Title: The Iron King
Author: Julie Kagawa (site)
Published: Feb 1st, 2010 by Harlequin Teen
Price: $8.32 Book Depository $9.99 Amazon
Series: Iron Fey #1
Synopsis: Meghan Chase has a secret destiny—one she could never have imagined…
Something has always felt slightly off in Meghan's life, ever since her father disappeared before her eyes when she was six. She has never quite fit in at school…or at home.
When a dark stranger begins watching her from afar, and her prankster best friend becomes strangely protective of her, Meghan senses that everything she's known is about to change.
But she could never have guessed the truth—that she is the daughter of a mythical faery king and is a pawn in a deadly war. Now Meghan will learn just how far she'll go to save someone she cares about, to stop a mysterious evil no faery creature dare face…and to find love with a young prince who might rather see her dead than let her touch his icy heart.
Initial Thoughts: I was really excited to read this. I've heard so many good things, read so many good reviews that I went into it thinking that it would be great.
Review: I want to start of by saying that this was a good book. I probably would have enjoyed it more at a younger age, or maybe before I'd read anything else about the Fae. It felt more like a MG adventure story than a YA Fantasy, which wasn't what I was expecting. Now, on to the review!
This book reminded me a lot of Labyrinth. (If you haven't seen it, run to the video store right now! Fantastic movie) Girl loses brother, has to go rescue him. Then it gets much darker- carnivorous changelings and murderous waterhorses. The settings were well-described. The Nevernever was sometimes dark and terrifying, sometimes beautiful, but always fleshed out enough to create a clear picture in my mind. While the plot felt very MG Adventure, the setting and characters were sometimes a bit too dark for that. The Iron Fey were a wonderful idea- very original. It adds a whole new dimension to the whole Fae world, saving the book from being just another Fairy Tale Adventure.
Meghan was, I felt, a bit annoying. It's not that she was too whiny or too dull. The whole problem is that she didn't appreciate the Awesomeness That Is Puck. As soon as he was introduced, I loved him. The prankster has always been a favorite character of mine and I was excited to see him take a major role in a YA novel. However, as time wore on and it became obvious that he was in love with Meghan, I began to want to punch her in the face. Why fall for a cold, cruel, unwilling-to-go-against-his-family jerk when you have Puck?! He disobeyed the king and took the punishment without whining for her, without her even being in love with him! She gives her heart to Prince Cold Fish and he still refuses to disobey mommy! Also, the lack of Puck in the last third or so of the book was not something that I enjoyed. Maybe if Ash had a bit more to him. He just felt a bit dull. I couldn't see what she saw in him. Hopefully we will see some more character development from him- or a return to sanity in Meghan.
Quick Review: A classic adventure tale leaning a bit towards the MG genre with vivid settings and engaging characters. I feel like this would probably be a good read for boys, too. (Unlike a lot of YA out there right now.)