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The Iron King by Julie Kagawa

The Blurb On The Back:

My name is Meghan Chase.

In less than twenty-four hours I’ll be sixteen. Countless stories and songs have been written about this wonderful age, when a girl finds true love and the stars shine for her ...


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 fitted in at school ... or at home.

When a dark stranger begins watching her from afar and her little brother is taken, Meghan senses that everything she’s known is about to change.

She could never have guessed the truth. Meghan is the daughter of a faery king and a pawn in a deadly war. Now Meghan will have to choose between a normal life and her magical destiny – and between her best friend and a darkly dangerous prince.

It’s time for Meghan to enter the faery world ...

Meghan Chase’s life sucks. Stuck on a farm in the middle of nowhere, her stepfather hates technology, her mother is rarely home and younger half-brother, Ethan, is scared of the monsters in his room, her only friend is Robbie, who lives on a nearby farm and who protects her from the kids at school who think she’s a loser.

Then on Meghan’s 16th birthday Evan is kidnapped and replaced with a changeling – a vicious faery creature who only wants to eat and take and hurt and Meghan discovers that she is half-faery, the daughter of King Oberon of the Seelie court who sent Robbie (aka Robin Goodfellow aka Puck) to stop her from discovering her heritage and thereby becoming a pawn in faery political games. Determined to get her brother back, Meghan decides to enter the world of the faerie – only to find out that there are things out there more dangerous than even the faery know about ...

The first in a YA trilogy, Kagawa’s novel takes the legends of the Unseelie/Seelie courts, weaves in A Midsummer Night’s Dream and adds a twist in the form of a new court of iron faery who are immune to the effects of iron. For me it’s the iron court that makes this book worth reading – Kagawa combining technology with magic to create stunning visuals – some with a visceral effect.

The story itself is a passable adventure with Meghan literally travelling through the worlds of faery and being introduced to the mysteries and intrigues there. As a character I found it irritating that she refuses to listen to the advice given to her and consequently continues to make stupid decisions with serious repercussions, but the love that she has for her brother is movingly portrayed.

The love triangle that develops between Meghan, her friend Puck (who keeps his lively and mischievous characteristics) and the darkly alluring and arrogant Ash, prince of the Unseelie court is a staple of YA and while it will appeal to the target audience, it’s been done too many times to be original. Ash in particular is a standard bad boy with a tragic past but smouldering good looks, designed to appeal to the target readership.

The book ends with an interesting set up for the next book and that, together with the interview and guide to Kagawa’s world means I’ll be reading on.

The Verdict:

What makes this YA take on the Seelie/Unseelie courts stand out from the rest is the introduction of a new court of iron – the depiction of which is both visual and visceral and had enough original elements to hold my interest and ensure I will read the next in the trilogy. Otherwise there’s much here that’s familiar, including the mandatory love triangle element featuring a dark and brooding male hottie with a tragic past. It’s not the best book I’ve read in this field, but it’s entertaining and breezily told.

Thanks to the Amazon Vine Programme for the free copy of this book.

Cross-posted to books, bookworming, cool_teen_reads, fantasywithbite, yalitlovers and urbanfantasyfan.

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