. I couldn’t see how being in her head would add to the plot at all. I was wrong. She was a confusing character. When you first discover her betrayal, that’s all you see to her. I can’t say anything else, except for: “BUT WAIT! THERE’S MORE!” Aphrodite is the kind of character I love. A bit naive, a bit helpless, and you can never truly be sure she’s working for your best interests. She’s quite the wild ride of a character, and I thoroughly enjoyed seeing her story slowly unfold.
Long story short: Kaitlin Bevis’ characters? SPOT ON.
The Romantic Relationship: I’ve gotta say, their relationship just makes me think of the song Amazed – by Lonestar. Especially the whole “I can hear your thoughts, I can see your dreams” line. I think the whole song kinda sums up their relationship, in a way. I can’t say much, except that it is healthy. Perfect equality. Equilibrium. Two halves of a whole. Partners. Lovers. Best Friends. Trust.
Plot: I didn’t love this book quite as much as I did the previous two books, but I think that partially was because SO MUCH happened in book two! Bevis completely destroyed the Second Book Syndrome! A LOT happened, and it covered a long period of time. A few months, maybe longer. And then this book came along – just as stunning as the other’s in most every other way, but it covered such a brief period of time that it FELT like less happened, when in fact, it was the climax of the entire trilogy. After the heart pounding, edge of your seat events of book two, it seemed like book three had suddenly slowed down. Because of the brief time span and the large number of new characters, and regardless of the heart pounding suspense of the events, everything seemed to move slower. The character’s actions were more planned. More precise. Which wasn’t necessarily a bad thing, just something I noticed. It was a drastic change.
WOW. This plot. I can’t say much without spoiling, so I’ll try to be brief. The gods all have to come together to meet their goals, but CAN they work together? Will they be in time to save Persephone and the entire mortal world? It was fantastic getting to dive into each of the gods and their specific stories, backgrounds, and getting to see what each of them contributed to the small army. Throughout this book you have the distinct sense of despair. That their is honestly no way to get out, no way to accomplish the mission, and even if they do find a way that MANY will die in the process. You were feeling what the characters were feeling. For just a moment, you dropped the constant critique and analyzation of how the story was going to end, how it was going to resolve, and just were engrossed in the moment. Dragged along with the characters, unsure of what future laid ahead. You never saw anything coming. Until it hit you.
Content Advisory: A handful of minor cuss words (B-, D-, S-, and H- words). One F-bomb (completely unecessary). There is a lot of intense torture performed on a young woman. Mostly just hit by lightning a few thousand times. It was a disturbing few scenes. You were in her head, experiencing the – detailed – agony of a lightning strike on the human body. There is an implied threat of sexual violence, but it never pans out. It’s all VERY realistic and disturbing. Sort of an Elizabeth Smart type of experience. It’s horrifying, but strictly PG-13. Mentions of, and a few scenes of, making out. Just kissing. Mentions of a cult of surfer girls and guys, the girls in “various stages of undress” throughout the whole thing.
To Sum it Up: I LOVED THIS BOOK. THIS SERIES. Kaitlin Bevis created a masterpiece, a stunning finish to a spectacular series. The one thing that I adore the most about this book is definitely the characters. Bevis creates real people. Everything about the character’s, their emotions, and their story is just SO REAL. You cannot help but fall in love. The world is masterfully crafted, and once you have entered it, you will find yourself constantly wishing to go back.
Oh, and did I mention that l desperately want one of these?: a living, air plant, necklace. :D
I HIGHLY recommend The Iron Queen to readers ages 16+.
Have you heard of this book before? Have you read it? Did you like it?