Saturday, 19 February 2011

The Iron King by Julia Kagawa

January 2011, Mira Ink 
384 pages, Paperback
Review copy 

Young Adult, fantasy 

Fairies, evil creatures, love between siblings, mild teen romance, talking cat, consequences of heeding/ignoring good advice, humour, heaps of danger, suspense, a few tissues needed 

Summary from Mira Ink
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.

Nayuelska's thoughts
This is just an awesome book. I warmed to Meghan immediately, I love how she takes good care of her brother - even when he isn't quite himself. She just wants to do the right thing, which is hard to do when the world she thought she knew is revealed as being quite a different one. There are a lot of changes that she has to get her head around, and often the revelations come at times of great peril. I have a great deal of respect for how Meghan handles the news. She does make a few mistakes, which makes her all the more human. There is no doubt of her love for her family. Finding out her true lineage is also a shock. Her father isn't as easy to get along with as her mother. He has his own agenda with her, as does everyone she meets. I've never read Midsummer Night Dream so I don't know anything about Puck or Queen Mab, but that didn't matter. I understood their characters as Meghan met them. Queen Mab is a very slippery personality. As are quite a lot of those in the fairy realm, for most hide secrets from Meghan. Appearances are most definitely deceiving, especially with the prince she meets. 

I love this book for the imagination of the world Meghan finds herself in. I love how all the relationships develop, and have lots of layers to them. I love the intensity of the peril Meghan gets in, and how the stakes get really high and mean that she has to risk everything to save her brother. I enjoyed having my heart racing most of the time, unsure of what would happen next. The creatures that wish Meghan harm really scared me, and I'm glad there aren't any illustrations in the book, otherwise I'd be covering them up. The Iron King in particular is extremely frightening. I can all too easily imagine what he looks like. Meghan thinks she's just trying to save her brother, but she ends up becoming involved in a race to save the fairies. I'm delighted that there are 2 more books to come in the series (I think it's only 2...), because the way the Iron King ends has me on tenderhooks. I have a feeling that the second book would be very dramatic. 

Final conclusion
If you love adventures with fairies filled with danger, lots of plot twists and an entertaining heroine, go read The Iron King! Brilliant start to a new series. 

Check out more information about the Iron King on the Mira Ink website.

For information about Julie Kagawa, check out her author website.

Suggested reads
I, Coriander by Sally Gardner, Children's, Historical & Fantasy 
Black Swan by Lee Carroll, Young Adult, Dark Urban Fantasy

Edited to add: I've learnt the 2nd book comes out in Aprill, and the 3rd will come out in October!

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