Iron Crowned (Dark Swan, #3)Iron Crowned by Richelle Mead
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Shocking! No pun intended given this story about the Storm King’s daughter and her inherited ability to channel lightning but this book just produces one shock after another.

After events that happened in the last book our heroine, Eugenie Markham, Queen of Thorn Land is currently at war with Katrice, Queen of Rowan Land in the parallel dimension of Otherworld. Wars being what they are, Eugenie is given a chance to end it without further bloodshed if she embarks on a quest to win the fabled Iron Crown.

Given that the majority of the populace in Otherworld can’t bear to be around iron or even touch it without enduring a lot of pain, the fact that Eugenie is half human should provide her with some measure of protection.

The quest to obtain the crown, whilst fraught with peril, doesn’t take all that long but what happens along it sets in motion a series of events and surprises that make the jaw drop. Just as you’re getting used to the idea after one revelation and how it makes sense, along comes another and flips the known world upside down.

The action switches back and forth between Otherworld and Tuscon, Arizona in our own and this world produces its own surprises when Tim, Eugunie’s lodger and her PA, Lara meet in person for the very first time. Being mortal phone enemies gives an opportunity for a nice piece of hilarity in the book.

It was also good to see Eugenie’s half-sister, Jasmine being fleshed out more from the slightly bent on worlds domination hellion that she was in the first book. Unfortunately, two other favourite characters, Shaya and Rurik, whilst in the book, don’t get all that much page time which is a pity considering what’s been obvious from Storm Born.

Whilst fans of Richelle Mead’s Vampire Academy may notice some similarities with Rose Hathaway, that’s only because both Eugunie and Rose are both fighters but they are very different characters in that Eugenie is a grown woman.

Overall, this story is much more turbulent than Richelle’s other series and is a great follow-on from the first two books. I can’t wait for book four.

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