20 January 2011

Review: The Iron King by Julie Kagawa

Meghan Chase is just about to turn sixteen and can't wait for her life to begin to change. She was thinking along the lines of a drivers license and little more attention from her stepdad, but what she got was a whole lot more--and we're not talking gifts.

Meghan always thought she was a bit different and sometimes imagined she saw things out of the corner of her eye. But when a changeling is substituted for her half-brother, she is forced to admit that the human world is only one version of reality. Meghan makes the choice to venture into Nevernever to try to bring her brother safely home.

Julie Kagawa's The Iron King is the first in a series centered around Meghan Chase, the half-breed daughter of the king of the Summer Fey and a human mother. I am no expert in the subgenres of fantasy/paranormal, but I would classify this novel as an urban fantasy. Meghan is clearly and absolutely of the modern world and the faery world co-exists with the twenty-first century.

In 2009, I had my first tastes of urban fantasies and was totally enthralled. When world building and character development are skillfully crafted, I cannot resist. Kagawa's Iron Fey series has both and more. The creatures, kingdoms, and rules that govern Faeryland are consistent and contextually believable. The interlinking of the ancient hidden world with modern America will make you look twice as you walk down the street or peek under your bed. And the depth of the principal characters in Meghan's life bring color, mystery, and humor to the tale. The charm and antics of Robbie, better known as Puck; the passion and power of Ash, a prince of the Winter Fey; and the sarcasm and loyalty of Grimalkin, the fey cat, keep the Summer princess on her toes as the three males try their best to keep her out of danger.

Despite these strengths, if the plot and the pace of the action were not nicely drawn, the reader would simply be entertained. Instead, Kagawa has created a story that will have you thinking about what technology has done to modern imagination, the meaning of loyalty and tradition, the strength of forbidden love, and the hidden power within us all when we are forced to defend the people we love the most.

I'll be talking about this series some more in the days to come--I am lost in Nevernever with Meghan, Ash, Puck, and Grim.

The Iron King at Powell's
The Iron King at Book Depository
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Published by Harlequin / Harlequin Teen, 2010
ISBN-13: 9780373210084
YTD: 7
Source: Review (see review policy)
Rating: B+

Copyright © cbl for Beth Fish Reads, all rights reserved (see review policy)


serendipity_viv 1/20/11, 7:47 AM  

This series is getting such good reviews. I really can't wait to read them.

Julie P. 1/20/11, 7:55 AM  

I'm a little jealous that everyone is reading these right now. I'm going to have to get these!

bermudaonion 1/20/11, 9:08 AM  

I'm reading this right now and really enjoying it. As things stand right now, I think I'm Team Puck, but we'll see what I think when I'm through with the book.

Molly 1/20/11, 9:28 AM  

I am still trying to get my feet wet in the fantasy genre, but this sounds like a good one to add to the list. Great review!

Zibilee 1/20/11, 10:45 AM  

I have not experimented with urban fantasy yet, though I do have a few book on my shelf. It sounds like this one might be something to look at, and I was glad to come across your review, as it's the first I've seen on this book. Glad to hear that it was a good read for you!

Sandy Nawrot 1/20/11, 2:47 PM  

I don't think I've read a single book in this genre, so I shouldn't judge. It doesn't interest me at all, but how do I know if I'd like it or not? I'm going to have to take the plunge at some point, like I did with graphic novels. You just never know, right?

kayerj 1/20/11, 3:49 PM  

I love reading a good series, thanks for the tip.

Nise' 1/20/11, 6:22 PM  

I am careful about fey/fairy books. You recommended Wicked Lovely and I loved it so I figure I will like this one as well.

Unknown 1/20/11, 9:40 PM  

I haven't heard of this one yet and it sounds really good! I can't wait to try it.

Michelle 1/21/11, 5:58 AM  

You already know how much I love this series. It's definitely one of the best going! And I've never been much of a fantasy fan so that's saying a lot. Glad oyu're enjoying it as well. Kagawa did a great job!

Swapna 1/21/11, 10:39 AM  

So glad to hear you liked this one! I am becoming more interested in urban fantasy, so I'm hoping to get to this book soon.

Jenn's Bookshelves 1/21/11, 1:05 PM  

Like Michelle, I'm totally in love with this series! It's a completely unique take on the Fae! LOVE it!

Heather 1/24/11, 8:38 AM  

I've hardly read any fantasy in the past few years and miss the genre. This sounds like a wonderful read. Thanks. I have already entered the new contest to win the series. Thanks.

Kailana 1/27/11, 8:20 PM  

I am really intrigued by this series. I am going to have to read it sooner or later! The only reason I haven't yet is because the library didn't have it, but they got the first book. :)

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