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The Iron King by Julie Kagawa

Cover of "The Iron King (Harlequin Teen)&...

Cover of The Iron King (Harlequin Teen)

Book Title: The Iron King (Iron Fey #1)

Author: Julie Kagawa

Publisher: Harlequin Teen

Original publication date: February 1 2010

Genre: Young Adult

Format/pages: Trade Paperback 363 pages

Format read: Own copy

Date read: December 26 2010

Rating: 5 / 5 Stars

Summary from the back cover:

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.

My thoughts:

I’ve owned this book for many months now and I’m kicking myself that it has sat on my shelf for so long. My daughter picked it up over the holiday break and devoured the entire series in a matter of days and told me I had to read it. I have to say this book is worth the hype and is definitely one of the better series about faeries.

Meghan Chase has always felt like the odd girl out at school and home. She has one close friend, Robbie, who calls her princess. Her mother has a new husband and young son after Meghan’s father mysteriously disappeared. When strange things start happening on her sixteenth birthday she has to go on a quest to the faery land of Nevernever. Luckily she has her friend Robbie, who is actually a fae known as Puck, to escort her on her journey. This is really where the book took off for me, as Puck and Meghan leave the human world.

The protagonist Meghan is an average girl, and it’s easy to relate to her. She is somewhat feisty and brave and deals with the task at hand without too much self pity. She is facing some tough realities and challenges with courage and resourcefulness.

Meghan has Puck as her guide in the faery realm, and the Cheshire cat, Grimalkin. Some of the other characters making an appearance will be familiar to faery enthusiasts and those familiar with A Midsummer Night’s Dream such as King Oberon and Queen Titania. The characters overall are well drawn and come alive in the story.

The writing flows very well, and the story is well paced. The world building and descriptions are vivid and very detailed and it is easy to visualize Nevernever. The story is action packed, and it can be violent at times. The fey politics, and the Summer, Winter and Iron courts were really fascinating to me.

In addition to the faery adventures and politics, there is also a love story, or actually a love triangle. Puck is Meghan’s good friend and protector and knows her better than anyone and so is a natural fit for Meghan. But Meghan is drawn to bad boy Ash, the Winter prince. Ash is aloof and mysterious, and an enemy of Puck, but he and Meghan are pulled to each other. Both Puck and Ash seem to be fine choices for Meghan, and I wonder how the love triangle will play out. The romance aspect balances very well with the action and mythology of the story.

The Iron King is recommended for fans of young adult fantasy, faery fans, or fans of love triangles. The Iron King is one of my favorites of the year and I’ve already started the sequel The Iron Daughter, which I like even better.

After reading The Iron King, check out the novella Winter’s Passage. It adds more details to the story including some good Ash and Meghan scenes and segues nicely into The Iron Daughter.

For more information:

Amazon / Goodreads / Authors blog

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