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Julie Kagawa: The Iron King
Julie Kagawa: The Iron King
Julie Kagawa: The Iron King
Ebook128 pages

Julie Kagawa: The Iron King

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

3/5

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About this ebook

Based off the New York Times best selling novels. The Iron King is the first book in the Iron Fey series, and follows the adventures of a girl named Meghan Chase. On her sixteenth birthday, Meghan discovers her little brother has been kidnapped by a faery race known as "the Fey" and even worse, replaced with an evil changeling and taken into the "Nevernever." Meghan bravely ventures into the faery realm to rescue him, and that's where an epic plot unfolds. This collected edition has never before images and character designs!
LanguageEnglish
Release dateSep 10, 2014
ISBN9781632941428
Julie Kagawa: The Iron King
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Rating: 3.166176470588235 out of 5 stars
3/5

1,360 ratings210 reviews

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  • Rating: 2 out of 5 stars
    2/5
    My daughter read this whole series so I just had her tell me the end. Megan is a helpless heroine, and I really get tired do her needing to be rescued. I was even able to predict what would happen while daughter was telling me the story.

    I love tales set in a world with Fae, but this one just left me flat. I won't read the rest of the series, but I have a group of girls at school who love all of the books. I'll just buy them for school.
  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    4/5
    A 16 year old girl that has never fit in. Is drawn into the fey world when her brother is replaced with an evil copy. Her best friend is not what she tought he was and a love may be in her future. She must rise above who she thinks she is and open herself up to new reasoning.
    This is a fantastic tale, Having an "Alice in Wonderland" feel to it. The characters are strong and some very wicked. I just enjoyed escaping into this story and can't wait for book 2. What will Ash do with her ?
  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
    5/5
    Great start to a new series. I don't normally read books that have to solely deal with the Fae but I really enjoyed this book. I read through it easily and I was eager for more. I look forward to reading the others in the series.
  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    4/5
    It's not everyday that a teenager from Louisiana has to travel into the world of the Fae to rescue her little brother. Lots of strange things do happen in Louisiana (if you've ever been to the French Quarter, you know this) but faery abductions are rare. Notice I did not deny the possibility that there are faery abductions since that would be a reckless thing to say on my part, as they might be listening and they might decide to prove a point. Let's stop a moment and all collectively clap our hands just to be on the safe side. Meghan has to brave the terrors of the wyldwood, the vicious, ungoverned territory in the world of the fae that separates the Seelie and Unseelie courts. Here she begins to understand the dark, deceptive nature of the Fae and that even the slightest bit of help, comes with a price. An unexpected separation from Puck, her friend and faery guide, leaves Meghan with no choice but to solicit the aid of Grimalkin, a cat like creature with hidden designs who is all to eager to exact a debt from the daughter of the Seelie King. Her arrival in the Summer Court, home of King Oberon, reveals a side of Meghan's life that she would never dream existed. Here she is only a pawn for the fae, both Seelie and Unseelie, to use in their endless wars amongst themselves. With creatures from every side vying for control of Oberon's daughter, they have little concern with her quest to free her brother. But they forget, as a powerful faery princess, Meghan can decide her own fate. This book is so much fun! There's a great adventure taking place and Kagawa's world sucks you in until you're running for your life along side a faery princess! Not a bad turn of events for someone who had just resigned herself to nonchalantly read the story from the safety and familiarity of her hammock. I really wasn't expecting to enjoy this story as much as I did. The concept seemed rather silly and maybe a bit juvenile until I remembered that THERE IS NOTHING NICE ABOUT FAERIES. **clap clap** I loved Meghan for not being an incompetent whiner. This girl holds her own in this strange, exotic world- even if she does lack the sense to NOT fall in love with a guy who has vowed to kill her. Ah, youth. I'm not going to dwell on the fact that the whole falling-in-love-with-the-bad-guy thing is a bit played out, because it's the running gag in romance right now so I can let it slide. And hey, we've been there. That swarthy, overly tattooed bartender with the eyebrow ring? So not a good idea. But for future reference, authors, it's bad form to love your potential murderer. Just FYI. I read this book cover to cover in about a second and a half because I was unable to put it down. I was be-spelled, entranced, and ensorcelated (that word copyright 2011 by Life After Jane, not to be used with out express permission of the owner). "Excuse me, sir!" I gasped as the policeman turned to me. "Could you help me? There's a gang chasing-" I stumbled back in horror. The officer regarded me blankly, his jaw hanging slack, his eyes empty of reason. He lunged and grabbed my arm, and I yelped, kicking him in the shin. It didn't faze him, and he grabbed my other wrist. Plus 10 points for having zombies. I loved that Meghan lived in Louisiana, and fought faeries just over the pond (i.e. The MS River) from me since it only involved me further in the story. I've got the sequel, The Iron Daughter set to go as my next read. And now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to run off into the backyard and look for faeries. I’ll let you know what I find, and if we don’t speak again, you’ll know that they, found me.
  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    4/5
    I was hooked into this story by the end of the second chapter. I got attached to some of the characters. Okay I might've teared up abit when Puck got injured and Meghan had to leave him behind to heal and wake up (beside the point that he was left with other fey).Meghan goes through a physical journey, as well as, an inner journey where she learns who and what she is...All I have to do now is find the second book in the series.
  • Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
    3/5
    Read the full review here. After looking forward to reading this series for almost a year, I was disappointed at the beginning of The Iron King. Julie Kagawa forces every cliche in the YA genre into the first part of her novel: the uncaring parents, the funny best friend, the dark and mysterious stranger. My disappointment stemmed mostly from Meghan’s character. She is a sixteen year old girl who begins the book by bemoaning the poverty of her family and mooning over a football player. The mysterious disappearance of Meghan’s brother finally starts the ball rolling - Meghan becomes a much more interesting character because of her love for her brother. However, she regularly forgets the reason she made the journey into the land of the Fey. One look from Prince Ash, and she’s forgotten all about her brother!My gripes with Meghan aside, I must admit that the book got a lot better as the plot progressed, especially at Part III. I liked Prince Ash - mostly because he seemed like a genuinely good person. I never did understand exactly when Ash and Meghan fell in love, there seemed to be many glances and gasps, and suddenly, randomly, they were kissing. I felt sorry for Robbie (Puck), but usually the scenes he was in felt strained and awkward, especially when it became clear he was the third wheel in the romance. I loved the idea of using characters like King Oberon, Queen Tatiana and Puck from Shakespeare, the Summer Court is a lovely re-imagination of the play. I also liked the Iron Fey - fey are born from the aspirations of mortals, and the Iron Fey were created because of mankind’s progress with technology. I feel I should point out that the book needs a little more editing. When someone says, three quarters of the way through the book, that it’s the first time Prince Ash has taken Meghan’s name, I immediately go back and check if that’s true. And it wasn’t, Prince Ash had spoken to her and taken her name before. I feel that Julie Kagawa has a lot of potential, and since the quality of this book improved by the end, I am going to read the rest of the series. At the moment, however, I don’t feel like this series deserves the hype it gets.
  • Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
    3/5
    Review originally posted on My Urban FantasiesThe fey are born from the dreams and fears of mortals. As long as a fey is remembered they will remain immortal. The fey live in the Nevernever. Some choose to go back and forth between our world and theirs. Here they can feed off the dreams, emotions and talents of mortals. The only things harmful to the fey in our world is technology and iron.What would happen if our dreams turned to technology and science? A new kind of fey is born. The iron fey. As our success with technology continues, we dream bigger and better ideas. But the iron fey are poison to the other fey and the Nevernever. Other than the obvious, being made of iron, the iron fey are too logical. Cold. Passionless.There are several things about The Iron King that I liked. The imagery is beautiful. The storyline is interesting. The characters are strong. I love Puck's sarcastic personality. Ash is cold, yet completely scrumptious. It really is a good book. So why a low rating? There's just one thing that made a huge negative impact for me.Meghan Chase is on a mission to save her brother Ethan. Sounds like an urgent matter, something that should be completed rather quickly right? Apparently not. There is no sense of urgency in The Iron King. Meghan could complete her mission in five days or fifty years and you get the feeling the outcome would remain the same. While this was more than a minor annoyance to me, I am looking forward to the next book in the series.
  • Rating: 2 out of 5 stars
    2/5
    Predictable and trite YA that was far too light on quality plot and world-building for my taste. YMMV, of course.
  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
    5/5
    Wow just wow. I can't believe it took me so long to get to this book but I'm glad I finally did. I can't wait to go read the second book!!
  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    4/5
    A familiar character changing names partway through was the biggest thing that caught me up. I love the story and the romance. The world she created was marvelous and imaginative! I can't wait to see what the sequel will bring!
  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    4/5
    This story grew on me.The entire first half was mostly confusing and frustrating. Meghan was confused and frustrated. The fae were completely freaky and unusual. The wildwood was frightening. Her friend, Puck, changing from who she always knew into one of the oldest faeries in existence who smiled eerily… was hard to swallow. Honestly, I held a grudge against Robin Longfellow until he demanded pity instead.Someone asked if I was “Team Ash” or “Team Puck” in that first half and I had to say enthusiastically that I was NOT “Team Puck” by long-shot, even though I had no reason to think “Team Ash”, yet, either.It might have bothered me because it was so realistic. Any human leaping into Nevernever would be completely off balance. Every little turn would feel dangerous. I guess that was described well. So well, in fact, that I wanted out!!!And then the claws of the story started to dig into me, demanding my attention and interest and not letting go! I didn’t notice it was happening until I couldn’t put the book down, which caught me by surprise.The difference was Meghan. She is intelligent and brave. She watched how the faery world functioned, started guarding her mouth, got herself into less trouble and managed some difficult circumstances without whining and complaining. I think the turning point for me was when Meghan busied herself as a slave in the kitchen. (I think I can say that without being spoilerish.) I expected her to give up in exasperation of all the things going wrong. The situation was so decidedly against her favor and even the small choices left to her were taken away. Instead of throwing any sort of fussy-fit, she buckled down and worked hard. She kept her sanity and when the time came to act, she moved definitively. The author won me as a fan during that lull before the Elysium, when the Unseelie Court came to Oberon’s territory in an uneasy truce of a feast:“All right, I told myself, taking a deep breath. They’re still out there, Meghan. Ethan and your dad. You can’t give up now. Time to stop being a crybaby and get your act together.Lying back on the cold floor, I closed my eyes and started to plan.”Meghan believes in herself even when the circumstances are against her and everyone thinks she’ll get herself killed. Since she believed she could do it, she started figuring out how to negotiate with faeries faery-style, she began earning their respect, and coordinating her rescue mission. Each of her successes carries her through the mounting difficulties, so the grand finale is deliciously believable.The very last scene is my favorite, and I don’t know how I’m not reading the next book TOMORROW!! Meghan has so many layers and she is so true to herself on every level. I love the way she accepts them all and the consequences along with them, again without any fussing.En fin, I went from mentally strangling this book and all things fae, to tripping over my feet to fangirl over Meghan. I will read the next book as soon as I can regardless of what’s “next” in my TBR pile. And I’ll definitely re-read some day to relive the entirety from a fangirling point of view. I wonder if the first half would still be frustrating after knowing that Meghan won’t wilt under the pressure? I kind of think that perspective changes everything. *sigh* Yay for Meghan!!! And Yay for Puck! And double-whammy yay for Ash!!!!!!!! And grudgingly yay for that cait sith!!The Faery Party of last Saturday was inspired by this book!!! :-DOne more (late-added) note:I notice that I don't mention much about the other characters in the book as I flip out over Meghan. My own review cracks me up... but that's why I write 'em immediately after reviewing. It's worth noting that Ash & Puck & Grim are all budding characters promising so much more in the books to come. I was sad over Meghan's mom and brother... and dad and dad and stepdad. But they're real people, like the school kids, and I don't mind being sad or irritated over them, hungry for more information on 'em. I think I covered Nevernever enough... it's growing on me, and that's the nicest thing I can say about it. There's tons of fae creatures coming and going and I'm intrigued by them all, in awe over the variety. It's no wonder this is a popular series. I feel justified in my sudden fan-obsession. I'm in good company!!!Cover Commentary: Um, Yeppers. Beautiful, mysterious, woodsy. The title didn't explain itself for a long time and I'm still furiously curious over why this is called the "Iron Fey" series... not obvious, yet. I'm trying not to spoil myself for future books, but I keep leaping to read every review for the up-coming books I "happen upon". *ahem* My Rating: 4 - Pretty Darn Good. Potential for rating higher upon rereading.
  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
    5/5
    I feel a tear prickling the back of my eyes as I set the book down. The sacrifice and bargaining that was made and upheld throughout the story, was heartwarming and heart-wrenching all-at-once.I really loved this book, and can't wait to get my hands on the next one.I heard many reviews before I got to read it, and every one of them lived up to the hype! It really is a well written, and fantastical adventure. The hint of romance is always in the air, but for me it was more the fantasy element. I told the hubby, it's like reading Salvatore's books, without so many descriptive words, and that is really how I swallowed it.I highly recommend this book to fans of fantasy like R.A. Salvatore, or Weiss and Hickman. It has the same fantasy elements, characters and such.
  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
    5/5
    What a fun and interesting read. You know those monster's in your closet when you were little. Well Meghan Chase's little brother now belives and so does Meghan! This was an action packed adventure into the land of Nevernever with the Fey. Meghan Chase is 1/2 Fey, 1/2 human and doesn't know it. Her mother does but she isn't so sure that her affair was real and never tells Meghan, in the attempt to lure Meghan to their realm the fey capture Meghan's 4 year old little brother Ethan and take him to their land. Meghan is very powerful and does not realize this as she doesn't know her true heritage. She also has a best friend she never knew was Fey untill things start happening around her home.A total action packed adventure from our realm to theirs. Fun read!
  • Rating: 1 out of 5 stars
    1/5
    Weak female lead who is constantly in need of rescuing from cute boys because she's constantly doing stupid things. Boring and predictable.
  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
    5/5
    Okay, so I've decided to reread the first three books in this series, since the fourth and final book is coming out in a few weeks and I have managed to NOT get my hands on it. -_- (But of course, I'm not bitter about that, no, not at all . . .)The Iron King definitely isn't the best book in the series, but I still love it. Meghan isn't a character I often find myself annoyed with. Sure, she's naive sometimes, but for the past sixteen years of her life, she's had no idea any of these things existed. I loved watching how Meghan got stronger throughout the bookPuck, Meghan's best friend, is probably one of my favorite characters of all time. He's the comedic relief throughout the series, always making some joke to cut the tension. And I loved that no matter how sarcastic he was, he still did everything he could to protect Meghan.And Ash. The Ice Prince. I don't know what to say about him without being too spoilery, but just let me say, the whole "dark brooding prince" act really works for him. And I mean really works. I loved Ash even more than Puck.Still, I think there's something I loved even more than Ash. It was the fact that Meghan got pulled into that mess with the Fae, not because she fell in love or accidentally stumbled upon it, but because she was trying to save her little brother. Everything she goes through, no matter how much she wants to give up, she always remembers that she's trying to save Ethan.I even loved the evil people in this book. And trust me, there were quite a few of them O_o Mab, the queen of the Winter Court, for one. And then there was the plot, full of twists to keep you occupied and surprised through the whole book.Overall: The characters were amazing, the plot was amazing, and even the talking cat, Grimalkin, was hilarious. I don't think there's anything I didn't love about this book. If you haven't read this series, I think you should start. Like, now. You'll be hooked until the end. (And the fact that it's about Fae and not your typical paranormal things these days is just a bonus.) 5 stars.
  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
    5/5
    Wow. I can’t believe I didn’t get my hands on this book sooner! It really is an amazing debut! I’ve always been a fan of faeries and wow this book lived up to my expectations and the hype! The fantasy element of the story was so enticing; I got pulled into the author’s magical world. I was so enthralled! This book has a combination of all fantasy elements put together into once fantastic tale, such as Alice in Wonderland and even reference of Shakespeare’s Midsummer night’s dream is made! This YA faery novel is a mixture of Fantasy, Romance and action, perfect! The action of the story was amazing. The romance was even better.The characters were wonderful, very well developed. Meaghan Chase is another kick-butt heroine; she is completely selfless and would do anything in her power to help anyone and everyone – especially her four year old brother, Ethan. Then there is Puck and Ash, both of them, heroic in their own ways. Puck is THE Puck from Shakespeare’s Midsummer night’s dream! He’s charming, sarcastic and loyal. And then there is Ash, the Winter Prince, cold, mysterious and somewhat, amazingly handsome. The Love triangle begins here, whose team are you in? Take your pick. I think I may have to be Team Ash on this one! Another character I really enjoyed, was Grimalkin, he’s the cat that’s sharp and smart, much like the cat from Alice in Wonderland. I loved how his response to questions was “I’m a cat” and with that answer no-one would question him any further; Grimalkin is definitely one of the coolest supporting characters! I loved this book. This book is definitely one of my favourites now that I have started reading the series. Good thing The Iron Daughter, The Iron Queen and The Iron King are out! I can’t wait! This book is highly recommended!Rating: 5 out of 5
  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
    5/5
    I have to admit at first I was little hesitant to read this book and I don't really know why, but I am glad that I did. A friend recommended this book to me (and she normally recommends books I fall in love with :-P) and the minute I opened this book at 7am by 3pm I was done. I could not put it down. The only thing I did not like was that it took a while to really bring the love interest Ash into the story. He is introduced in a couple of chapters, but nothing really big. Once he is in the story you can not help but fall in love with him. I love the way him and Meg fall in love. Puck was a little annoying to me because I don't really like boys that are cocky or whatever, but eventually you find a spot for him hehe. I love the way the author wrote this book! Everything was described so well that picturing in your head was not hard at all! The world she takes you into seems so real! I love her writing!!! I can not wait to read book 2 which I hear is even better than book one and a whole lot of Ash! yay!!!
  • Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
    3/5
    talksupe.blogspot.comI don't know why it seems like I'm one of the very few people who've read this book and didn't absolutely love it. I don't think it had anything to do with Kagawa's writing. The story flowed well and she did a fantastic job of painting a bright and descriptive portrait of Nevernever, Tir Nan Og and the Seelie and UnSeelie Courts. Kagawa did a great job in providing enough fae mythology background to bring a non-fairy story reader up to par in basic fae mythology. She weaves in some very familiar faces from classic fae mythology into her series such as King Oberon, Queen Titania, Queen Mab and Robin Goodfellow/Puck. The whole premise of why Meghan had to go into Nevernever was clever, the use of iron and the introduction of a new enemy (which I won't delve into too much without giving away any spoilers) was a refreshing change. But even with all the great pieces Kagawa had going for this book something just didn't "click" for me.To be honest, after reading the book I wasn't totally swept away by either potential love interests. Which is fairly odd for me since I tend to be the type of person that jumps on a "Team" bandwagon pretty early on in a story. Both guys have some attributes that a girl could definitely appreciate. Puck is the witty and humorous but a loyal best friend; while Prince Ash is breathtakingly gorgeous, cold and mysterious but would still make a lot of girls hearts stop beating. Neither made me love them instantly but I didn't hate them either. Ash does have the upper hand being that he has the whole tall, dark and handsome thing going on. But this is only the first book and both guys are more than willing to battle it out for Meghan's heart; so we shall have to wait and find out who comes out victorious. I just have a very strong feeling it'll be Ash at the end, I mean how many stories do you know of end with the loyal guy best friend winning the heroines heart? Not many, right?
  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
    5/5
    On October 26th the latest installment of the Iron Fey series hits the stores and in anticipation of it I've decided to dedicate the next four Sundays to reviews of this series. Yes, that's right, I am in possession of the ARC of The Iron Knight (thanks to the publisher and NetGalley) and in order to prepare for it I got the other three volumes from the library. After all, can't read the fourth book and not read the first three. Besides, everything I've heard about the Iron Fey seemed to say that if I didn't read these books I would be really missing out. So there I was, on a sunny Saturday afternoon a couple of weeks ago, sitting at a Starbucks, my coffee long gone, unable to close The Iron King and go home to continue reading it there because closing the book would mean that I'd have to stop reading and I really didn't want to! Julie Kagawa's fey got their sharp little teeth in me and were not letting go. There are many things that charmed me. One is the narrative voice. It is so light and keeps the story moving so well that I knew immediately that this would be an easy and delightful read. The other is how all the magical creatures we've heard and read about in a variety of different stories come together in the Nevernever and every one of them has a place. This isn't all fun and adventure though - the faerie world is full of danger and I really liked that too, it reminded me of the stories I read as a child, they were really scary at times! Even better was the fact that that there wasn't a grand tour of "here's is a piskie, there is a goblin", it made me dive head first into the story and figure it out as I went, or rather as Meghan went. It was a bit confusing at times because everything seemed to have razor-sharp teeth and carnivorous appetites, or at the very least a malicious intent, but it all worked out in the end. I really liked how the author interpreted the technological development of our world and its influence on the faerie world. I haven't read much fey fiction lately so this seemed like a very innovative approach to me, and well-executed at that. If you were to risk your life and shake me awake in the middle of the night to ask me who my favorite Iron King character is I would immediately say that it's Grimalkin. The cat's totally awesome and such a scene stealer! He clearly has his own agenda but at the end of the day he's on the side of the good guys and his sense of humor got laughs out of me every time. Actually the rest of the main cast are pretty funny too. Meghan is just because of her teenage attitude, Puck is the jokester no matter how close to death he is and even Ash cracked a joke or two and they weren't bad either. Spending time with these guys was a lot of fun and I really enjoyed seeing their evolution from who they were in the beginning of the book to who they became in the end. Here's something I didn't enjoy very much: the ever-present scenario of "girl who doesn't fit in falls in love with the mysterious and dangerous guy from the enemy clan the moment she lays eyes on him; fortunately it seems the guy isn't all evil although he keeps pulling away and probably will kill her if the stars align just right but she doesn't care, she wants to be with him". What the heck? Can't people fall in love gradually any more? They're magical creatures and teenagers at that but seriously? At least I could console myself that there wasn't a love triangle in all of this, although Puck did seem to be looking at Meghan with googly eyes once or twice. And that's another thing, they're thousand-year-old creatures, why do they keep falling in love with teenage girls who barely know anything about themselves, let alone the world around them? I get it, love conquers all, but seriously?! Ok, rant over. Despite this slight short-coming I did enjoy the book very much. So much so that I stayed up till 3 in the morning because Ms. Kagawa kept ratcheting up the action and I just couldn't wait to find out what happened next. And when the last page of The Iron King was turned I had to resist to not pick up Iron Queen and keep reading. A girl's gotta sleep after all.
  • Rating: 2 out of 5 stars
    2/5
    I'm worried if I try to do any kind of a review, it'll just turn into a massive rant than no one will even understand, but I'm going to try anyway.First of all, I didn't finish. Got about a hundred pages in, flipped through the rest, and couldn't take it anymore. Maybe I'm being super picky about my books, because I seem to be leaving lots of novels unfinished these days, but I could not make myself read any more.And it kills me because this book has/had SO MUCH potential! I kept thinking of better ways to write a scene that could've been amazing, and I realized the main problem with The Iron King is the main character, Meghan. Whiny, selfish, shallow, idiot.And then Julie Kagawa just had to drag Puck into it, Robin Goodfellow, one of my favorite Shakespearean characters of all time. And actually, he isn't a bad character in Iron King, but he doesn't feel as awesome as he should be and he certainly can't make up for Meghan.I can almost understand why people like this. Most of the people who give it good reviews mention that they aren't normally into faeries and the fey, and it's probably because this isn't really a good faerie novel. So if you don't normally like faeries, you might enjoy this, but otherwise you're more likely to hate it (especially if you like good characters).
  • Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
    3/5
    Where to start? I suppose I’ll just jump right in and say that the negatives in this novel outweighed the positives for me. I was hoping to branch out and read a book about faeries, and seeing this novel is so well received led me to purchasing this particular book. Why three stars then? Well, the faerie parts of the story were actually enjoyable to me. I really liked the world, some of the characters, and the ideas presented. Let’s talk about those first.The novel dives right in and takes us to faerie land in a relatively short time frame, which is fortunate because life with Meghan at her home and high-school, wasn’t terribly interesting. This is because Meghan isn’t very interesting. Then we get to Nevernever! Yay! There are talking cats there; ice princes and sirens. I really enjoy Puck/Robin as a character, he and Grim (a talking cat), were definitely my favorites. They made me laugh out loud a few times. Also, the packrats! Fantastic. I think I got a little teary-eyed during some of their scenes.I thought the land of Nevernever was well described. The concept of Summer Faeries and Winter Faeries was very cool as well. I also like the idea that technology taking over our world is having an effect on the Faerie realms. In fact, this concept played a big part in why I liked the book despite such a large part of it bothering me. Speaking of things bothering me…Meghan, why do you trip and fall into Ash’s arms so much? Do we need to get you new shoes? Would you like to borrow a pair of my sneakers? Meghan’s random moments of cleverness did nothing to dissuade me from disliking her; not for more than a moment at least. In fact, they made her character seem almost inconsistent. Meghan’s main reaction to things was to scream and let the boys handle it. While I think there is a place for more… fragile… heroines in literature; they just aren’t for me.Tying in with that is the huge case of InstaLove. I liked Ash as a character but his character would have been better served if he’d been given more interesting things to do than fall in love. The romance didn’t even seem to have any development. Some romances that happen Insta-ntly can still include some development after the fact. In this case, Meghan fell into his arms a few times and locked eyes with him, then next thing you know, they’re kissing! I guess you could say that this book also commits the Love Triangle offense, but I’m not going to call it a love triangle, since Puck clearly never had a chance. The moment Ash told Meghan he would kill her if the faery courts went to war, she was clearly putty in his badboydangeroustrope, hands.The later editions of these books say on the cover “Fans of Twilight will love this!” or something of that nature, which makes me flinch, because I don’t want that for Grim and Puck. If I could take Alice and Jasper from Twilight, put them in Nevernever with Grim, Puck and the other interesting characters, I would do it. That’s a story I’d enjoy.Recommendation: I’m going to continue with this series because the world and side characters meant enough to me to continue. I’ve also been told that Meghan develops a lot throughout the series. However, knowing my dislike of InstaLove and weaker heroines, I’m not sure I’d recommend this to someone who feels the same way about those things as I do, since it’s such a big thing in the story. Maybe this will change after I read the next books.
  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    4/5
    Megan Chase learns that she's a faery when her kid brother is kidnapped by the Iron King. She has to enter Nevernever in order to reclaim him.Review: I'd been hearing so many good things about this book before I even picked it up. I guess that might be why I tried hard to find something bad about it but when I did I tried to talk myself out of it. Overall it was a nice read but my mind kept picturing The Labyrinth (the movie with David Bowie and Jennifer Connelly) throughout the whole book, especially when the packrats showed up. That part made me almost close the book but I told myself "Henson did not create the packrats, for all I know. They could've been in fairy lore for a longggg time." Although it still bugs me I did like what Kagawa did with them. They reminded me of the yellow things in Despicable Me. Oh yeah, and there's one part of the book I didn't really get. When Ash and Megan were in the cement tube. Did they just kiss or do the naughty? Because they were really connected after that.
  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
    5/5
    Julie Kagawa’s take on faeries and their world is simply extraordinary. With flawless writing, a magical world and an extremely well developed cast of characters, some of which stem from Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Iron King proves to be a phenomenal debut and a must-read.In The Iron King we are introduced to our heroine, Meghan Chase, a somewhat insecure girl with a simple, boring life. When her little brother Ethan is kidnapped and replaced with a malicious changeling and her best friend since childhood, Robbie Goodfell, reveals he is actually Robin Goodfellow aka Puck from A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Meghan’s once blasé life turns upside down as she journeys into the Nevernever to save Ethan, incidentally discovering who she really is in the process. Right away, the once insecure girl finds her bravery, determined to save her little brother.Ms. Kagawa’s vivid descriptions made it easy for me to get lost in the world of Nevernever. I felt like I was part of the story, right alongside the characters I had come to love so much. Kagawa’s talent to seamlessly weave action, adventure and romance into one book without either one being overwhelming is impeccable. Lots of times in other books, the big battle scenes can be dragged out and become a bit arduous to read. But the action sequences were extremely well written in The Iron King and I didn’t once find my attention drifting elsewhere.Of course, the story would not be complete without a love triangle. I don’t think I can say I’ve ever read a book with a love triangle where I’ve actually loved both guys vying for the girl’s affection. But both Puck and Ash have completely stolen my heart. Puck’s playful banter and whimsical sense of humor never failed to make me laugh and Prince Ash’s broody, tough exterior yet secretly caring personality had me swooning. Now, I hate to pick just one, but if I had to, it would probably be Ash since I like him just a teensy bit more. The intense chemistry Meghan has with him is just too much! Any time he showed Megan the tiniest hint of affection, my heart would flutter and my stomach would clench as if it were happening to me.And how could I forget Grimalkin? He. Is. So. Adorable. I felt that Kagawa captured the finicky essence of a cat perfectly with him. He was hilarious with his snooty attitude and sarcastic comments. I absolutely adored how he didn’t bother to pay anyone any attention until he was through grooming himself, which is exactly like my own cat!Overall, The Iron King was a magical, transcendent start to a series and is sure to be one of my favorites for a long time to come. My only regret is not reading it sooner! But, if I read it when it came out, I wouldn’t have been able to read multiple books in the series at once…so I guess I can’t regret it too much when I got to stay in a story world I loved for days as opposed to just hours. ;) My reviews for The Iron Daughter and The Iron Queen, the next installments in the series, will be up soon!
  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    4/5
    I finished this book in a day, I couldn't put it down. I cancelled all plans and kept on until I was finished!I'm not a fan of faery stories, i've read a few and all of the seelie/unseelie business puts me off. So it was with great trepidation that I started this book.Initially it was slow but great for character/world description and as the story progressed I fell in love with Kagawa's beautiful writing.Meghan is a bit of a clutz to put it mildly, she trips over things all the time which automatically prompts me to bash my hand against my head and shout 'pick your feet up!'. Puck was initially soooo annoying. But gradually you became aware of his history and, honestly, he was the one that kept the story refreshing and added the humour.Prince Ash.... Oh, Ash! From the start I loved him. I thought the tension and mystery was brilliant. I still have questions as to why he was in Meghan's house or waiting under a tree with his horse (how did he get his horse there? Did it really fit through a thingamy)From my initial - I think this is ok - to my final - oh, wow,wow,wow I couldn't stop reading. How many books can you say that about!
  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    4/5
    I really enjoyed this book. It kept me catpured throughout the entire story. There's fighting, a budding romance, and lots of action. I can't wait to read The Iron Queen!
  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    4/5
    Julie Kagawa's Iron Fey series cropped up all of a sudden on my radar, with a few different sources noting that this was a great new author/world/series. So I yielded to temptation and started the first book, The Iron King -- and while it's definitely intriguing and a quick read, it wasn't quite as fabulous as the praise had led me to believe. That said, I do think this series could move in *very* interesting directions, so I will totally keep on reading with the hope that Kagawa takes Meghan Chase in fascinating new plotlines that twist throughout Nevernever.Almost-sixteen-year-old Meghan Chase lives in the middle of nowhere and believes that she is not very interesting in the slightest. Her version of "dressing up" involves clean cargo pants (mostly because that's all her wardrobe could hope to yield), her mother is always busy, and her step-father always seems a little surprised when she's around, as if he's forgotten she's there. Meghan's real father disappeared when she was younger -- didn't leave, didn't die, just disappeared one day after giving his daughter money for the ice cream truck at the park. The one person who seems to really focus on Meghan is her younger half brother named Ethan; in fact he (well, his stuffed rabbit Flopsy, according to Ethan) appears to be the only one who even remembers it's her birthday. What makes it the worst birthday ever, though, is that she suffers total and complete humiliation at the hands of the hottest guy in school after she was about to tutor him in computer science and instead some insults about him suddenly appeared on the screen, making hot jock furious at Meghan. The thing is, she did nothing to create those comments -- they just appeared, mocking him, and weirdly she thought she had seen some kind of... creature in the computer lab. Readers will see the clues of impending paranormal awareness -- particularly when Ethan, previously sweet if a little scared of things like monsters under the bed or in his closet, suddenly turns vicious and attacks her. So what's the cause of the trouble? Faeries. And not the Tinkerbell kind, thank goodness. Robbie turns up and saves Meghan from her little brother... only to hint that perhaps she'd be better off forgetting things rather than understanding the truth. Stubbornly, she insists on knowing what's really going on. To start, Robbie isn't exactly Robbie... well, he is, but he also goes by the name Robin Goodfellow... which anyone who's ever been to high school should recognize as an alternate name for Puck, servant of Oberon, the faery king in A Midsummer Night's Dream and, apparently, in the alternate Faeryland realm known as Nevernever. Little brother Ethan? It appears as though he's been kidnapped by faeries and swapped out for a changeling. So Meghan resolves to get her little brother back and, with Puck as her semi-reluctant but always mischievous guide, they set forth.What follows is an interesting introduction to Nevernever, from the untamed Wyldwood where the rogue fey are basically out to kill you to the Seelie/Summer court, headed up by Titania and Oberon... where more cultured and therefore slyer fey are out to kill you, or at least manipulate you. Once they reach the Summer court, let's just say that no one should be all that surprised when Meghan's better-than-the-average-mortal grasp on dealing with the fey has a rather paternal explanation. Meghan spends a good amount of time wrestling with her disbelief after Oberon declares she's his daughter, and therefore a "half-breed" with fey blood in her, but one glance in a faery mirror reveals her true fey nature. For those unfamiliar with all fey stories, the whole Seelie/Unseelie divide might seem arbitrary, but it is grounded in more traditional lore. It should also be unsurprising that beyond Puck (who the reader can tell is in love with Meghan even if she remains oblivious), there's another dark and brooding young man ready to provide a poor example to teenagers about what actual love and relationships should be. Before I elaborate on that particular thorny issue, let me say that I did, indeed, enjoy The Iron King, though I didn't think it realized its own potential. The writing seemed somewhat rough in places (mostly when dealing with the passage of time and situations where multiple characters were involved in action), but the ideas behind everything were great. Kagawa could be up to some really fun things with this series and I'm eager to see where things go.That said, we come to my major issue with the book: the romantic lead, Ash. The youngest son of Queen Mab, ruler of the Unseelie/Winter court, the young Winter prince appears in Twilight fashion as yet another male love interest who does nothing but look disinterested and push Meghan away... which, of course, only means that he's totally in to her and really just wants to love her, despite his insistence that he'll kill her if asked to. Seriously? We can't have one teenage relationship that doesn't have some creepy abusive relationship undertones and isn't totally founded on misunderstanding? On the insistence that the girl in question is somehow not enough to handle him or not acceptable? On catching a glimpse of a soft look that is immediately replaced by a steely resolve? On ice-cold, pale skin and the obsessive need to rake back his dark hair with his fingers? Sigh. I guess what irritates me is that I had hoped for better from this storyline, as Meghan will clearly become powerful in her own right and deserves something that feels a bit more equal. Puck is so bouncy and funny that it's hard to see him as a serious love interest, and so as soon as Ash catches Meghan's eye, we know she's doomed. Ash is clearly the enemy in the beginning, but it doesn't take long before Meghan's made a deal with him and so he's then on her side for just long enough that something could happen. There's also no real reason for them to like each other, beyond the fact that Meghan finds him utterly beautiful. They don't have real conversations, so one is forced to believe that their romance springs from angst and the simple fact that it is a bad idea -- relationships between Summer and Winter fey always end badly and this is only exacerbated by the fact that Ash is the son of the Winter Queen and Meghan is the daughter of the Summer king. The whole "forbidden" thing is the reason their "love" seems to exist, which isn't exactly teaching teenage girls about a good relationship's foundation, nor is it particularly investing the reader in cheering on this baseless passion. I'm not even going to go into the fact that suggesting this is "love" is ridiculous. So will Summer and Winter ever come together or is this love doomed from the start? (I think you know the answer to this one.)Meghan's immediate love for and obsession with Ash isn't my only issue with the novel, but it's the biggest. I really do appreciate that this novel jumps into faerie lore, as I know there are a few novels about the fey out there, but not as many as other paranormal creatures. Kagawa also weaves in modern ideas here (hence the whole Iron King bit), suggesting that new technological imaginings are spawning different kinds of fey which are deadly to Winter and Summer. Ultimately, though, it's the larger ideas that make me appreciate this novel rather than the bits of execution. I like the overall story and themes (the potential that technological dreams are poisoning the magic of the Nevernever and encroaching on the boundaries of the other kingdoms), but I'm not particularly fond of the characters themselves. Meghan herself can be a little shrill -- I'm not convinced of her intelligence or ability to handle herself. (Sure, the point is always that the girl is supposedly normal and then turns out to save the day, but Meghan just seems lucky... and stubborn.) Puck is odd, but he's supposed to be that. The big reveal of his true nature is pretty awkward and he has a tendency to spout things that feel out of sync with the rest of the book. Granted, they're often quite funny, but it makes him come off as leaps and bounds ahead of all these other jokers that populate the novel. Time moves in odd ways during this book, so you can never really be sure how much time has passed -- granted, this is stated as a trait of Nevernever, but it makes for a rather annoying book when you don't really know exactly how much time Ash and Meghan have been denying their secret longing for the other. All I know is it can't possibly be enough time to justify the term "love" in any sense.This all might be a bit harsh, but I'm only really harsh on the books that I expect great things from. I went in expecting a really good YA novel and I found several excellent elements, but I also found several disappointing flaws. My hope is that Kagawa grows as a writer and storyteller while she's getting through these novels (and that Meghan doesn't totally devolve into annoying teenage girl with her Ash obsession and this annoying Summer/Winter fey doomed relationship), and as Kagawa ratchets up the complexity, we get better interactions between the characters. I'll definitely keep reading with the secret hope that this series gets better and reaches my initial hopes, but I'll also try to scale back my expectations.
  • Rating: 2 out of 5 stars
    2/5
    I liked it, I didn't like it, I liked it I didn't like it IlikeditIdidn'tlikeit...I'm torn.On the one hand, The Iron King can be a really fun read, and I think a lot of people are going to fall in love with it because it's going to give them what they wanted going in: a little faery lore, a little magic, a little otherworldliness and a little lovelust. If you can just read it on that level, it's not bad, a bit of fun fluff.But at the same time, there are some real drawbacks for me. So here's what I'm going to do: the following is a bulleted list of my pros and cons in the book, and you can decide for yourself whether it's a good or bad review. As I said, I can't decide how much I like this one.PROSKagawa is pretty successful visually. There was enough description to help me see the Nevernever, but it was never really overkill.I really liked the idea of the iron fey. I don't want to give away too much, but it makes sense, it makes faeries current, and it adds another layer of BigBad to the already scary and dangerous fey world.I think Kagawa gave herself room to grow in the series, and even though there are things you can see coming a mile away, she was able to wrap this book up fairly nicely while planting a hook for the next. I have friends who hate a hook, so let me be clear that it is not a cliffhanger type of hook; if you want to stop after The Iron King, you can and I don't think you'll feel like you didn't get a complete story, but if you want to continue on, there is something there to pull you back in.The Pack Rats. I thoroughly enjoyed the Pack Rats, and elements like this made me see this as a potential movie, because I think they'd be pretty neat and visual.CONSThe beginning was very slow for me, and thoroughly predictable (truthfully, predictability is a problem throughout, though at some point, I guess I just accepted it). The writing and plot seemed a little write-by-numbers, and other works (Shakespeare, Alice in Wonderland, The Labyrinth, Peter Pan, Spiderman, etc) were alluded to or mirrored throughout, and it left me with an impression of unoriginality for a good portion of the book. I felt Kagawa was rash with the love aspect; in the beginning Ash is aloof and, as we learn, wounded and closed off, and had there been a slow build up over the entire 3-book series, beginning with a grudging trust and some crushing, then some lovelust, I would have bought it more, but as is, it felt again like write-by-numbers: "I need a love interest, so this is going to happen, then she'll do this and he'll say that, and presto, aren't they just devoted?" It didn't work. Also, there's a whole lot of Puck v. Ash love triangle going around the blogosphere, and I just don't get it. I feel it's hinted at but not developed or even necessary in the book, and it's become so gimmicky anyway...Weird continuity errors. This got on my nerves a bit. It was just stupid things, like Ash saying Meghan's name, then a couple of pages of stuff happening, and then Ash saying her name again and Meghan getting all fluttery that it's the first time Ash has ever called her Meghan -- when it's not. The first time was about five minutes ago, when he said "Meghan, blahblahblah"... Or, when Meghan is leaning propped against Ash's chest, so there's no way she can see his eyes, and he's telling his sob story (which someone noticed was like a scene from The King's General) and Meghan narrates "Ash fell silent, his eyes dark and haunted." Except you can't see them, so you don't know that. Grr.Oy, with the deals already! Anyone who is familar with faery lore at all, or has read any fey book knows no saying "thank you" and NO making deals. Even if Meghan was lacking in faery lore before entering the Nevernever, she is told not to say thanks or make deals, and still, it's like practically every single badguy faery she meets, she walks up and plays Lets Make a Deal. She's smart about it once, but the rest of the time, she basically offers herself up on a platter. She'll be thinking, "I hope they don't want my firstborn child," or something along those lines, but she'll say "I'll do anything." What? Think, Meghan. Stop getting yourself into situations where you become the dumb damsel in distress and just THINK.And speaking of the damsel thing, we're told that Meghan has loads and loads of untapped power, which I am always leery of (but more on that in a minute), but she gets herself into these situations and then stands there waiting to be saved. If you're so powerful, or will be so powerful, show some damn spunk.[A sidenote on all-powerful protagonists: Just don't. If you're writing a book, just don't. Have the gumption to have an MC who isn't some deep font of powerpowerpower. It's too tempting a crutch to write your characters into an impossible situation and then have them finally "discover" the confidence and ability they've been shying away from using, and BAM, sticky situation solved. Just don't. Think how much more interesting it is, how much more tension there is, and edge-of-your-seatness, when the MC has some ability, some brains, and some pluck, and have to really work to get themselves through. It is so much more rootforable, so much more believable, and so much more relatable. I know it makes your job as a writer a little harder if you can't go all Deus Ex... but really, just don't.]So. That's the list. As I said, if you can go into it willing to set some things aside and just enjoy it, it flows well and is a nice bit of funfluff. But I'm still torn, and am hoping for growth in book 2, which I have a review copy of, so that the Pro list will begin to outweigh the Con. But I guess only time will tell.
  • Rating: 2 out of 5 stars
    2/5
    Good things first: this book would make a great drinking game!

    Take a shot if...
    - Meghan says or does something stupid
    - Meghan almost gets herself killed and rescued by some hot/sassy/mysterious guy
    - somebody (mostly Puck) is SMIRKING
    - somebody has beady or black eyes without pupils
    - something is being overshadowed by a shadow cast by something big
    - scenes change after two pages

    Thank me later for the most intoxicated night of your life.

    Also: I hate product placement it books; I don't care if a specific brand is part of the average teenager's life; instead of contributing to the authenticity of the plot I feel it cheapens the narrative.

    Furthermore, this book featured a description of a characters asset that I found so excrutiatingly stupid that I --now get this-- that I facepalmed.

    To reiterate: I actually PUT THE BOOK DOWN and SLAPPED MY FOREHEAD. I have never, ever in my life done this with ANY book. Ever.



    Now to the good stuff.

    First, me musing about stories and recycling ideas in general below the cut:
    This book is an amalgam of elements that have already been used in world-famous stories like Labyrinth, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, The Neverending Story, and, of course, A Midsummer Night's Dream on which the characters of The Iron King are mainly based.

    This in itself is not necessarily a bad thing, since I believe that (almost) everything and all stories have already been told in one form or other and that there is nothing truly and completely original any more. And I am okay with that. I love stories that take elements that have already been done and combine them to give them their own wicked or unexpected twist or manage to disguise the fact that parts are heavily borrowed from somewhere else. I do, however, also think that "everything's already been done" is not an excuse or a blank pass for poor plotting, writing, and execution (or, worse, an automatic guarantee for quality).

    Because this is what this book is: poorly executed and lacking skilfull art and/or editing behind it. Yes, it takes some of literature's most fascinating and potentially interesting characters and tries to mingle them with ideas that, basically, have a lot of potential. But the execution just doesn't do it justice.

    Now let me just preface my rant: I generally love fantasy! Books, movies, comics, TV, anything, anytime.

    The characters, especially our "heroine", are incredibly flat and poorly fleshed-out. Puck in all his wicked glory had SO FREAKING MUCH potential to sweep the readers of their feet with his faery-ness-ness (yes, this is a word!) but... he is presented in such a shallow and flat way that you ALMOST don't notice him very CONVENIENTLY being disposed of in the last third, never to be seen again (at least in the first book), to make space for the bloodless lusting (seriously, who would call that love?) between Meghan and our tragical-dark-and-brooding-love-interest that is Ash.
    While Ash grew on me towards the end (but seriously, "shocking" backstory was painfully obvious), I never could figure what he ever saw in Meghan and why, all of a sudden, he was falling for her.

    Because you see, Meghan...

    ... might be one of the blandest protagonists and stupidest damsels-in-distress you might ever have encountered in YA land. See, I get that she is new to the Nevernever and doesn't know its ways but after the second or at least third time she gets herself into a life-threatening situation you would have reckoned she might learn something and actually try to think ahead. Never happens. Her stupid action get her in danger page after page, just to be conveniently saved by one of her cute love interest warrior guys. I really would have loved if Meghan was shown as helpless at first but somehow acquiring actual skills to save her own stupid ass sometimes.

    At times it read just like this:
    "I have to save Ethan! *hissy fit/forcing everybody to help her/determined look*" - *behaves stupidly* - *almost dying* - *BUT THEN THERE WAS ASH/PUCK/GRIMALKIN/OBERON/... (notice how they're all guys?)* - "Thanks for saving me! But now we have to save Ethan!" - lather, rinse, repeat.

    So much for a strong heroine. Sigh. I seriously don't get what everybody saw in her (or her alleged "power" that she even refuses to properly work for).

    And those life-threatening adventures page after page after page? They actually do happen with this frequency, it's almost ridiculous and dizzying (or, in my case, mind-numbingly exhausting). Bordering on sensory over-stimulation (man, if books were light, this book would be a stroboscope), one dangerous situation is mastered in one to two pages and then the next adventure happens, two pages later the next, and so one. No time to rest, take a breath and admire the wonder that is the Nevernever.

    Speaking of which, the world building...
    Yes, the scenes are often atmospheric and realistic enough, I could picture the situation more or less clearly in my mind. But that is not what good world building is about. I didn't see the Nevernever as an organic world. I wanted to know more: how does this work, what is this race, what's their back story, what about the magic? Nothing is fleshed out, everything is simply alluded to and you have to fill in the gaps by yourself, which actually isn't happening since Kagawa doesn't give you any hints and doesn't explain later.

    And how would an author, when there is so limited space and so many OTHER IDEAS that have to be used? Seriously, Kagawa tried to use every possible situation and every impossible creature in her novel, so much so almost all creatures (only described by their looks, nothing else about the peculiarities of their respective races or anything) introduced in one scene are simply COMPLETELY forgotten about and NEVER EVER seen again later in the novel. Bummer. Revelations were also almost always very anticlimatic. Yawn.

    What would have been great: focus on a handful of main ideas and characters and actually flesh them out, give them time to develop and room for the adventures to play out, and package that in such engaging writing that it never feels boring despite the "few" scenes/creatures.

    The writing, while not awful per se, is functional and truly has its moments. With at times slim descriptions it managed to pull me in -- just to jerk me out of the story moments later with some ridiculous phrasing, odd or overdone description, or simply some confusing and illogical dialogue.

    To sum it up: this book wasn't completely awful, and at times I was engaged enough to enjoy the read, but I never really felt the urge to pick it up again, and most of the time completely forgot what I read soon after. Towards the end, I just wanted it to be over.
  • Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
    3/5
    I didn't know what to expect from this and was pleasantly surprised. The author does use many of the standard conventions (making use of the Oberon/Mab traditional stories) but she goes beyond them in many ways. Her new Iron Court is very creative and although it is pretty easy to predict where the book is going the journey is interesting. The main character is a bit irritating; I grew frustrated with her willingness to just go along with everything she's told or told to do but she does eventually begin to move beyond this. I'm looking forward to reading the second book in the series.
  • Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
    3/5
    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?

    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.
    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.
    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.
    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.
    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.

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Julie Kagawa - Julie Kagawa

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