Review: The Iron King by Julie Kagawa ★★★★★

The Iron King by Julie Kagawa
Genre: YA fantasy
Series: Iron Fey series #1
Publication Date: February 1, 2010
ISBN: 0373210086
Page Count: 368
My Rating: ★★★★★

Summary


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.

REVIEW



This enchanting story follows Meghan Chase, a quiet, simple girl who's just about to turn 16 and lives in Louisiana on a pig farm. Her only friend and closest neighbour is a boy called Robbie Goodfell. Robbie generally seems like the best kind of friend a girl could have: supportive, funny, loyal, protective...mysterious?

Meghan goes through life feeling largely ignored, even by her own family. She deals with it by clinging to the belief that the second she gets a license and a car she'll leave and never look back. That being so, her sixteenth birthday can't come soon enough.

We join Meghan's story on the day before this momentous event. A day that starts out just like any other, but quickly turns into something very different. A day with glimpses of strange shadows in the corner of her eyes, creepy messages scrolling across computer screens, and a younger brother, Ethan, who says he is frightened of the man in the closet who wants to take him to the King...

There are many surprises and twists and turns to this story and we are soon led into the wonderful world of Faery, or the Nevernever as it is also known. Julie Kagawa paints a vivid and vibrant backdrop to this delightful YA fantasy story. In fact, the world-building was so strong I sometimes forgot I was even reading a YA book. It just felt like a good, solid fantasy story with a fast-moving plot and not a drop of teenage angst anywhere in sight.

The differing lands of Faerie feature many creatures we have heard of before: trolls, goblins, nixies, cait sidhes, brownies, gnomes, kelpies and such like. There are also some famous faces whom you might recall from Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, such as Puck, King Oberon and Queen Titania. There are two opposing courts in Faerie; the Summer court and the Winter court, or the Seelie and the Unseelie court. As the characters traversed between these different realms we were treated to scene after scene of stunning imagery; from the ice-cold beauty of the Winter Courts, to the lush kaleidoscopic vista of the Summer court. It was truly a joy to read.

A Midsummer Night's Dream isn't the only Shakespearean play that comes to mind when thinking of this story either. I see a potential for a Romeo and Juliet type story. Star crossed lovers from opposing sides. I can't wait to see how that all plays out in later books.

Meghan showed a lot of character growth throughout the book. I found her to be a girl with a tender heart and an iron will. She will not stop trying no matter the personal costs if someone she cares about is in danger. An attitude that is completely bewildering to the Fae. I liked her a lot.

I'm greatly looking forward to the rest of the series, and I hope it lives up to this wonderful beginning.

And may I say the book covers for this series are some of the nicest I've seen in a long time. Click on the picture to have a closer look, they really are beautiful.

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