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Iron Crowned (Dark Swan, Book 3) Mass Market Paperback – March 1, 2011
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An embattled realm mystically entwined with our own, the Otherworld is at the mercy of one woman...Shaman-for-hire Eugenie Markham is the best at banishing entities trespassing in the mortal realm. But as the Thorn Land's queen, she's fast running out of ways to end the brutal war devastating her kingdom. Her only hope: the Iron Crown, a legendary object even the most powerful fear...But who can she trust to help her? Fairy king Dorian has his own agenda. And Kiyo, her shape-shifter ex-boyfriend, has every reason to betray her. To control the Crown's all-consuming powers, Eugenie must confront an unimaginable temptation - one which puts her soul and the fate of two worlds in mortal danger...
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Eugenie…Eugenie…Eugenie….what are you thinking. Okay so is isn’t just the love triangle that I’m having a few issues with it is also Eugenie’s complete and utter disregard of any of her duties to a land she claimed. She spends a lot of time neglecting her kingdom and pretending that she is normal in the human world. She is the Ostridge sticking her head into the ground and pretending that everything isn’t happening around her. She honestly drives me a little crazy.
Sometimes she is bad-ass and then other times she is just a complete mess trying to avoid any responsibility to anything. I just wanted her to accept her choices and own them, instead of hiding.
The characters in this that I really liked the most were Dorian because he is a pretty fun guy even when machinating and finagling Eugenia into places she needs to be and Jasmine. YES you herd me right I liked Jasmine the half-sister that at one time wanted to kill Eugenia and have the Stormking’s grandchild she is the one I wanted more page time with.
I will give props to the twist toward the end. While I did see part of it coming I didn’t see people’s reaction to it and what it would drive Eugenie to do. I am invested in how the story will play out and I’m happy that this book SHOULD have totally resolved the love triangle completely so I won’t have to deal with that anymore but overall this is the weakest book in the series so far.
But being the queen of a kingdom at war in the Otherworld realm is both physically and mentally draining. Not just the fighting, but the casualties and destruction of villages on both sides has Eugenie upset. So when a peaceful option presents itself in the form of a fabled Iron Crown that causes others to fear the one able to obtain it on a quest, it seems like the perfect solution. She can't take anyone with full fey blood with her as the region is loaded with iron, so she's somewhat surprised when Dorian suggests taking Kiyo.
Eugenie is torn both with her responsibilities and finding that her trust is misplaced as motives become clearer. This aspect of the story drags on somewhat, but the author appears to be making the character as realistic as possible. [...]She's got a lot of responsibility and it's time for her to step up to the plate. However we do get a great deal of action and there are plenty of surprises to keep the story interesting in this long awaited third book in the Dark Swan series.
After Eugenie's involvement in killing a prince from another Otherworld kingdom in book 2, the Thorn lands are under attack. As battles ensue and lives are lost, Eugenie learns of a powerful Fey object, the Iron Crown, which can help her bring peace to her people. The Iron Crown is feared by the Fey because iron is deadly to all of them. But because Eugenie is part human, she should be able to obtain it.
The search that follows is extremely dangerous, and because Dorian cannot get close to the crown, it winds up being Kiyo who accompanies her on her quest. During the journey, Eugenie must face deadly creatures and powerful magic, but it is betrayal and anger that cause her the most harm.
In the end, it is the prophecy of the Storm King's daughter that seals her destiny. She finally learns who she can really trust.
Review: After reading a few reviews from people who clearly didn't like this book, I can honestly say that I agree with most of what they didn't like about Eugenie's choices in the story. In the first 2 books in the series, I found Eugenie to be rational, logical, strong and intelligent. Those are certainly great qualities in a heroine, but they can also be a little boring and predictable over the course of a series of books.
In this book, Eugenie makes one particular idiotic decision that made me so angry that I literally threw the book across my room after reading the section. Understandably, some readers might not like that kind of reaction to a story or character. I surprisingly found that I did like it. I read well over 100 novels per year on average, and I have NEVER had such an angry reaction to a book that I felt compelled to throw it. I was so overwhelmed by my strong feelings that I eventually picked up the book and finished the rest of it in one sitting. It wound up being my favorite book in the series.
Who says that we have to love the main character throughout the entire series??? For a few chapters of this book, I DESPISED Eugenie and thought she was a complete fool. What a surprise! I never would have expected the choices she made, and that is why I liked this book so much. I think it is our imperfections and mistakes that make life interesting. Eugenie has definitely shown that she can make a mess out of her life just like anyone else. Not very queenly to be sure, but definitely interesting. I can't wait to read the next book to see if she can learn from her stupid mistakes and redeem herself.
In the mean time, the characters of Dorian and Kiyo stay consistent to what you have previously either loved or hated in them. I happen to be pro-Dorian and anti-Kiyo, and this installment did not change my position. In fact, Eugenie's stupid choices actually strengthened my feelings toward the other characters. Instead of just liking Dorian, I now think he is a saint. And instead of mildly disliking Kiyo, I now HATE him. I think it takes a talented writer to evoke such strong feelings from her readers about her characters.
I've become a big fan of this series, mostly due to the surprising twists and turns in each book. It is very unpredictable, and I've enjoyed that element. I just purchased the final book in the series, Shadow Heir, and I plan to start reading it tonight. This series should appeal to fans of both Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance genres.