Author: Julie Kagawa
Rating: 4 stars!
Genres: faerie, romance, technology taking over the world...
Summary: 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.
Your first thought: "She hasn't read this series yet??" Because apparently I'm one of the last to do so. Kind of as if I said I hadn't gotten around to The Mortal Instruments series yet. Which, thank the gods, I have. That comparison is to show that it's That kind of popular series.
I have heard a LOT about The Iron Fey books. But I hadn't gotten around to reading The Iron King until I found a used copy at my bookstore. Looking at the cover, I vaguely realized that I had tried to read it a few years ago from the library, but put it down right away in disinterest. (Shame on me, giving it 15 pages...) The reason I picked it up again is because of all the hype concerning Kagawa's latest book, The Immortal Rules. People kept saying she reformed the vampire genre just like her faerie series to the fey genre, so I thought, I'd better give The Iron Fey series a try because The Immortal Rules was mindblowingly-crazy-cool.
This was not love at first sight. I dragged halfheartedly through the entire first half of the story. I have read a lot of faerie fiction before, and it's one of my favorite genres out there, and this just seemed ordinary in the "okay, another faerie book, this is pretty good" kind of way. The beginning has lots of world building, and although it is well written and exciting, I felt overwhelmed alonside Meghan, like Alice falling into the rabbit hole, complete with the Cheshire Cat (Grim, the Cait Sith,) an plenty of other creepy otherworldly creatures. (Freaky computer-part bug-like gremlin thingys.)
But my feelings took a reciprocal turn for the best when the actual Iron King, Machina, came into the story. As soon as Meghan, Puck, Ash and Grim start off on their adventure away from the Seelie Court, things get really interesting, and the whole concept of the Iron Court is utterly fascinating and really well thought up! It is definitely a new turn on the genre, and I now agree with those comments I read before.
My opinion on Meghan herself is still wavering, but I don't really connect with her on anything. She is sort of wimpy and falls into Ash's arms at every moment, and acts like she hasn't ever read a fairytale before. Maybe it's her naivety to the world, as she is poor and sheltered, unpopular at school, and has Puck for a best and only friend. But she grew on me a little. Just a little. I hope to like her more in the second one.
Okay, and I know I have to join the debate here. Team Puck, or Ash? For the first book, I think I'm supposed to be Team Ash, because Puck keeps getting knocked out and disappearing, and Ash is, well pretty swoon worthy. So I'm sticking with him for now. This attachment may or may not be motivated by my obsession with the ice boy from X-Men...
For a while, I wasn't sure I would continue the series, but by the end, I became totally hooked and will definitely keep reading them. The Iron Daughter is next I believe. Maybe it's good I waited so long. All four books are already out! No waiting!
(And I still love The Immortal Rules better. :) Click << to see my review!)
PS. If you like faerie books, here are links to a couple of my favorite series:
Wings (More middle-grade, but Tamani is so wonderful.)
Wondrous Strange (Takes the 'based on Shakespeare' concept to the next level.)
Eyes Like Stars (Almost magical realism, in a strange otherworldly way.)
Artemis Fowl (Um. Yeah, not really the same, but faeries are a plenty!)
I'm going to start Maggie Stiefvater's faerie trilogy soon, so I hope to add that to the list when I'm done!