Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Book Review: The Iron King by Julie Kagawa




Title: The Iron King
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Publication Date: 2/2010
Genre: Fantasy, Paranormal Romance
Purchased copy for review.

The Iron King (Iron Fey, #1) The Iron King by Julie Kagawa


My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Not since Alice went down the rabbit hole, or Dorothy flew over the rainbow, has there been a book so exciting. Iron King is a wonderful fantasy adventure that takes us into Nevernever, the heart of myths and fantasies, where danger lurks behind every turn. This book was too good to put down, as our heroine escapes one perilous situation only to stumble into more trouble at the next turn. Iron King has something for everyone; action, adventure, danger, friendship, and forbidden romance.

Tired of her life on a pig farm, Mehgan Chase looks forward to her sixteenth birthday, when she hopes getting her drivers permit might add some excitement to her dreary life. When she comes home and discovers her brother, Ethan, has been kidnapped by faeries and replaced with a dangerous changeling, Meghan gets more excitement than she had bargained for, as she resolves to save Ethan from the faeries who have captured him. After her only true friend, Robbie, reveals to her that he is actually the mythical Puck or Robin Goodfellow of Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream, Meghan enlists his help to venture into Nevernever to save her brother. As Meghan embarks on the adventure of a lifetime, she has no idea what dangers and revelations she will soon face.

There have been a lot of faery books published lately, and most focus on faeries interacting and living in our world. It was refreshing to see a book that dares to venture into fairyland, and the resulting story is top notch. Kagawa created a world where creatures of myth and legend roam, and what you say and the deals you make can have serious consequences.

My one criticism would be that the story’s climax came too swiftly. The entire story had been building towards this confrontation, but it was over in a matter of a few pages. The ending was a bit of a letdown after all the dangers and obstacles they face trying to get to the climax, but the journey to get there could not have been better. This quick ending may be partially due to the fact that this is the first book in a series, but still I feel with the time I invested in this novel I should have gotten more from the climax than the few pages it was given.

Still this was a fun and entertaining read and I find myself lamenting the fact that I have to wait another five whole months for the next installment in the series. I am anxious to see where Kagawa will go with the next book. Overall I found this book to be a very pleasant surprise. If you are looking for something to tide you over while you wait for the next installment, you might try Carrie Jone’s books Need and Captivate or the Wicked Lovely series by Melissa Marr. The next book, The Iron Daughter is due out in August 2010.


View all my reviews >>

Discussion Questions:

1. What did you think of the feud between Puck and Ash? How do you think that might play out in the next two books?


I felt that the feud between Puck and Ash was somewhat manufactured. I understand why Ash feels the way he does, but I think the author put it in simply to build the romantic conflict. There had to be some reason for the two to hate each other so that the competition over the girl is stepped up a notch. It creates more resistance to the relationship between Meghan and Ash. Kind of an Jacob/Edward type relationship and I feel it is being slightly overused in the genre lately.

I hope in the next two books that they find a way to get around Ash’s vow to kill Puck. I am hoping that Meghan can barter with Ash and get him to relinquish his vow for vengeance. Even Ash believes that it might have been hasty, but faery promises can’t be broken.



2. Favorite scene or line from the book? Could you relate to any of the characters?

The scene that made me chuckle was the one in New Orleans where Puck hales a carriage pulled by a mule and Grim hops up next to the driver and tells him “Historic Voodoo Museum and step on it.” For some reason that cracked me up.

Many of the characters were difficult to relate to because they were so unusual. You have dark and brooding Ash, and playful Puck, and Meghan who thinks she is ordinary but is actually extraordinary.



3. With whom did you identify with the most? And Why?

I could really identify with Meghan at the beginning of the book the most. I remember what it was like in high school being somewhat of a loner. Yeah I had friends, but admittedly I was a geek and was always afraid of being made fun of. It didn’t help that I wore my heart on my sleeve and you could make me cry at the drop of a hat.



4. Did you find the concept behind the Iron King- being a technology fueled modern day faerie- original or unbelievable?

The book has a very environmental theme. Our technology could be our undoing, and I can see this as becoming a more common theme in literature. Kagawa’s treatment of the topic is however most original in that the technology has spilled over into the fairylands. I think though, that they made the enemy almost too invincible since the ordinary fey can be killed by iron. It makes the tasks of Meghan and her friends in the future books nearly insurmountable.



5. Kagawa used a lot of mythical faeries in The Iron King, such as King Oberon, Queen Mab and Puck. Which fae from myth would you have liked to have seen added into the pages of The Iron King besides the ones she used?

I was happy with her choices.

8 comments:

  1. good review--mine is coming too. Don't forget there is also wonderous strange too.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I haven't read Wonderous Strange yet. I will have to add it to my list! Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Mel- I loved your review, great job and thanks for participating with the BWB.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Great review chick. Enjoyed reading. This book really did rock out, but as I've dissected it more there is a piece of food stuck in my craw with a big Twilight written all over it. The finally puzzle piece clicked with you mentioning the manufactured Ash/Puck rivalry.

    Don't get me wrong, but now looking back this was Twilight in faerie land, with a bit of Lord of the Rings traveling adventure. LOL.

    ReplyDelete
  5. ParaJunkee,

    I never thought of it that way, but you are right. We have ice prince Edward--oops I mean Ash, and the fun and playful Puck/Jacob. Even the cold/warm conflict exists here.

    I still liked it better than a lot of the Twilight wannabes, but that could be because I liked Fairie Land so much.

    One other thing stuck me while I was reading it, but I neglected to mention it. For some reason Grim reminds me of Mogget in Garth Nix's Abhorsen series. The attitudes were spot on and Mogget never helped unless there was something in it for him.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Great review! I think there's definitely a lot to discuss in terms of the relationships between Ash/Puck/Meghan- I'm definitely hopeful that there will be some novel twists and turns for this plot line. Thanks for participating in Blog with Bite!

    ReplyDelete
  7. You know I haven't read that series by Gath Nix, I just recently picked up Mister Monday and really enjoyed it, was it any good?? Oh - and congrats you got our Top Reviewer award and the $10 amazon gift card. Woot woot.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Thanks! That's great news! If you haven't read the Abhorsen series, I highly recommend it. I liked it much better than the Keys to the Kingdom series.

    ReplyDelete

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