Friday, August 6, 2010

Book Review: The Iron King by Julie Kagawa

As I'm sure you've figured out by now, I've been celebrating fairy tales with NotNessie of Today's Adventure.  Which may leave you wondering why I'm posting a review of a book that doesn't scream 'fairy tale' at you.  Well, it just so happens, that I subscribe to the definition of fairy-story or fairy-tale that Tolkien explains in his essay "On Fairy-stories."  While talking about what exactly fairy-stories are for about ten pages, he finally gets to this little tidbit: 
A "fairy-story" is one which touches on or uses Faerie, whatever its own main purpose may be: satire, adventure, morality, fantasy... Tales about fairies, about the fair family in any of its houses, or even about dwarfs and goblins, are only a small part of their content. p 39 of The Tolkien Reader
Thus, as you will note from my labeled reviews of fairy tales, I refer both to the traditional idea of a fairy tale - like Cinderella, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty - and to the types of stories that are about fairies/faeries/fae in any form.  Which can be a lot of stories.  I say, the more then merrier.  And on that note, here's the review:

The Iron King by Julie Kagawa
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Publication date: February 2010
ISBN: 9780373210084

Source: Library

The Iron King (Harlequin Teen) 

Meghan Chase does not have an easy life.  Her father disappeared when she was four.  Her mother remarried a nice guy, but one who hardly notices her.  She lives in the backwoods of New Orleans and has to put up with everyone at school teasing her for it.  But things are about to get a lot worse.  When her brother is apparently stolen by faeries, she must find a way into faeryland and then face hostile courts and a deadly enemy that could destroy them all.

Things I Liked:
While at first it seemed kind of like every other recent faery book I've read, I was pleasantly surprised at the interesting turn it took.  I liked the idea of a different court, one that no one knew about, but that was so destructive to the others.  The plot took a while for me to really enjoy, but when it took those interesting turns near the end, I found myself quite caught up in it.  I'll be interested to see where Kagawa takes the story next.  Here are some good quotes:

The wine filled my mouth, flooding my senses.  It tasted of nothing and everything.  It tasted of twilight and mist, moonlight and frost, emptiness and longing. p 55
And then, like an explosion of light on the inside of my eyes, I felt it.  It was like color given emotion: orange passion, vermilion lust, crimson anger, blue sorrow, a swirling hypnotic play of sensations in my mind. p190
Things I Didn't Like:
I have to admit, for the first half or so, I was really annoyed by Meghan.  Seriously, she just seemed like such an idiot - running into danger, needing to be saved at every turn, completely ignoring anyone who told her to run away from evil.  I wanted to slap her and tell her to get smart.  I think she managed it in the end.  Also, with all the fabulous reviews, I was expecting it to be more awesome, so I felt just a little let down.  It was still enjoyable but not the most amazing book I've read ever.  

Wicked Lovely series by Melissa Marr

Wings by Aprilynne Pike
Lament by Maggie Stiefvater
Wondrous Strange by Lesley Livingston

s-factor: !@#
fairly regularly throughout

mrg-factor: X
there were several rather sensual parts, but not a lot

v-factor: ->->
some fighting, nothing too gory

Overall rating: ****

What do you think of as fairy tales?  Does it include stories about fairies?

If you buy through my Amazon linkage, I will get a very small percentage


  1. Yep. Yep yep. I agree. Actually, I liked it at first, then it bogged down in the middle a little, then picked back up in the end. I'm intrigued, but as you said, it didn't seem to be as good as I expected, whatever that means. (My review coming up very soon too!)

  2. Another one I've been meaning to read. I LOVE the cover!

  3. I'm in the middle of reading it right now as well, and so far I'm agreeing with you whole-heartedly. I do hear the the sequel is better tho'. Have you read it yet?

  4. Suey, glad I'm not the only one who thought this! I'm looking forward to your review.

    Britt, I do love the covers too. You should definitely pick it up.

    curlypow, I haven't read too much about the sequel, so I can avoid the same problems I had with this one. But, I do have it on my pile of TBR books - so hopefully I can get to it soon!


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