REVIEW: The Iron King by Julie Kagawa

Pub. Date: February 1st 2010
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Pages: 363
Readership: Young adult
Genres: Fantasy, Paranormal
Rating: ★★★★

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.

This sat on my to-read shelf for a long time, at home. Finally, after wanting a change from the dystopians I was reading, I picked it up, and boy I wish I read it sooner. This book is nothing short of fabulous.

I took my time reading this because, even though there are tree more in the series to read, I didn’t want it to end. I’d put it down for a day or two to read something else then pick it up again but by page 200 I couldn’t do that anymore. I just could not put this book down. Kagawa created such an original, fantastical world that just blew my mind. Nevernever felt very Alice in Wonderlandy meets The Enchanted Forest to me.

Add to the enchanting, intricate world the characters. There’s Meghan, our heroine, a loyal to a fault seventeen year old whose life turns upside down when her brother gets kidnapped. Meghan has a good heart and literally stops at nothing to get her brother back, forging deals and contracts along the way. She never cares if harm will come to her, as long as she gets her brother back safe. There’s Puck aka Robin Goodfellow (yep, from A Midsummer Night’s Dream) the fun, carefree Trickster who turns out to be much more than that. There’s Ash, the Ice Prince with a cold heart that warms by the end of the book. But I think above all of them, Grimalkin is my favorite character. Grim the talking cat who takes no shit. Grim the mischievous cat. If Kagawa wrote an entire series devoted to him, I would read it and reread it forever. I just love him so, so much.

But the best part of the book is the world. It takes a grand imagination to create this intricate world and the creatures in it. Kagawa has a dedication to detail that is fabulous. There the Winter Realm, Tir Na Nog, the Summer Court then the steam punk-esque Iron Fey realm. Then the wyldwood. All of them have such interesting and unique creatures in it it’s a wonder anyone could think up so many different things and bring them to life so spectacularly. (But I think the packrats of the Iron Fey are my favorite out of them all. What cute little buggers!)

All in all, I really enjoyed this book. While there were little things that bothered me – Meghan’s a-ha moment when Ash finally said her name wasn’t actually the first time, people standing who would be sitting in the next line then standing again the one after that – little things like that. However, that didn’t hinder my enjoyment of the book. I can’t wait to start the next installment.

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