Iron King by Julie Kagawa

#29 of 200

Original Language: English
Publisher: Harlequin
Country: United States
Publication Date: February 1, 2010
ISBN: 0373210086
Page Count: 368
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.
Julie Kagawa recreates one of the most famous stories of all time, with some of the most recognisable characters, in her first novel Iron King. The first book of her new Iron Fey series features the court of Oberon and Titania, and Robin Goodfellow, Puck, as a body guard in disguise.

Meghan feels invisible, her Mum is happy with her new family, her Step-dad forgets she exists, and only her best friend Robbie pays attention to her at school. On the day before her 16th birthday, Meghan’s life begins to go haywire when a computer goes berserk and Meghan finds herself humiliated at school. As if that isn’t enough, Meghan returns home to find her Mum hurt and her brother replaced by a Changeling with blood-lust.

Enter Nevernever and the world of faeries. Meghan learns she is the daughter of the Summer Fey King, Oberon, making her part fey herself. When she travels into faeryworld with Puck, Meghan learns there is more to faeries than pretty wings and glitter.

Meghan finds herself in the middle of conflict between the Summer Fey (the Seelie court led by Oberon) and the Winter Fey (Mab’s Unseelie court). She has no one to turn to for aid and is reduced to making deals with a cait sith and the dark Winter Prince, Ash, in order to save her brother.As if the animosity between Summer and Winter wasn’t bad enough, Meghan learns the Iron King, a previously unknown group of Fey, stole her brother.

Kagawa recreates the faeryworld, Nevernever, in a completely new way, and recreates beloved Shakespearean characters, making them more endearing than ever. The faeryworld of the Iron King remains mysterious and dangerous despite its allure.

As a protagonist Meghan is the average invisible teenage girl. A bit useless when it comes to fighting, naive about her danger and determined to do right by everyone she knows. Meghan shows a small amount of growth in Iron King, enough to be realistic, but not enough to say she matures over night.

The romance is a bit overt, as though Kagawa isn’t sure the reader is following it but it isn’t as corny as it could be. A teenage girl to falling in love with a handsome ‘stranger’ after being rejected by her crush wouldn’t be as realistic if she didn’t have a reason to be vulnerable.

Kagawa’s descriptions of Nevernever and its creatures was innovative but leaned towards traditional views. She describes satyrs, kelpies, red caps and changelings, but never recreates them completely. Instead, Kagawa manages to give all these well known inhabitants of Nevernever a new but familiar edge.

Iron King is Julie Kagawa’s first novel, and the sequel Iron Daughter was released in July 2010. The third Iron Fey book, Iron Queen was released this month.
Raiding Bookshelves Rating
Judging by the cover: I love the matching covers for the Iron Fey series. Showing only half the cover model’s face suits the idea that Meghan doesn’t understand herself. It represents her halfling status in Nevernever, while remaining mysterious. The colours look amazing too, especially with the pattern decorating the heading.

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