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The Iron King
by Julie Kagawa


First book in The Iron Fey series.

Meghan has always felt a bit isolated from her family. At times, she feels like an afterthought – only remembered when she speaks up. But on her sixteenth birthday, she finds out just how much of an outsider she is. Her mischievous best friend Robbie, whom she’s known so long that she can’t remember a time without him, is no ordinary teenage boy – he’s Robin Goodfellow, better known as Puck, a prankster fairy from English folklore. When Meghan realizes that her younger brother has been kidnapped and replaced with a changeling, she begs him to take her to the fairy world so that she can rescue him. Once there, Meghan learns why Puck has been sent by King Oberon to watch over her. She is his bastard daughter, and her presence in the fairy world threatens to set the weakening fairy courts against each other, bringing war and chaos to the magic realm.

The book does tend to cling a little too tightly to the standard YA paranormal romance tropes. It’s not enough to have a romance, of course – it has to be a love triangle. The girl, as always, is torn between two beaus: the “Jacob”/Puck - familiar, warm childhood friend - and the “Edward”/Ash – a cool, distant, tortured hero with the face of Adonis. As in Twilight, Meghan chooses Ash, the fairy prince whose disdain and boredom hides his tender heart. Of course. The way that the relationship between Meghan and Ash is virtually nonexistent but suddenly ramps up in the last quarter of the book through no impetus save the need to have a romance is pretty standard, too. But what sets this book apart from books like City of Bones and Nightshade is the excellent world-building. I loved the fairy worlds. King Oberon and Queen Titania were a hoot – they were regal and haughty versions of the comedic Shakespearian counterparts. There’s also a delightful cat named Grimalkin, a very Gaiman-esque trickster creature who helps Meghan not out of the goodness of his heart, but to gain profit and for the entertainment provided by the wandering human child.


There have been a lot of fairy-themed young adult novels in the last couple of years, but I think that The Iron King is the first one I’ve picked up. I definitely want to continue with the series.



3.5 out of 5 stars

Random aside – this is the second book called The Iron King I’ve read in less than a month’s time. How unusual.

To read more about The Iron King, buy it or add it to your wishlist click here.



Peeking into the archives...today in:
2012: Zombie Cop by Joe Mariotte
2011: Tokyopop Shutting Down US Publishing
2010: Beatrice & Virgil by Yann Martel
2009: Bound South by Susan Rebecca White

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