Monday, July 8, 2013

Review: The Iron Queen by Kaitlin Bevis

* These reviews may contain spoilers for the previous two books in the series, Persephone and Daughter of the Earth and Sky. *

The Iron Queen by Kaitlin Bevis
The Iron Queen (Daughters of Zeus #3)
By Kaitlin Bevis
Musa Publishing

* A copy was provided by the author for review.

To Sum It Up:

Persephone has been captured by Zeus, and he’ll do whatever it takes to get her to swear fealty to him. As Persephone puts up a fierce fight, Hades frantically searches for her, as well as for a way to defeat Zeus. Other gods and goddesses are called in to assist, some of whom don’t believe that saving one young woman is worth risking the world for. There’s also the matter of whether or not Aphrodite can be trusted, especially considering her connection to Zeus. Persephone doesn’t have much time, though, and the deities need to band together if they’re to stop Zeus from seizing control of every realm.

Ally's Review:

I cannot even begin to describe The Iron Queen. After finishing the book, I was at a loss for words. The striking brilliance of this adaptation of Greek mythology is easily a favorite.

The new introduction of the shifting point of views had me initially worried. I feared that my ideal image of Hades would be tainted with the ability to see events unfold from his perspective. My fear was misplaced—it was thrilling and fresh to catch a glimpse inside the mind of Hades. It was even more enjoyable to read from Aphrodite's point of view. Aphrodite easily moved up in the ranks of my favorite characters with her witty humor. Her little side missions with Melissa provided a much needed breather from the neverending chaos that follows Persephone and Hades.

Another worry of mine concerning the shifting point of views was Persephone. For the two previous books, Persephone was the only window into the book. I wondered how my perception of her would change after seeing her through another person. If anything, my respect for Persephone grew. Not only did she hold her own against Zeus under the most abominable of circumstances, but she also gained the respect and admiration of the other gods and goddesses. In this book, Persephone is no longer seen as a child but as a force to be reckoned with.

Ever since I read the first book in the Daughters of Zeus series, I have been moaning and groaning about meeting other Greek deities. With this book, I got my wish. The whole entourage of gods and goddesses that are introduced left me giddy with excitement. The interpretation of each and every deity in the modern world was nothing less than brilliant. The new characters that eased their way onto my favorites list include Ares and Hephaestus. It was beyond fun meeting the new cast of characters, and it was even more fun watching Demeter and Hades trying to control them all.

The Iron Queen provides a constant stream of action and tension. The conflict with Zeus becomes paramount. I found it interesting to read about Persephone in the hands of the monster and then read about Hades trying to find his lost wife. It was interesting because as the reader you know where Persephone is but the characters in the book do not. No matter how much you want to help Hades and the other gods and goddesses, the most you can do is sit in the tension and continue reading. I was propelled by my own curiosity to read the book in a matter of hours.

With the new cast of characters and action at every turn, The Iron Queen is an exhilarating read. The previous books in the series left me stunned and wanting more, and this one was no exception.

All in All:

Daughters of Zeus is hands down my favorite mythological young adult series. It's very hard not to love these books.

Lee's Review:

Kaitlin Bevis’s Daughters of Zeus series has quickly become my favorite mythology retelling, and after reading The Iron Queen, I love it more than ever. This is the most intense, action-packed installment yet. I hated having to put the book down because I was so into it, and any time I had a free moment, even if it was five minutes, I pulled this up on my phone so I could continue reading.

I might have squealed just a little when Chapter 1 opened with Hades’s point of view. Okay, it might be more accurate to say I had a full-on freak-out. But it’s Hades—the badass god of the Underworld whom I’ve been in love with since the first book. With Zeus holding Persephone prisoner, we have access to the storm of Hades’s thoughts: fear for his wife, determination to save her no matter what the cost, and pure hatred of Zeus. Even though the tone of this book stays fairly serious throughout, there are still a few glimpses of Hades’s sense of humor (yes, he has one!). I cracked up at his memory of Cassandra telling a recently arrived soul to the Underworld about how he went through a “dark phase” after meeting Dante, he of The Divine Comedy fame.

Hades isn’t the only new POV addition to the series. Aphrodite also narrates some chapters, and at first I had mixed feelings about this. I really didn’t like her in the previous novel, Daughter of the Earth and Sky. I thought she was a bad influence on Persephone, and I found her annoying in general. But after reading from Aphrodite’s perspective, I really had to eat my negative opinion of her. Zeus took away her free will, and she’s stuck being bossed around by any member of the family who outranks her. It’s not a fun life. I actually wound up liking Aphrodite and her pert attitude. She and Melissa, Persephone’s friend/priestess, have some hilariously snippy exchanges that further provide some comic relief.

Poor Persephone spends the majority of the novel getting tortured by a merciless, power-hungry Zeus. To her credit, she fights back as much as she can against Zeus’s endless lightning zaps and the fake nightmares he’s planting in her head. Persephone actively searches for even the tiniest opportunity to get away, which is a lot more than I can say for some other YA heroines I’ve read about. I can’t stand it when a female protagonist spends more time talking about escaping than making actual plans to do so.

My absolute favorite part of The Iron Queen was the gathering of other figures from Greek mythology to unite against Zeus. It was like something out of The Avengers, and I LOVE The Avengers! Ares, Apollo, Artemis, and Athena all make appearances, and the assembly of awesomeness was just amazing. Apollo was too, too funny, with his cult of hippie worshippers and tongue-in-cheek alias, Mr. Sunshine. Even Hades snickered at that. As content as I’d been with the cast of deities in the first two books, the roster expansion in this one was both perfectly time and perfectly executed.

It’s always gratifying to see a series move forward with each installment, and this series truly hits the sweet spot with The Iron Queen. The story doesn’t appear to be finished yet, either, which makes me all the happier because I only just became acquainted with a host of fascinating new characters. I really hope their presence continues in future books.

All in All:

I loved this from start to finish. If you’ve read Persephone and Daughter of the Earth and Sky, you should be extremely happy with The Iron Queen.


  1. Need to read this now it sounds awesome!

    1. I LOVE this series! It just keeps getting better and better!

  2. This sounds like a perfect series for me, and one that I was not really aware of-adding to Goodreads now. I adore Greek mythology and retellings, so this sounds like a winner to me. Thanks for sharing and great review. :)

    1. Ally and I both love Greek mythology and mythology retellings, too, and this series is our favorite. I hope you love it, too!

  3. Sounds like a fantastic series! Great reviews, Lee and Ally.

    1. It is a great series! The way that the Greek mythology is retold in modern times is just perfect.


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