Two Minute Reviews: Winter's Passage and Summer's Crossing

Friday, August 12, 2011

Author: Julie Kagwa
Genre: young-adult, supernatural/fae
Series: The Iron Fey #1.5
Pages: 59
Published: June 2010
Rating: 3/5

The first novella in the series, this short story follows Meghan and her love interest Ash as they retrace past of an earlier journey (from The Iron King) in order to visit the ailing Robin Goodfellow a.k.a Puck. While Ash's pretext for joining Meghan's trek seems a bit thin, this is a nice little vignette into an unresolved plot-line from the very first book in the series. It provides a closer look at different places within the Nevernever, as well as the fae within the world themselves. The entrance into the land Tir Na Nog was exciting and filled with a fresh new villian - one that I ended up rather liking by the end.

At a super short length of only 59 pages this clearly is meant to be more of a snack than a literary meal - it's not quite strong enough to hold up on its own without the previous history of the first novel. Readers of the Iron King (and the whole series) waiting for a fix before the Iron Knight releases would do well to buy this cheap ($2.39 for Nook and Kindle readers) but fun novella featuring Ash and Meghan.

Author: Julie Kagawa
Genre: young-adult, supernatural/fae
Series: The Iron Fey #3.5
Pages: 72
Published: June 2011
Rating: 3/5

This currently-free for Nook and Kindle novella is the short but fun story of the reverse of the journey during Winter's Passage. Crossing from the lands of winter and Mab into the Summer-world of King Oberon, both Puck and Ash find themselves up against queen Titania, at the behest of Leanansidhe. It was a nice mix-up for the cast of the novella (just Ash, Puck and Grim - no Meghan at all), and the story was just a bit lengthier than Winter's Passage. I wouldn't recommend reading it out of order though, there are spoilers for book three casually mentioned by the characters.

Another addition was a mention of a new kind of creepy fae creature: hedge wolves. I like the Kagawa doesn't limit her inventiveness for the full-length novels: this short story was filled with her usual creativity and humor. I also appreciated the first real in-depth look into the workings of Puck's mind - as he's a typically non POV character, it was interesting to be in his head. It's also saddeningly easy to see the former friendship and rapport between Ash and Puck - without Meghan immediately present to complicate their past issues, the two even manage a functioning non-murderous working relationship.

This novella is FREE for all readers, so if anyone needs some more of Julie Kagawa's vividly creative Iron Fey series I highly suggest reading it. It's also a nice preview of how the Iron Knight will be written - using these same characters and same perspective. 

I have two full-length reviews upcoming (The Osiris Ritual, Graffiti Moon); hopefully one will be up Saturday and the next on Sunday. Enjoy your Friday, all!


  1. I haven't read the Iron King series but if I was a fan I think I'd love an inexpensive and free little story to go along. What a good idea. :)

  2. I only read part of the Iron King series - I like it but reading time ran out so it's on my list to finish as I can. However, the idea of a novella sequel is very intriguing. I'm going to get that one as well and see how it works. Great review - spurred me to get back to this story and seek out the novella.


  3. I thought it was a brilliant move, myself. Another tantalizing glimpse into a well-crafted and much loved series. Hope you enjoy the novellas, Brenda :D

  4. I made the mistake of reading Winters Passage before reading any of the other - will not be repeated. So I felt like I had picked up the story halfway through and had to try and piece together what they were talking about. But it got me interested :)

    Blethering About Books

  5. Ha, yeah probably not an ideal situation. but I am glad they interested you! They took a bit for me to fully invest, but then I was sucked in.


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