The Iron King

The Iron King
(Iron Fey #1)
by Julie Kagawa
Published 2010 by Harlequin Teen
363 pages
Rating: 4/5

Something has always been 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 try, when reading a series, to keep in mind that there are more books to come with more material. I do this because I think there is logically a lot more introduction in the first book of a series than in any of the other books. Especially in a fantasy or paranormal series, the world has to be laid out and explained to the reader. That said, this introduction felt slow. I felt the information about Meghan’s home life and school life were relatively unimportant in the long run and could have been summed up in fewer pages. I get the point. We have to establish Meghan’s loser status in the world so she can come back with some awesome power that she didn’t know about before. It’s nothing new. It’s the basic plot to half the fantasy and paranormal books out there. Before you cut off my head and serve it up on a silver platter, let me finish.

I kept telling myself “this has to get better.” I had seen amazing reviews about these books. Then I started thinking maybe this was one of those books that I built up because of everyone’s rave reviews only to be utterly disappointed. I almost stopped reading two or three times, but I told myself I was going to give this one an honest try and keep going. I just wanted something original and exciting out of it. That’s all. About half way through the book, that’s exactly what I got. In a matter of pages, this book turned from mediocre into a truly wonderful urban fantasy. One of the first I’ve truly loved. When I finished, I knew I would be marking it “to-buy” on Goodreads.

I have to praise Kagawa on the plot. It’s pretty original. Yes, there are farmiliar elements, but I wasn’t expecting the Iron Fey to be what they were. I was truly and pleseantly surprised at how this story turned out. The characters aren’t the most complex I’ve come across, but they’re defintiely not flat. There’s more to them than meets the eye and that’s all I really want out of a fanatasy. Though it took her time to grow into it, Meghan is a great character, passionate and determined. I’m eager to see more of Ash and Puck. They put on a good show, but there’s something underneath their respective facades and I want to see it.

I have one more teensy complaint. I hate the little italicized descriptions at the beginning of each chapter. They tell you what happens. They don’t explain it in detail, but I would have preferred to read without little hints about what’s going to happen. In short, I was pleseantly surprised by how good this book was. I’m already making my way through the next one.

Source: Homewood Public Library. Homewood, AL.
Author’s website: http://www.juliekagawa.com/
Purchase this book: Harlequin | Book Depository | IndieBound

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