Review: The Iron King - Julie Kagawa

The Iron King (Iron Fey, #1)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.

I’ve seen countless great reviews for this book and decided to pick it up on a local ‘buy one get one half price’ offer.

I read it that evening and was not all that impressed. I often find that books about faerys have the same plot devices and I found that in The Iron King too, I also found a bit of originality. I also found a lot of similarities to Disney movies though. There are characters such as Grim the cait-sith (who strangely reminded me of the Cheshire Cat from Alice in Wonderland, with his riddles and disappearing and reappearing) and the Nevernever constantly reading as Neverland in my head.

The book employs characters from ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’, which was an interesting development, but I didn’t find it convincing. Oberon was too… well kingly and doesn’t live up to Shakespeare’s epic character, and what was the difference between Mab and Titania? Both were royal cows and I hated them both, yet one was queen of the ‘good’ court and one was queen of the ‘bad’ court, which complicated the matters a little. I loved the character of Puck a lot though, but I found it unrealistic how Meghan went from calling him ‘Robbie’ to ‘Puck’ with no hesitation at all, it seemed un realistic. I loved Puck though, he was the truest to Shakespeare’s original characters, with his wit and fun but also his terrific serious side.

As with many YA books, we had a whiney, moany main character. Kagawa tried to make her seem brave and noble – her sacrificing herself for her little brother, but to be honest I just found her way too annoying a character. And what is it with faerie books and faerie princes? It’s always a faery prince or a faery lord and while Ash had all of the developments of a fantastic character, the lack of originality made me like him that little bit less. I liked him a lot, he was nice, but I am really getting sick of Faerie Princes and their cold attitudes.

The plot was lacklustre as well. How many faerie books have I read with a changeling in it, and the main character going into the faerie world? Her faerie were basically the same as the ones created by Holly Black and Melissa Marr and there was very little change. Though I liked the idea of the Iron Fae, I think it could have been developed a little more, I hope it is in the sequel. The plot was simplistic, a Meghan gets into danger, Puck/Ash saves her, rinse and repeat.

I can’t say I hated this book, the writing was good, and the book kept me interested, but with the similarities to basically every book about faery that I have read, I can’t say it was fantastic. Maybe I just went in with too high expectations. I managed to finish it though, and I really hope the rest of the series adds a little more development.

If you have read Holly black’s Tithe and Melissa Marr’s Wicked Lovely, you won’t find much originality, but if you’re new to Faery, this would be an okay book for you.

Overall rating: C

My dearest mother, however, would like to put her two-pence in and states that while my very critical review may be very true, in her opinion it is a fantastic start to a new series and she was enthralled in it:

Overall rating: B

Stand alone/series: First in the Iron fey series
Released: February 1st 2010 (Paperback)
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Pages: 363
Book obtained via: Bought!

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