The Iron King - Julie Kagawa (Iron Fey - Book 1)

I admit it. I bought The Iron King because I liked the cover. It is just oh so pretty, isn't it? I figured it would look great on the YA shelf on my bookcase. 

Since I bought it, I figured I should read it. I was pleasantly surprised!

Genre: Fiction, Fantasy, Faery, Young Adult
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Year: 2010
Rating: 4/5

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 never could 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. 

Meghan Chase is a misfit. No one seems to notice her. Even her own family don't pay her much attention, except for her four-year-old, half brother Ethan. Her only friend is Robbie. Fellow outcast. 

As Meghan's sixteenth birthday approaches, she senses something changing. Then all hell breaks loose. She is made the butt of a very cruel joke at school, she overhears a strange conversation and she arrives home, on the afternoon of her big day, to find her mother laying in a pool of blood on the kitchen floor. Her little brother towering over her, grinning manically. 

Meghan just can't comprehend what is happening. The only person who can explain things is Robbie. Someone who Meghan has been friends with her whole life.. someone who she trusts... someone who she realises, she doesn't really know at all. In fact, Meghan lives in a world that is different than she thought, and she is descendant from a king who she did not even realised existed. Until now. 

Meghan's world is changing and she must enter the land of the Fey, a place called the Nevernever, in order to save her brother. A dangerous place where not everything is what it seems and not everyone is happy with her existence. 

What did I think?

I enjoyed this book. After the last book I read and did not enjoy, I was looking forward to an easy, fun read. The Iron King provided just that.

I liked the characters in this novel. Meghan was easy to warm to and Robbie was a light-hearted but sympathetic character. 

I hadn't read any books about the Fey before, so I was curious to see if I would enjoy reading about them or not. In this case, I did. Although they are proud, cold and superior creatures, they were interesting. They seemed kind of bad.. yet good. I guess it's hard to ascribe human emotions to creatures that are far from human.

I also loved how this novel was full of action and adventure. Meghan travels throughout the Nevernever, meeting strange creatures and fighting for her survival. There was never a boring moment. Although there was the obligatory romance storyline, it did not take over the story. There was diversity, which was very refreshing.

The Iron king borrows from a lot of other stories but this is something that the author does not try to hide. She is quite open about some of her inspiration. She was most obviously inspired by A Midsummer's Night Dream and Alice in Wonderland. I also got a bit of a feel of The Labyrinth (film) from this novel.

Despite that, I didn't feel that it made the story any less interesting, nor did it detract from my enjoyment. I am planning on reading the second novel in this series.

If you like reading YA fantasy novels, or stories that are full of adventure in far off lands, then I am sure you will like this book.

Have you read this? What did you think?
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