Thursday, May 20, 2010

The Iron King by Julie Kagawa

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 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.

The premise of this story doesn’t sound much different from other fey stories already on the shelves, so this wasn’t a book I intended to pick up. But I kept hearing about it from several people, so I decided to give it a try.

The beginning is pretty much the same story you’d find in any other fey story. But I kept going because of the title – it promised something different and unexpected. And it delivered. I'm looking forward to the next book for this reason alone, because only a highly creative mind could come up with this kind of twist. :)

Without that element, though, there wasn't anything that set this story apart from others like it. The characters could have been more unique and developed. And some of the plot elements felt a bit contrived.

I didn't really buy the romance aspect because there was little to no buildup. Meghan’s an attraction to Ash went from zero to 100 in like 2.5 seconds. :) But what really bothered me was that she never questioned those feelings, or wondered why the two connected so quickly. She’d seen enough strange things in the Nevernever to be wary, so I didn’t believe that she’d overlook the strangeness of her and Ash.

Her relationship with Puck was much more believable because they’ve had years together as friends, and they clearly know each other well. The subtleties of their friendship is very well done, and it wasn’t hard to figure out why Puck kept disobeying orders for Meghan.

I was glad that Meghan didn't get completely caught up in the romance, though. I’m really tired of stories where the girl’s sun rises and sets with how her love interest sees her, and she never went there. I was also glad that she was never swayed from her goal. The choices she was presented with were interesting, and the sacrifices she made felt realistic. The writing could have been sharper (too much telling instead of showing for my taste) but it's still a story I enjoyed.

I just finished reading a galley of the sequel, Iron Daughter, and I’ll probably post a review on Goodreads soon.


Natalie Aguirre said...

I really liked this book, though I did think there may have been a tad too many different magical creatures. I'm jealous you already have the second book in the series. I'm looking forward to reading it.

Tabitha said...

Glad you enjoyed it! I liked it too, mostly because of the completely unique spin on the fey. There were a lot of magical creatures, though. :)

Elana Johnson said...

Oh, well, I just need to keep reading then. I was seriously considering putting it down, but if you say it's going to get better, I believe you.

Tabitha said...

It took a long time to get to the interesting parts that the title was promising. Once I got there, I enjoyed it.

That said, I just finished the second book...and I really didn't like it. So, that's something to consider, too, if you're thinking of putting it down.