Saturday, 3 July 2010

The Iron King by Julie Kagawa

'"My name is Meghan Chase. In less than twenty-four hours I'll be sixteen. Countless stories, songs and poems have been written about this wonderful age, when a girl finds true love and the stars shine for her and the handsome prince carries her off into the sunset. I don't think it will be that way for me."

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 know 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."

This is the first book in a YA series, The Iron Fey. I am not very often a big fan of fey central books, and in fact with the exception of Jenna Black's YA Glimmerglass, and Richelle Mead's adult series Dark Swan, I've never more than liked a series/book focusing on fey. So I wasn't too sure about trying this one. I ended up enjoying it a lot though. I don't love it, it's not going to be a favourite, but it is still a good read.

Meghan lives with her mom, step dad and 4 year-old half-brother Ethan. Ethan is often saying that he sees and hears things, things that can't possibly be real. Except Meghan is about to find out they are real, and far more terrifying than she could think. Her sweet sixteen comes with humiliation, followed by the discovery that her little brother could be in danger. All the while being watched by a guy on a black horse, who seems to disappear and reappear at will. Her best friend Robbie, a big time prankster, is being serious and protective, something she's not seen from him before. All this leads to a big discovery. Not only do faeries exist, but Meghan is one of them, daughter of the Summer King. And now the most wanted pawn in faerie.

The book started out well, if a little slow, and built well through the book. There was a lot of action, several good twists and a lot of unanswered questions. Meghan is pretty smart and deals fairly well with what's thrown at her. She grows in confidence and competence as she sees more of the faerie and how they act. Robbie is entertaining and a little crazy at times, but he's loyal to Meghan and a character I really liked. Likewise I really liked Ash, the Winter Court prince, and cait sith Grimalkin. The romance between Meghan and Ash builds slowly and never become a central focus but still got a decent amount of attention.

The faery world is magical and dangerous as it should be. The faery's aren't all sweetness and nice and there is the age old battle between the Winter and Summer Courts. I really like the twist with the Iron fey, and in particular I loved the nicknamed 'pack rats'. The ending was pretty tense with enough conclusion, whilst still leaving a lot open for the next book. Overall it's a really good book, it's well written with the characters and their emotions coming across really well. I really felt for Meghan several times as she had to make some tough decisions. I didn't love it, but I'd still recommend it. If you're someone who, unlike me, really likes fey stories, then this is one you won't want to miss. There is a short story ebook (which I believe is free), Winters Passage, which is set between this one, and the second book The Iron Daughter (out August 2010). I'm looking forward to reading both and seeing how things continue for Meghan. 7/10


Jessica said...

Hey Cem, did I see right that you won a copy of Pray for Dawn at Book Lovers Inc?! Congrats!!

Cem said...

You did see right!! Thanks! Found the email stating so first thing this morning, which was a great start to the day. I'm doing really well for signed books right

Jessica said...

That's really cool for you Cem! Congrats again!!