Monday, January 3, 2011

Review: The Iron King, by Julie Kagawa

The Iron King, by Julie Kagawa
Published: February 1, 2010
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
ISBN 13: 9780373210084
Genre: Fantasy, YA
Pages: 363
Source: bought
Series: Iron Fey #1

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.

A few weeks ago I was browsing books on Amazon, and read the preview they offered for The Iron King. I was immediately drawn in. Nothing had happened, we had literally just met Meghan Chase, and I had nothing to go on--other than the voice. I immediately knew I would love this book. I can't really explain it, but I connected to the character almost instantly. Two paragraphs into the book, and I didn't want to stop, but that was just a preview. Well apparently this is a popular novel, because it took me forever to find it, and even when I did, it was only one little copy. I couldn't find The Iron Daughter, which makes me want to scream but I'll get to that later.

This was my first official fairy novel. Unless I count Sookie Stackhouse. I don't. So going in, I was a little nervous. Fae is something that has always interested me, and I was worried it wouldn't live up to my expectations. It's one of the most far fetched concepts, and I wanted to really be able to believe it. Kagawa delivered!

As I mentioned earlier, this novel pulled me in from the very first page. I think this is large part due to Meghan, who was an intriguing character. She was strong, yet didn't shy away from her vulnerability. She wasn't one to always do the right thing before at least considering the alternative. There were times when she would consider doing something, and I couldn't understand how she would even give it a second thought. But then you realize, she's human. Sort of. Who makes the right decision without thinking about the wrong one? This made her feel more real to me.

There isn't a character in this book who doesn't really grab your attention, even if they're only in it long enough to go a bit homicidal. Everyone was interesting, unique, and vivid. Aside from this, there is no time wasted with unnecessary introductions. You are quickly dropped into a fairy world so intense, you truly feel like you're there.

Meghan encounters many, many characters along her journey. Few of them have good intentions, and for this reason, I absolutely loved Puck. He was one of the only characters involved who didn't look for something in return any time he helped Meghan. In fact, I think he may be the only character who didn't expect something in return. Ash was that dark, brooding hottie that we can't help get a little fuzzy around. I fell for him too of course, but it took me quite some time. Most of the time I was wondering how anyone liked him, as a romantic interest for Meghan. To be completely honest, I wish we'd seen more development between the two of them. Their relationship grows as the book progresses, but I felt like we missed out on a bit of that. We were there for all of it, but for some reason I feel a slight disconnect. Grimalkin, a cat Meghan comes across, was a fantastic character. Always amusing, always sarcastic, and always bored.

There's a cliffy, thus--my screaming. I may have to order The Iron Daughter, since I can't seem to find it in stock anywhere around here. I'm dying to know what happens next!

Overall, I loved it. I had small issues with the relationships but none were distracting enough to take away from the story. Meghan's journey is one I was completely enthralled with, and I almost have the urge to look in my closet for a path to Nevernever. :p

5 Stars!


  1. I hear such incredible things about this series! I really need to try it! Great review, Amanda :)

  2. Glad you finally read this one and enjoyed it! Lol. Personally, I think the series gets better as it goes along. I had a little bit of trouble with Meghan and Ash's relationship in the first book as well, but I think there's more development later. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  3. Oh this series is so good! I'm so glad you enjoyed it! I can't wait for The Iron Queen to come out. I hope you can find The Iron Daughter. I love Grimalkin, he's quite a character. ;)

  4. Hi Amanda,
    I hope you talked sternly to the bookstore/library/whoever manager and asked them to carry Iron Daughter! So glad you loved the book. And the series only gets better. Thank you for the review.
    --Natashya Wilson (sr. ed. Harlequin TEEN)

  5. I'm reading this right now, and have been pleasantly surprised. I agree about the relationship development missing a little something. Still better than most YA novels with "soul mates", but it kind of seemed to show up out of the blue. Otherwise, I'm really enjoying it.


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