Kaitlin Bevis,
Daughters of Zeus #3: The Iron Queen
(Euterpe, 2013)

Finally, Zeus's endgame is nigh, in all its horror. The remaining gods cluster together to try and outwit him, while Persephone simply tries to hold on to herself. The longer she lives under Zeus's power, the less clear her mind becomes. Yet Persephone must keep some rules clear, or all the realms will fall to the mercy of this divine madman.

The Iron Queen differs from its predecessors by switching from Persephone's perspective to those of Aphrodite and Hades in order to keep the reader apprised of all the action. This ensemble approach quickens the pace and intensity with a variety of emotions and plans, making it more difficult to predict the outcome. With her own voice, Aphrodite recasts her history so neatly that she nearly steals the book. The new deities introduced in this work interact plausibly in modern roles while still maintaining their mythic essences and ferocity. All of author Kaitlin Bevis's rules for divine interactions and abilities play together naturally, renewing these characters and drawing the reader into this world by removing the usual distance between the ordinary and divine. This last work really is the culmination of all Bevis's ploys to convince readers that the Greek gods truly belong in modern times.

The Iron Queen is the climax of battle between desperate, frightened gods, and as such it is filled with cruelty, confusion, bitterness and vulnerability. This book offers more suspense and action than the previous two, with less romance. This is definitely the darkest of the series and feels heavier, but that brutality shores up Persephone's world by balancing the supernatural nature of her story with equally harsh consequences. It brings this story home to the reader and makes the aftermath that much more cathartic, as all Greek tales should be. It's engrossing.

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book review by
Whitney Mallenby

21 December 2013

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