The Iron King by Julie Kagawa
Author: Julie Kagawa. Website, Twitter
Published: 21 January 2011 (Mira)
Buy: Amazon, Kindle, Waterstone's
Source: Borrowed from library.
Plot Summary (from 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.
This is the first book in The Iron Fey series and cropped up on my radar thanks to Goodreads recommendations. As soon as I saw it I put it on hold at the library thinking it looked pretty good. The story follows Meghan as she goes from worrying about not having enough money and her mother not noticing her, to having to deal with a missing brother and the discovery of a whole other world.
I'll start with the positives! This book is very pretty, both the cover and the chapter designs. I know, I know, never judge a book by its cover, but it's a very nice looking book! The book takes place partly in the mortal world and partly in Faeryworld or the "Nevernever" and I really loved the vivid descriptions of all the magical locations. Meghan is guided through the world by a very cool cat named Gremalkin who is totally the highlight of this book. He's funny and sarcastic and really adds an edge to the story.
Overall, though, I struggled a bit with the vast amount of information there is to absorb in this book. There's a whole load of fantastical creatures to get to grips with, a myriad of locations the characters journey to and lots and lots of terminology. If you're really into your fantasy then I don't imagine this will be too much of a problem but for me it was a bit much. I'd find myself having to go back and re-read whole paragraphs to make sense of everything and sometimes the characters moved around so fast that I'd lose track of where they were. I could have done with a bit more of the beginning of the story to ease me into the book.
I had problems with the romantic sub-plot, too. I didn't find it all that believable, even though I saw it coming from early on in the story.
I didn't hate it, though. I liked the world the book is set in and the ending had me wanting to grab the next book. I think it's a series I'd have to put time aside to really immerse myself in instead of being a quick, light read.
What to read next: The Iron Daughter by Julie Kagawa, the second book in The Iron Fey series.
Books like this: Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer, City of Bones by Cassandra Clare, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll.