Action packed adventure in fairyland!
The Iron King (Iron Fey #1) by Julie Kagawa
Reading Level: Young Adult
Release Date: February 1, 2010
Source: Amazon Vine
Reviewed By: Kate McMurry
Meghan Chase has never fit in, either at home or at school, ever since her father disappeared right before her eyes when she was only six. But her life isn't particularly out of the ordinary, other than living on a farm with her mother, step-father and four-year-old brother in an obscure area of the country. Her major complaint is not having a boyfriend and her mother not remembering her birthday--until the day she turns sixteen. Suddenly, her world implodes. Her little brother is kidnapped and her best friend, Robbie, reveals that he's not what she thought he was all these years. He's a powerful fae (fairy) who offers to be her guide to rescue her brother from an enemy who has taken him to a place beyond her wildest imaginings.
Meghan's wild journey through the Nevernever (fairyland) is a nonstop ride. It is a world filled with wicked fae, many of whom want to not only kill her, but eat her, too. Yet she has allies, as well, most impressive among them an amazing talking cat named Grimalkin, and her friend Robbie, who turns out to be Puck from Shakespeare's Midsummer Night's Dream. Most fascinating of all is Ash, a Prince of the Winter Court of the fae, who can't decide if he wants to kiss Meghan or kill her.
I enjoyed the action of this story, but I loved most the romantic subplot. Ash is not just a gorgeous prop, but brave, resourceful and protective of the heroine, as well as respecting her innate strength. I can't wait to see how this romance progresses in the next two books of this trilogy.
Overall, the sheer inventiveness of this story is mind boggling. There are endless types of fae, with all kinds of powers who represent many different challenges and dangers for the heroine to overcome. And the ultimate Big Bad, the titular Iron King, is one of the most fascinating villains I've ever seen in a fantasy novel.
Note for concerned parents: Though the book has many scary moments, the violence is not overly graphic. There is no foul language to speak of, and only a couple of chaste kisses for sexual content.
I recommend this book highly not only to teens, but to adults who like a rip-roaring story by a truly excellent writer. If you are looking for a fast, exciting, really fun read, and you enjoy fantasy-adventure, you are going to love this book.
Fantasy World-Building: 5
Action-Adventure Plot: 5
Romantic Subplot: 4