The Iron King by Julie Kagawa

Don't ask me why, but for some reason I kept putting off reading this book. Maybe it was the fact that it was yet another faery story or maybe it was the weather, or just that I was in a reading slump at the time. I'm not sure what was wrong with me but I am so glad that I finally picked it up when I did. This book was amazing! Ms. Kagawa has created a world riddled with characters that not only have I come to love but who I secretly wish were real.

When Meghan's little brother, Ethan, mysteriously disappears it is up to her and BFF, Robbie, who turns out to be the infamous Puck (yes, from Midsummer Night's Dream), to return him safe and sound back home. In just a few short chapters Meghan is whisked away from the world and the life she has always known and finds herself in the Nevernever - the land of the fae. There she encounters all sorts of mythical, magical creatures - Grimalkin (a talking, sneaky cat who reminded me of the Cheshire Cat from Alice in Wonderland), all sorts of trolls, goblins, and scary what-not that relish the idea of eating Meghan, as well as some well-known characters from the Summer Court like King Oberon and Queen Titania. Then there is Ash - Prince of the Winter Court and enemy to anything Summer (and that includes Meghan and Puck). On a race against time to save her brother, Meghan not only finds herself on a perilous journey but also running for her life. When she finds no other recourse but to strike a deal with Ash she is not only risking imprisonment by the Winter Court but also in falling for the cold-hearted prince.

This was hands down the best faery book I've had the pleasure of reading. Meghan Chase was exactly what I want in a heroine. She handles one situation after the next with bravery, stubbornness, and selflessness. She was not a whiner which I can definitely appreciate. I think for a 16 year old girl who finds herself about to be eaten more than once by all sorts of unimagined creatures, she definitely passed the test. She had a few freak-out moments, but nonetheless, she handled herself perfectly.

The world-building in this story was phenomenal. There were parts that reminded me of Alice in Wonderland and others of Labyrinth (there were many similarities there), but other than a few of those moments, Ms. Kagawa's Nevernever is very original and refreshing. She blends mythology,well-known fairy tale, steampunk and urban fantasy seamlessly.

As for the romance (sighs), it is also very well done. As is common in most YA books, there is a love triangle but I didn't not find it to be overbearing, instead it was subtle and in the end I approved of it. I, like Meghan, also found myself torn between Ash and Puck. But I must confess I am an Ash girl. I loved that he was distant and cold but yet had his moments where his defenses would melt and his true feelings shone through. I can't wait to see how that plays out for Winter and Summer are not meant to be together.

All in all, Ms. Kagawa has outdone herself with this first installment in her Iron Fey series. I am intrigued by this captivating adventure full of page-turning action, humor and romance... I just WANT MORE!


cynthial11 said...

Yay!!! I'm so glad you liked it, It has become my favorite faerie series. =D Love the review!

Juju at Tales of said...

Great review.
I'm a little fairied out too :)

NatalieSap said...

This review came at a perfect time for me - I'm just about to read Iron Fey, Kagawa's novella which comes after Iron King but before Iron Daughter, and I needed a refresher on the story! I, too, quite enjoyed this book, but most especially the near ending, which I won't reveal here. ;) It definitely turned the faerie world on its side, and I'm always a fan of that.

Jenn-ay said...

What is with me??? I love fairies and I haven't read this yet. Oh boy...I'm on a mission next time I go to the store. I need to get this book!!!

Michelle said...

Wasn't it a fantastic read? If you have an e-reader (or don't mind reading on the computer) NetGalley has the galley of Iron Daughter, which is even BETTER!

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