Monday, 30 April 2012

Book Review: The Iron King by Julie Kagawa

Title: The Iron King (Iron Fey #1)
Author: Julie Kagawa
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Released: February 2010

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. 

My Review: 
The Disney-fication of fairy-tales has gone a long way to sanitise what where once sinister and dark tales. Tinkerbell and Cinderella's Fairy Godmother are the quintessential fairy type that I grew believing in, however these animated characterizations deviate wildly from fairy folklore. In Julie Kagawa's novel The Iron King, fairy's are given back their wicked inclinations and are much more cruel, dark, and,to be frank, freakin' scary then Disney ever imagined them to be. 

In the beginning of the novel we are introduced to Meghan Chase, a sixteen year old girl, who feels unappreciated by her mother and step-father, and is unpopular at school because she comes from a poor, pig farming family. Meghan gets dragged into Fairyland or the Nevernever, when her younger brother is swapped with a changeling child and she vows to get him back. To be honest it took be a little while to get into The Iron King, however it definitely grew on me over time until I was completely immersed in the story by the end and raring to pick up the next book in the series.  

What captivated me the most was the way Kagawa was able to build and bring to life the Nevernever. The descriptions of this other world were not tedious or drawn out but flowed in a way that enhanced the story and created a vivid and richly detailed image of this world in my mind.  There was also hardly a slow moment in the book, as Meghan was faced with danger and peril at nearly every turn. So much so that by the end I was feeling sorry for the poor girl - she just couldn't catch a break! 

Meghan was a well written and likable protagonist. Her strength in character in the face of adversity and her determination to rescue her brother were extremely admirable qualities. Secondary characters in The Iron King were all well fleshed out, and Grimalkin, a talking cat reminiscent of the Cheshire Cat, was a standout character in this book, for me. I think I even loved him more than the dark bad boy Prince of the Winter Court, Ash. 

The Iron King was a captivating action packed read that made me change my stance on reading fairy books. It reminded me a bit of the 1986 Labyrinth film starring David Bowie, which is an awesome movie by the way. I really loved that the main story line and setting was well developed, and that there was a dash of romance but not too much. The Iron King is an exciting and action-packed read that I highly recommend. 


  1. Oh yeah, this definitely had some roots in Labyrinth. I didn't really mind, though, because I loved that movie. And the world building in this book really is fantastic. Great review!

    1. Thanks! I love that movie too.

  2. I'm so glad you loved it! I've yet to read it, but I've heard great things about this series. Awesome review!

    1. Thanks! It's definitely worth a read. I honestly don't think there have been many bad reviews of this book.

  3. Really want to read this now! Great review!

    Also, yes I still totally don't understand Twitter! Let me know if you make any amazing discoveries! I think I'll lurk for awhile and see how others seem to use it before I actually Tweet (or whatever you call it) =)

  4. I have to say, I don't love Ash OR Megs in this, but boy do I love Grimalkin and Puck together. You are so right about that cat!


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