Book Reviews

Review: “The Iron King,” Julie Kagawa

October 7, 2010
Review: “The Iron King,” Julie KagawaThe Iron Kingby Julie Kagawa
Series: The Iron Fey #1
Published by Harlequin Teen on February, 2010
Genres: Faeries, Fantasy
Pages: 363

Meghan Chase has never fit in at her small-town high school, and now, on the eve of her 16th birthday, she discovers why. When her half brother is kidnapped, Meghan is drawn into a fantastical world she never imagined–the world of Faery, where anything you see may try to eat you, and Meghan is the daughter of the summer faery king.

Now she will journey into the depths of Faery to face an unknown enemy . . . and beg the help of a winter prince who might as soon kill her as let her touch his icy heart.

Absolutely fantastic. Probably the best fae story I’ve read. Think Alice in Wonderland, crossed with The Spiderwick Chronicles and the characters from A Midsummer Nights Dream. Highly recommended!

I was absolutely floored at how brilliant this novel was. Each character is fantastically woven and unique. I can’t possibly pick who is my favourite. Julie Kagawa takes the faerie lore and adds her own spin; by introducing the Iron Fey, a race of faerie born of our technology-fuelled minds.

I was teetering between Team Ash to Team Puck the whole way through. I JUST CAN’T DECIDE. As I mentioned in my review of Clockwork Angel, I’m usually quick to decide which male lead I prefer, but The Iron King once again had me torn. Sweet, comical Puck who is as loyal as they come or ferocious and dark Prince Ash?

My heart.

About halfway through the novel, I was sure I was Team Puck. Then, that changed. I have The Iron Daughter, so I think I will wait until I read that to make up my mind (hopefully I can!)

Puck reminds me a lot of Peter Pan, a character I’ve always held fond feelings for. Anyone else feel this similarity? I loved his ‘summer’ powers, blowing things into dandelions and creating copies of himself from leaves and twigs.

Ash’s powers come from the Winter court (since he is of course, son of the Unseelie Queen Mab) and they’re pretty awesome as well. He can create blizzards, whistle snowstorms and ice shards.

Which brings me to the action scenes, they were so well written. Often in stories I find my mind racing around in confusion when the big battles are played out. I hate having to go back and re-read paragraphs to really get what just happened. I didn’t do that once with The Iron King. You can just see everything play out as if it were right in front of you. That’s a huge deal for me!

Also, Grim was so adorable! I was immediately reminded of the Cheshire Cat from Alice in Wonderland! His constant “Well, I am a cat” made me giggle. His resigned personality worked well with his brand of humour and I really enjoyed his scenes. Basically, I loved the little quartet of Meghan, Ash, Puck and Grim.

What puts me off giving a full 5/5 is that some scenes felt unnecessary. Looking back on the journey they took, a lot of it seemed a bit cluttered with all the detours. Yes, it did help us feel attached to the characters, but it also made me feel as if the story was taking too long to actually get anywhere. The whole business with Shard and the troll, Meghan working in the kitchens… etc. These things would probably put me off re-reading it again in the near future.

But, if you haven’t read it yet and have been thinking about doing so, DO. You won’t be disappointed! While I did enjoy Tithe by Holly Black, I didn’t love it like a lot of other readers. I most definitely prefer Julie Kagawa’s story.

Recommended to: Anyone that’s a fan of fae stories. However, if you’re ‘tired’ of them, this one is also a good pick. Like I mentioned, it’s got it’s own unique spin.

About Julie Kagawa

Julie Kagawa was born in Sacramento, California. But nothing exciting really happened to her there. So, at the age of nine she and her family moved to Hawaii, which she soon discovered was inhabited by large carnivorous insects, colonies of house geckos, and frequent hurricanes. Julie now lives in Louisville, Kentucky, where the frequency of shark attacks are at an all time low. She lives with her husband, two obnoxious cats, one Australian Shepherd who is too smart for his own good, and the latest addition, a hyper-active Papillon puppy.


  • Reply Kelly October 7, 2010 at 5:30 pm

    All reviews I have read about this book are not only favorable but enthusiastic, too!
    It is only lately that I have taken an interest in Fae stories, it has mostly been weres and vamps for me!!
    but now, I’m totally ordering this series!!

    Thanks for the review!

    • Reply Brittany October 7, 2010 at 6:11 pm

      Me too! I’m not a huge Fae fan, either. Weres and vamps have been my go-to themes for quite some time, so I was really surprised I enjoyed this one! So glad you’re ordering them, I hope you love them as much as I do!


      • Reply Kelly October 7, 2010 at 6:58 pm

        I am sure I will!
        And I will also be reading: Knife and Rebel by R.J. Anderson (I already have these) I have heard they are awesome Fae stories too, let along the Shadowfae Chronicles by Erica Hayes (ordered one book, won the other)! XD

    Leave a Reply

    CommentLuv badge