Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Review: The Iron King by Julie Kagawa

I love this cover. It's really gorgeous
I'm probably one of the last people on the planet to read The Iron King (Goodreads), but in my defense, it’s been on my TBR for ages. Now it has come of age. 

So, a quick recap of what it’s about. Sixteen Meghan doesn’t fit in anywhere. (Just like about every other teenager in America, if the authors of YA literature would have us believe) Anyway, on the eve of her sixteenth birthday her brother is stolen by faeries and replaced with a changeling. Of course, like any intrepid heroine, Meghan has to get him back. That quest leads her to Nevernever, the land of dreams and imagination where every conceivable mythical creatures lives. Here, Meghan discovers she is part fey, the daughter of Oberon, King of the Summer Kingdom.

Unfortunately, all is not well in Nevernever. This is where Julie Kagawa’s imagination goes into overdrive. I give her ten out of ten for her plot. It really is brilliantly conceived.

You see, human imagination, which spawned all these magical creatures in the first place, has also created a Kingdom of Iron fey, born of the Industrial Revolution and the electronic age. And, as anyone worth their oats knows, faeries and iron don’t mix. Think Superman and Kryptonite. Naturally, (due to a reason I never really did grasp), it’s up to Meghan to defeat the Iron King. Of course, she has help. This aid comes from two rival, but adoring, faeries - Prince Ash and Puck - and one very cynical, streetwise cat called Grim. (My favourite character by far) Yes, you read right: the infamous Puck from Midsummer Night’s Dream is the other love interest in this book. Only here, he’s not only an incorrigible prankster, he’s also snarky, smart, and brave. A credible love interest for our heroine. I really liked him. The dark, brooding Prince Ash is also intriguing, but a bit too tortured for my liking. I far preferred Puck’s open, let’s-just-kill-them-now attitude. (Doesn’t say much for me, I suppose. . .)

So, did I like the book? I must confess that I was not overly impressed to start. The story began slowly, weighed down with way too much descriptive stuff. Yes, I admit, I'm a philistine who likes fast-moving dialogue and action. Also, Meghan was a little too wont to cry for my liking. That, unfortunately, was not a flaw she managed to overcome by the end of the book. Every time I looked at her, she was either blubbing or fighting tears. Maybe I'm just heartless . . . okay, I admit, I like my heroines made of sterner stuff and Meghan felt a lot like a damsel in distress in this book. But by the time Prince Ash intercepted her and Puck in the Winter Kingdom, I was hooked - so much so that I read until three in the morning, woke up early and finished it off. That speaks for it’s self. By the end, I had a much greater admiration for my heroine. I still think she cries too much, but she does develop a bit of steel in her soul. Because I was hooked, I dived straight into the next one in the series: The Iron Daughter (Goodreads). Review to follow.

So, in conclusion, although I don't think I'll be trading dragons or wolves for fey any time soon, I’m thoroughly enjoying this magical world and I give it four shiny stars.



P.S: Oh yes, what team do I belong to? At this stage, I’m torn between both Puck and Ash.

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