Thursday, March 4, 2010

Review: The Iron King

The Iron King
Julie Kagawa
Fantasy/Young Adult
Iron Fey Series/Book 1
Harlequin Teen/February 2010
Library book

From the author's website ~


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.

The YA reads have been very, very good lately. In The Iron King Julie Kagawa delivers a fascinating take on the Fae. I loved they way she portrayed the Seelie and Unseelie courts. The unique, modern twist she put on the Fae was inspiring. What attracted me to the story and kept me reading late into the night is the adventurous spirit of not only the plot but the characters. I had such fun reading this book!

The Iron King starts out the day before Meghan’s sixteenth birthday. She has a crush on a football player that she’s been tagged to tutor. She’s nervous and wants to make a good impression. Right away I liked Megan. She lives with her mom, step-dad and little brother on a pig farm. Being the daughter of pig farmers not only means Meghan is poor but she’s also on the receiving end of jokes and ridicule at school. She does have one good friend, Robbie Goodfell. Robbie is a bit mysterious and enjoys playing pranks but cares very much for Meghan.

Meghan's attempt to impress Scott Waldron, her crush, doesn't go as planned and she is left dejected. To make matters worse, she starts seeing "things" which she knows can't really be there. Her world begins to crumble when she discovers who she really is and begins her journey to the world of Nevernever or Faeryland.

The journey that Meghan takes is full of such amazing and wonderful creatures. Meghan makes some new friends, who might be enemies, and discovers how much strength she has inside her. The way Meghan deals with everything that comes at her is made believable in a world full of the unbelievable. But Meghan isn't the only one to show strength and loyalty. Her friends, both old and new, are there to help her and guide her on her journey. And even though these friends are more familiar with the Fae, there are times when they still need Meghan's help. It really is a group effort to fight the evil that has invaded Meghan's life.

The Iron King is told in Meghan's POV and while I usually don't mind, I did, at times, find myself wishing for Robbie and the prince's POV. But maybe we'll get those in the next book. The secondary characters do add so much to the story. Kagawa makes them and the setting come alive on the pages. One character Meghan meets, who left an impression on me is Grimalkin. He's a cat, sort of. ~

Directly in front of me, not five feet away, a pair of saucerlike eyes opened up out of nowhere, and I stared into the face of an enormous gray cat.

"There," it purred, regarding me with a lazy yellow gaze. Its fur was long and wispy, blending perfectly into the trees and the entire landscape. "See me now?"

"You're a cat," I blurted stupidly, and I swore it arched a brow at me.

"In the crudest sense of the word, I suppose you could call me that." The feline rose, arching its back, before sitting and curling its plumed tail around its legs. Now that my shock was fading, I realized the cat was a he, not an it. "Others have called me Cait Sith, Grimalkin and Devil's Cat, but since they all mean the same, I suppose you would be correct." pages 93-94

Grimalkin proves to be an asset to Meghan. He has a very dry sense of humor that I found adorable. Then there is the prince, a friend or potential enemy, Meghan isn't sure. What she does know is that he fascinates her. I found him a contrast to Meghan but they also had some very similar qualities. And her best friend Robbie is there, loyal to her and doing what he can to help.

There are many twists, turns, ups and downs in The Iron King. The ride was an exciting one filled with danger, surprises and friendships, along with a bit of romance. I'll be passing this one on to Abby, she loves fantasy so I'm sure she'll like this. The next book in the series is The Iron Daughter, due out this August. You can bet I'll be reading it to find out what happens next to Meghan and her friends. The way The Iron King ended left no doubt there will be more adventures ahead.

Rating: A


  1. Ohhhh! I didn't know it was about fae! Hmmm, I'm not too fond on the fae, however, your review makes it sounds good. Plus, you're right, the YA lately have been excellent... and well, there's 20%off on YA books at the moment because it's spring break. Hmmm. LOL. You gave it an A...

    Thanks Leslie :P

    by the way, is it me or Robbie Goodfell... Robin Goodfellow... LOL.

  2. nath ~ you're shameless! Any excuse to buy more books. LOL

    Robin Goodfellow? Hmmm... I hadn't thought of that. *grins*

    Trying for no spoilers here. :D

  3. I loved this YA!

    There are a lot out right now, but I've also noticed that many of them tend toward the Twilight story arc of "slightly passive normal girl meets supernatural boy and is saved from the supernatural bad guys".

    The Iron King is definitely NOT one of those books. I loved its originality and I loved Meghan's determination and burgeoning strength. Also, the Iron fey were seriously cool. ;-)

    Thanks for reviewing it and bring it some well deserved attention!

  4. Renee ~ Meghan was definitely not normal. I loved her strength and her vulnerability too. It was hard writing the review w/o spoilers. So much to tell. :)

    Hope more people pick up this book.

  5. Great review, Leslie! I've been seeing lots of great feedback on this one. I'll definitely be looking for it at the library.

    You and Abby should check out Incarceron. It was really good, too.

  6. Christine ~ I've got Incarceron on the library request list. Glad to hear it's a good one. :)