Sunday, January 16, 2011

The Iron Fey - Book 1 - The Iron King

The Iron King (Iron Fey, #1)The Iron King by Julie Kagawa

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I gave Iron King only 3 stars but I should explain why it did not do better in my view. Overall it was an easy read but with all the hype that surrounded this book, I guess I expected a lot more. With my previous review of Nightshade I confessed to having a serious werewolf prejudice and before I continue with this review I must confess at having the same prejudice toward everything faerie. I cannot explain this prejudice as easily as I did the werewolf prejudice in my previous review, suffice it to state that every story I have read in the past couple of years about faeries and the faerie realm has been very dark and dangerous and almost depressing. This of course goes directly against everything I believe the world of faerie to be when I was a child and I believe somewhere inside of me, my inner child clings to the belief that the faerie world should really only be portrayed as being magical and beautiful. I should also say that I am writing this review after having also completed Iron Daughter and I believe had I not done so, my review of The Iron King, might have been even more (maybe unfairly) critical.


The story follows Meghan Chase, who believes herself to be just a normal boring farm girl. She soon discovers this to be as far from the truth as the world that she previously believed she occupied as she is forced (through the kidnapping of her baby brother) to enter the world of faerie to save her brother’s life. She is thrown headlong into this dangerous and compelling world where she discovers herself to be not only half faerie but also a Princess of Summer. She soon meets and falls in love with a Winter Prince who seems to be foe more than friend most of the time. Together they seek to discover the secrets of the ever growing Iron Realm which suddenly threatens the very existence of Meghan’s new found faerie world. They seek out and conquer the Iron King, not without personal sacrifice and finds that (seemingly) love does not always conquer all obstacles.


The book was certainly an easy read and although I might be being a bit hypocritical I am citing that as both a Like and a Dislike. I finished the book in little over one sitting and confess to having been intrigued enough to never feel like I did not want to finish the book at any stage. The story is unique and the underlying theme of the struggle between technology which is stifling and killing nature is one that I personally feel strongly about and therefore I enjoyed this aspect of the book very much insofar and I appreciate that this type of awareness is created through the book. The book is fast paced and action packed most of the time and the author has a descriptive way of writing which certainly feeds the imagination. The plot and characters were interesting and enjoyable to read.


During some stages of this book I felt like it was (or should have been) directed at a much younger audience. In some instances the descriptions used by the writer to describe the world seemed almost child like, which did not sit well with the dark and dangerous picture that the writer wanted to paint of the world. As stated herein above, I have read so many dark and disturbing faerie stories in the past year or so I wondered nostalgically whether anyone still believed in a pretty faerie world with small little pixies and dwarves who live in little houses made of flowers and live of nature in an innocent and peaceful way. It seems Hollywood is more inclined to portray faerie that way than modern day authors. Anyway this is really not a critique on the book, merely my personal observation of stories of this nature. I felt that the characters were a bit underdeveloped and apart from Meghan and maybe Puck I did not really get the chance to know any of the other characters in more than a superficial way.


I enjoyed the Iron King enough to have had wanted to continue reading the series. I picked up the Iron Daughter almost immediately after finishing this book. It was an easy read and although I had some criticisms on the book, I would still recommend it to readers who enjoy faerie stories. Despite my conflicted feelings on this book, I still give it a thumbs up as is evident from the three stars.


The Iron King is followed by The Iron Daughter by Julie Kagawa, the review of which follows soon.

View all my reviews


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