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Win a copy of Nobody and Every Other Day by Jennifer Lynn Barnes (ends 2/20)

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The Iron King

The Iron King by Julia Kagawa (February 1st 2010—Harlequin Teens)

Grade: 3.5 stars out of 5

Summary: “Meghan Chase has never fit in at her small-town high school, and now, on the eve of her 16th birthday, she discovers why. When her half brother is kidnapped, Meghan is drawn into a fantastical world she never imagined--the world of Faery, where anything you see may try to eat you, and Meghan is the daughter of the summer faery king. Now she will journey into the depths of Faery to face an unknown enemy . . . and beg the help of a winter prince who might as soon kill her as let her touch his icy heart. The Iron King is the first book in the Iron Fey series.”

Review: If you’re new to the faery realms inspired partly by William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream then you’re in for an action packed book. But if you’ve read previous works akin to this then you’re in for something different.

The Iron King involves more bad guy fighting, ass kicking, giant robotic horse wheezing, and a heavy dose of denial than what I have read previously. Wait, scratch that; I read a lot of denial books. But here is where things get iffy for me. I have horrible imagination skills when visualizing certain things from books. An author may describe a character to the crook of their nose, but all I get is their essence. Imagine if you are far-sighted and expected to see someone across the parking lot. You get the general outline, a vague sense of their face and the colorization—nothing more. This is how I see things. Fight scenes are the same way for me; I cannot get the full impact of what the author is trying to create. And within The Iron King there are plenty of fight scenes, but here is my proposition: The Iron King would make a great movie. The book will come alive on screen and reach the potential that mere words cannot. The pacing of the book would flow much better and the transition scenes would more interesting.

Let’s move on to Ash—the male love interest/winter prince dude. After reading Katie MacAlister’s Aisling Grey series, Melissa Marr’s Wicked Lovely series and Malinda Lo’s Ash I have become accustomed to identifying that Ash=girl. But in The Iron King Ash=boy. That took about a few pages to get comfortable with. Then I had trouble recognizing Ash and Meghan together. My biggest issue was the lack of preparation before the cheesy feelings delivery—clunky. Things start to smooth over one that awkward scenario passed. The relationship between Ash and Meghan was one that I appreciated; meaning there were not googoly eyed over each other. The reader understands that they have feelings for one another, but that does not overshadow the function of the brain.

So there’s a lot of talk about Grimalkin*. Yes I do admit of having a rather fondness towards him, but the ending was what I really enjoyed. Kagawa ties the book nicely together with a satisfying ending while still leaving plenty of room for the next book in the series.

Overall: Reminiscent of Alice in Wonderland in some areas. Inspiration drawn from A Midsummer Night’s Dream. A modern day take.

Cover B
I do miss the ARC concept of the cover with the crown design.

*1630, name given to a cat (cf. Shakespeare's Gray-Malkin, in "Macbeth," 1605), hence any cat, especially an old she-cat; from gray + Malkin, dim. of fem. proper name Matilda or Maud—etymonline.com

Special thanks goes to Karin! I won the ARC from her.


  1. Hrm, I've kinda been in love with faery fiction for the past year or so, so I'll have to check this one. :) Thanks for the great review!

  2. Now I am really looking forward to reading this! I like both covers!

  3. Great review! I can't wait to read this book. I like the cover but I like the one with the crown better.

  4. I've been wanting to read this-- great review!

  5. I haven't read any faery-centered books yet, but The Iron King looks really good. Thanks for the review! :D

  6. I like books with fights!

    Nice thoughts on Grimalkin :-)

    Great review, I like that you maintained integrity and kept it honest!!

  7. Not my style of book but I love the ARC cover.