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Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Book Review: The Iron King by Julie Kagawa

The Iron King by Julie Kagawa

Series: Iron Fey #1
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publication Date: February 1, 2010
Publisher: Hardcover
Format: Paperback
Pages: 363
Source: Borrowed from teacher

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.

I tried reading this a couple years back, but I couldn't really get into it and I never finished it. But I've seen soooo much hype around this series and swooning for Ash and I had no idea why I was the only person who couldn't get through it. I'd been wanting to retry for a while so when my teacher was like, "You need to read this!" I was like "OKAY!" And I absolutely adored it!! I don't know if my head just wasn't in it last time or what, but The Iron King is a gorgeous novel interwoven with an intricate faerie world, enchanting characters, and a unique twist to your typical faery lore.

Immediately, I could tell Meghan was a character I was going to like. She wants to impress her crush, but she doesn't have anything nice to wear to school, so she decides that she is going to rock what she has, that she is just going to be herself and that she will wow him with her personality. She makes a really good first impression. She was really determined to save her little brother and she is unflinchingly loyal to the people she cares about. Sometimes her raw determination felt a little unbelievable, the way she was literally willing to sacrifice anything to save her little brother, because I didn't really get a strong feel for their relationship in the beginning. But that's just me. The other thing that I didn't like was that Meghan was not a fighter at all, and therefore throughout most of the book, she had to be rescued by Puck or Ash. It's not like she is completely helpless or anything. I mean, she does help out, and she does utilize whatever she can to save herself, but most of the time it was Ash sweeping in and saving her. I am certain that will be different in the next book due to certain events that occurred at the end if The Iron King.

As for Ash and Puck...I love them both. Puck brings humor and fun to every page that he is on, and Ash has that tortured soul thing going for him. I know the masses of Team Ash fans are going to lobotomize me for this, but I realllllly love Puck. He's always been there for Meghan. And he's totally misunderstood, just because a lot of his pranks go...wrong. I mean, I know Ash is the obvious selection for Meghan and that Puck isn't even really a romantic candidate, but I STILL CHOOSE HIM. I also loved Grimalkin. Not as a romantic option, of course. I just thought he was kinda sorta totally awesomesauce.

But my favorite part of the entire book was the world. We are sucked into an elaborate fantasy land, riddled with danger and tricks, and you just never know what to expect. It was so easy to immerse myself into Nevernever, to see all the unique creatures, to feel the tension between the courts. Julia Kagawa takes traditional faery myths and bring them to life, makes them her own. There are so many things Julie has to introduce to us, be it a creature or a concept, without overwhelming or confusing us and she does such a marvelous job! I was completely absorbed and one hundred percent convinced.

The pacing in this book is quick, but not too break-neck, always engaging. The action is literally made my breathing heavier and my heart rate quicker. And the writing absolutely screwed my mind in the best kind of way. And yet, something was missing. I can't identify what, but there is something that is preventing me from giving this a full 5 pawprint rating. I'm not sure, I mean this book obviously BLEW ME OUT OF THE FRICKIN WATER.

This is a book not to be overlooked, my fabulous readers. If you've been burned before by faery books, or you're just a faery skeptic--this is a book I'd recommend to break you out of that funk. If you think this is going to be like Tinker Bell, you got another thing coming. If you think faeries are all pixie dust and fluttering wings, PICK UP THIS DAMN BOOK SO YOU CAN REVEL IN ITS AWESOMENESS. If none of the above apply to you...well, you still want to read this. Trust me. There's a reason this series is wildly popular and I expect even greater things from the next books!

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Thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment on my blog! I love to hear from my readers, whether they agree or disagree with my opinion :) I do my best to get back to every commenter, though I am not always successful. Heh...Anyway, I look forward to hearing what you have to say! :D

~ Gabbi