Monday, August 4, 2014

The Iron King by Julie Kagawa

Summary (from Goodreads):
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.
I’ve been meaning to read this for quite some time. I have read a lot of good reviews for it and it’s on my Challenge List for the year. However, I kind of have mixed feelings about it. On the one hand, I loved all of the classic, eerie fey dilemmas. And on the other hand, I just never really cared for Meghan, the main character.
Seriously, I haven’t read a fairy book in a long time that had this kind of old school, creepy fairy laws and traditions. And I loved how dark, twisted, and political the fairy world Kagawa creates is. I loved all the strange side characters of this world (from Puck, to Titania, to Ash, to Grimalkin, to even the iron things Meghan refers to as packrats). I loved all the ways the characters had to take to get into and out of this world. I loved all of the overlaps between fairy world and the real world. And I particularly loved the whole iron aspect. The fairy world was slightly decaying with iron and iron fey because less and less people/humans in the regular world had the imagination for fey, but did have a liking for technology.
I guess I would rate this book a lot higher if Meghan wasn’t so terrible. She’s one of those characters who I really wanted to slap a few times. She made so many mistakes and instead of learning from these mistakes whom to trust, she just kept making more of the same mistakes again and again. I knew from the beginning that I wouldn’t like her. She doesn’t listen to the one friend she has and goes and gets sucked into a mean prank at school. And throughout the book, she doesn’t listen to the one friend she has and lots of bad things happen. Why would you trust so many bad people and not the one friend you have?
Also, she’s kind of not too bright. It was one of those classic YA stories where the best friend character is in love with the main character and the main character doesn’t see it. But, really, this was not handled well. There were way too many moments when you would have to be a complete moron not to notice this. She was confused as to why Puck was mad that she kissed him on the cheek when he asked for a kiss…Really, why would anyone be mad at this? Think.
She also continued to speak without thinking (to somewhat evil fey)! She didn’t accept fairy clothing even though her one friend told her that Oberon hated mortal clothing (again, why won’t you listen to your friend?) She almost drowned, she got kidnapped, she got trapped, she was forced into extreme labor, and really it was just one thing after another that I truly felt could have been prevented if the main character thought a few things through, or listed to the right people. I get that people make mistakes. I do. But when someone can’t learn from any of their mistakes, I start to wonder what’s wrong with them.
I liked that the book was all about saving her brother. It wasn’t all about the romance, which I totally could have seen it becoming, and I appreciated this. And like I said before, the world building and side characters were awesome. I just had a lot of problems with the main character. I’m not sure if I’ll continue the series because I’m not sure Meghan can change enough for me, though I am interested in seeing what happens to the world with all the more iron developments. I give it a 7/10.


  1. I had the same exact issue with Meghan as you did but trust me she pulls through and becomes a badass! She stay annoying as far as always rushing into danger but she still improves and ended up loving the series and maratho ing it.

  2. I am glad you didn't go head over heels for this one, as well. I have read so many spectacular reviews for this book and while I thought it was pretty good, I wouldn't exactly consider it one of my favorites. So happy someone else thinks so as well!