Review: The Iron King

Review: The Iron KingThe Iron King by Julie Kagawa
Series: The Iron Fey #1
Published by Harlequin Teen on February 1, 2010
Genres: Paranormal, Romance
Pages: 363
Format: Paperback
Source: Library

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.

The opening of The Iron King definitely worried me. It didn’t look good. Meghan struck me as a bit stupid, her family as neglectful jerks and the school drama as obnoxious. Thankfully, this lasts only so long and, once the plot takes off, the book becomes much more interesting.

I know that these YA fantasy romances are everywhere these days (I read a lot of them). Their quality definitely varies from absolutely atrocious to fantastically good. Based solely on this book (not on the following books in the series, which I have not yet read), I would place The Iron King among the upper half of this genre of books. There were some moments that made me eyeroll, but, overall, Kagawa created a world that’s largely convincing and a story that moves along at a good pace.

What was good about The Iron King?

  1. The References- William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream was a huge influence for this story. Since that is one of my favorite plays (and movies), I have to give Kagawa props for that (at least since she did it well enough). She also uses the term “otaku,” which is a reference to nerds in Japan.
  2. Meghan Chase comes across as a realistic girl. She is weak, skeptical, clever, awkward, strong and annoying at various points in the story. While she frequently needs to be saved by her companions, she also gets stuff done herself when she needs to.
  3. The story falls a familiar fantasy quest plot, which is comforting in its way. Meghan sets off on a quest (to save her brother), acquires companions (Puck, Ash, Grimalkin, etc.), loses companions along the way, and must ultimately resolve her quest alone.
  4. Grimalkin- I love this cait sith (fairy cat?). Despite his powers and the fact that he’s a fairy, he’s mostly just a cat. And it’s fantastic.
  5. The Pack Rats- They’re just so cute.

There are some less good parts too, but the good outweighed the bad. It will be interesting to see how the story develops in the next books, which I will be reading over the next month.

One response to “Review: The Iron King”

  1. Great review! I recently read and reviewed this myself and agree wholeheartedly with what you’ve said. Meghan did seem a bit immature and even annoying at times, but I’m hoping that her character grows in the rest of the series. I also thought Grim and the Pack Rats were awesome!

    (Its snowing in NC today too!)

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