Nov 15, 2012

Book Review: The Iron King by Julie Kagawa

Book Cover for The Iron King by Julie Kagawa
Title: The Iron King
Author: Julie Kagawa
Series: The Iron Fey #1
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy

Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Source: Freebie @ The Iron Fey website
Format: ebook
Pages: 360
Publication Date: February 1, 2010

Check it out at: Amazon | Goodreads

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 Iron Fey is one of the YA Fantasy series that I intentionally did not read. There is a lot of noise/praise about them but I was always dreading to start, because I did not like Twilight and I feared that the same thing would happen with these books.
But then I accidentally stumbled upon this book for free on official website and most people in IMM comments voted that I should give it a try. Well I listened to you, my fellow book-lovers. :)

Julie Kagawa's style of writing is very easy to read. It's light, and breezy with right amount of descriptions, inner monologue, dialog and action to make it just right. It's surprisingly good for a first novel.

The world of Fey Julie Kagawa created, takes ideas from several different books and sources. They enter at the beginning through the closet (Narnia), one of the characters is sarcastic mysterious disappearing talking cat (Alice in Wonderland) and there is whole cast of characters from Shakespeare's 'A Midsummer Night's Dream': Oberon, Titania, Puck, etc. But, Julie Kagawa managed to add her touch to these characters, transfer them to urban setting and make them unique and original.
Also, there are so many different types of creatures we will encounter here that it's a real treat for lovers of mythological and paranormal. Be warned, Julie Kagawa has a little bit of teeth-fetish.

So why the low rating? Because 'The Iron King' represent all of the most popular (and most used) tropes in YA books.
Story is told from first person point of view by Megan Chase. Her father is missing since she was a kid and she is neglected by her mother and stepfather. But then she discovers magical world and creatures living in our world that other humans can't see. I will not list any more cliches she represents because they would be spoilers, but there are many many more.
As for romance - of course it has to be a triangle! One is quirky best friend (who she never saw in that light although he is in love with her forever) and the other is handsome bad boy & tortured hero (who of course has a soft side that is revealed just for her).

To read more in general about overused tropes in YA, here are some very good articles:
- Top Ten Tropes in YA – featuring A E Rought
- YA Common Clich├ęs series: Fantasy/Urban Fantasy

I recommend this book to: all people who are looking for a typical, light ya fantasy.

My Rating: 3 out of 5


  1. I really love this series but that's mostly because I'm the big child and I love everything that has to do with faeries. The second book in this series wasn't so good for me. All in all I do love this series.

    1. I love fairies too. And the book was not so bad. But while I was reading it I felt like I read about the same type of characters and plot thousand times before. This is older book, so maybe Julie Kagawa set the trends back then, but still, reading it now it all seems so... stereotypical.

  2. I cannot wait to read this book! I wish I didn't have to wait until August! I'm looking forward to finding out more about Ash and Puck :-)


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