Friday, February 24, 2012

Dark Swan Part 2: Iron Crowned & Shadow Heir

                Previously I read and reviewed the first 2 books in the series by Richelle Mead (Storm Born & Thorn Queen).  Then however I was so lucky to receive some ARC’s of other books I felt I needed to read them first.  Plus these books although I love them and can hardly make myself put them down had really gotten under my skin.  See I’m the type of reader who gets worked up about the stories.  When things happen I feel it.  That’s why I love to read.  I love that feeling where even if you know what will happen you can still become involved.

                That being said I still have a ton of books to read but for now I had to read the last two in this series.  First up is Iron Crowned.  I’ll go ahead and warn everyone that I don’t normally do spoilers but the whole premise of books 3 and 4 are based off things that happen in the previous books, major things so be warned.  Also like the other books in this series this is not my usual YA type book and thus darker content and lots of sex.

                Eugenie Markham is back and struggling with the aftermath of what happened in book 2.  When we left off she had been the Queen of Thorn Land a title she never even wanted and the subject of the prophecy that says the daughter of Storm King (her father) will give birth to the son who will conquer both worlds.  Just her luck.  Well after many people trying to take advantage of her and be the one to father such a conqueror one failed but in his attempts sealed his own fate.

                Book 2 ends with the worlds of the Otherworld at war.  Eugenie and Dorian’s lands against the Rowan lands (pissed off mother of the ignorant son).  Eugenie doesn’t want a war but she doesn’t have a choice.  Her consort and lover Dorian is a very helpful asset in the war and other things.  Although he seems more aloof from the loss of men than Eugenie he also likes power and taking it from another while defending his actions seems just fine with him. 

                That is until someone tells Eugenie about the legend of the Iron Crow.  A crown, that if she were to wield it would force all to back down and end the war without more bloodshed.  An amazing thing and something Eugenie will try for but it’s not something easily gotten, although I do concede that it wasn’t as hard to get as I’d have thought given it’s significance.  Along with her on this quest is Kiyo, half human like her so able to be around Iron unaffected, and also her ex-boyfriend.  It seems getting the crown isn’t the hardest part but dealing with the multitude of betrayals from every direction.

                So much happens in this book and I admit I had a few questions about things.  Logic type questions but I really like the series, even when it makes me mad, and was willing to overlook them.  Eugenie is still the same bad ass as in the other books, she still gets hurt emotionally and physically, and makes rash decisions that she should have thought out more.  But that works for me.  When emotions are reeling sometimes people don’t make the best decisions, they screw up and then have to deal with the consequences.  And let’s face it Eugenie has a lot to deal with. 

                Overall I liked it and was very happy to move right into Book 4, Shadow Heir, which will be reviewed now.  Again keep in mind spoilers follow that if you haven’t read books 1-3 you might not want to continue.  Fair warning.

                Now for Shadow Heir, the final book in the series I have to say I have mixed emotions.  We pick up shortly after book 3 ends which has a lot happening.  Our always vigilant and strong Eugenie is stuck in a difficult place; pregnancy.  This is new and scary for her and an even greater challenge always being one to jump right into a fight.  People are still trying to kill her, to prevent her from fulfilling the prophecy making her usually complicated and busy life even harder to get by.  Ruling two kingdoms that need her attention, doctor visits in the human world and everything can be rather a big deal.

                Well as it turns out her having the grandson of the great Storm King isn’t the Otherworlds biggest problem.  A blight has set on the lands, even the ones who are trying to kill her.  Differences put aside for the time being an uneasy alliance is formed putting Kiyo back into her life as they set out on a journey to try and save all of their kingdoms.

                The changes in Eugenie are wonderful.  With each book she grows a little bit more and still she makes rash decisions but this time she has more than herself or even her people to worry about, she also has her twins.  We also see more of both her lovers whom she has been with both in each book it seems, Dorian and Kiyo.  Now in this book her emotions are all over the place but she is sure about a few things and being with Kiyo is not up for debate.  Then again when he changes the way he did then it’s sorta clear to the reader.  We also see great change in Jasmine and most of all we see more in Dorian.

                Now I admit I have a knack of seeing things coming way before they happen and thus was the case in both of these books.  Little words or things I see and know they are to be important later and usually I’m right.  I won’t give away the end of the book but if you have paid attention throughout then you should as well.  But I still enjoyed reading them.  They were fun and a quick read.  Honestly I have a kink in my neck from being huddled over reading the last few days. 

                I did say that I had mixed feelings about this book and it’s end.  Although I enjoyed the ending I was also perplexed by the decisions made.  Part of me, the part that likes to dream up alternate endings, enjoys the open ending so I can imagine what I want.  The other part of me is upset that I didn’t get a definite closure.  Oh well I know how it ended in my head.  Now any of you who have read the books please hit me up I’d love to discuss this series with you. 

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