The Iron King
By Julie Kagawa
Publication date: February 1, 2010
My rating: ****1/2
On the day that Meghan Chase turns 16, she finds out about the existence of faeries, that her best friend Robbie Goodfell is actually the faery commonly known as Puck, and her little brother Ethan has been kidnapped by some evil fey. To get Ethan back, Meghan follows Puck into the Nevernever where she crosses paths with King Oberon, Queen Titania, Queen Mab, and the handsome and dangerous Prince Ash. It is at the court of King Oberon, the Summer King, that Meghan finds out the truth about herself-she is in fact his half-faery/half-human daughter. The stakes are higher than ever as Meghan continues her search for Ethan and a new danger to all of them is revealed.
I decided to read The Iron King after reading a fantastic review and finding out that characters from A Midsummer Night's Dream were in the book. I was expecting something like Wondrous Strange by Lesley Livingston but I was pleasantly surprised to find this was a very different book. The world that Julie Kagawa creates is populated with some familiar characters from literature as well as some I'd never encountered before. I really liked the glimpses of the Seelie Court and the Unseelie Court. Meghan was a strong but flawed protagonist. There were times that I really liked her character's strength of purpose and times when I just wanted to shake her because I thought she was being stupid, particularly when someone would tell her to hide or run and she just stood there. She does improve through the book and I really liked how devoted she was to saving her brother even when it looked like there was no hope. She shows a lot of courage and she even has a big showdown with the enemy at the end of the book. Ash is an intriguing love interest for Meghan and he is kind of an anti-hero. We are never really sure where his allegiance lies but we see glimpses of an honorable young man. It doesn't hurt that he is devastatingly handsome either!
Puck is probably one of my favorite characters. He is mischievous and he plays some great pranks at Meghan's school. He is very devoted to Meghan and even though she feels that she doesn't really know him when she finds out what he is, Puck is still her loyal friend. He also has some great powers that come in handy in a fight! The other character I really enjoyed was Grimalkin, the wise talking cat who makes a lot of great quips throughout the book. Grimalkin may have ulterior motives for helping Meghan but he is a good friend to have on your side in a tough spot. The villain in this book was not quite what I expected and I thought it was a very creative plot twist. I am eager to see where the story is going. The Iron King is the first in a fantastic new series, The Iron Fey, and I would highly recommend this to fans of YA fantasy.
Thanks to Christina at Confessions of a Book Addict for your awesome review that made me want to read The Iron King in the first place!