Saturday, May 1, 2010

Review: The Iron King

The Iron King by Julie Kagawa
Published: February 1, 2010
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.

From Goodreads

My first Blogger book review is here! So exciting! The Iron King, by Julie Kagawa, landed in my hands (or on my computer) at the right time. I had Winter session off from college, and just enough time to sit down and immerse myself into the land of the make-believe. The back cover of the book reads:
Meghan Chase has a secret destiny- One she could never have imagined...
To say I was intrigued is an understatement. Before I read the first chapter, I checked out Halequin Teen's website, and linked over to their Iron King page, and watched the video preview for the book. The video got me excited, and within the hour I had read the first two chapters. The basic premise: Meghan Chase, a soon-to-be sixteen year old girl, is trying to find her four-year-old half brother, Ethan. Ethan has been kidnapped--- no wait, Ethan has been replaced with a Changling, and taken to an unknown location. Confused? I hope not! Before Ethan goes missing, strange things have happened to Meghan (nope... not going to tell!) and she relies on her best friend, Robbie Goodfell, to fill in all the secret details. Drum roll please: She's half human/half fey. How can this be? Well, her biological father is King Oberon, ruler of the Seelie Court; and this means, Meghan is the princess. Can we pause right here? So, how many times throughout my childhood did I wish I were a princess? I think I may be jealous that Meghan actually is! Pity party over, and violin back in case,  back to the review.

After finding out where Ethan may possibly be, Robbie and Meghan set out to find him.
"Come on princess," Rob turned and beckoned me forward. His eyes glowed green in the darkness. "This is our ride. Your one-way ticket to the Nevernever." Chapter Four.
Once they enter Nevernever, a magically scary tale unfolds within the pages. I will not go into details, but the adventures Meghan go on are pretty fantastic. Julie Kagawa created a world that is: thrilling, exhilarating, and breathtaking! At times I was laughing out loud, on the edge of my seat, and near tears. I loved each of the characters: Meghan, Ethan, Robbie, Grimalkin, and (swoon!) Ash. Ash, prince of the Unseelie Court, gets entangled with Meghan and craziness ensues. Overall, I identified with Meghan (even though I am not a teenager, nor am I a fae) because her emotions were real. The Iron King is told exclusively from Meghan's point-of-view, which I believe was a good move on Kagawa's part. If the book were in third person, the story would lack emotional connection. This book is told from the eyes of a girl who's entire world has changed. We see what she sees, and we feel what she feels. Since this wild journey ends with a cliffhanger, the book does not resolve itself in the end. However, The Iron King easily sets up the premise for its sequel.

My one complaint: I felt a little left out because I did not have prior knowledge of fairies of Literature, nor of William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream. I felt as if I should have known who Oberon, Titania, and Puck were before I started to read The Iron King. If Kagawa had referenced characters from: Othello, Hamlet, Macbeth, and Romeo and Juliet, I may have stood a chance. None the less, this is a minor detail, and after a quick jaunt over to Wikipedia, I was back on track.

In the end, The Iron King is a great book. I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to be whisked away to a magical place. It's adventurous, romantic, and worth every second spent on reading. If the readers out there (especially teen/young adult women) are looking for a great read; and most importantly, a series they can follow and enjoy, pick up The Iron King!

4 1/2 out of 5

I took a quarter off because of the Shakespeare references. I took another quarter off for some language throughout the book. I would have loved to have passed this on to my 13 year old niece. However, I do not feel as if the language is appropriate for her to read.

REMINDER: The sequel: The Iron Daughter hits shelves August 1, 2010. Mark your calendars!

Until next time!

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